Do you know what animal kills the most humans every year? It is not the untamed tiger or the mammoth elephant or the venomous snake. It is the tiny mosquito. One study found that mosquitoes kill 20 times more humans than snakes every year.

And the mosquito doesn't kill you by its strength. It kills you by a small little prick that infects you with a deadly disease. Then it is off to transmit it to the next human being.

If I found a venomous snake in the house, I would drop whatever I am doing to get rid of that snake. It doesn’t matter if I am talking to the CEO of the company, or even the president of my country. I will drop whatever I am doing to drive the venomous snake out of my house.

But because I live by what my eyes see, I dismiss the harmless-looking mosquito. And I am a fool if I do not recognize the FACT that the infection-carrying mosquito that flies around in my house is 20 times more dangerous than a venomous snake in my house.

This has a simple spiritual application. A lot of us are worried about the huge trials. We marvel at people who are able to stand strong for Jesus when faced with threats of great evil or death. And we absolutely should: To be willing to die for Jesus is a tremendous act of courage, and an evidence of a deep loyalty and the supernatural grace that God makes available at such intense times of trial.

But these kinds of spiritual persecutions are like venomous snakes that enter our house. The vast majority of us do not face these kinds of spiritual threats on a daily baiss. What we do face are spiritual mosquitoes that slip into our house and are ignored.

  • The small mosquito of inconvenience because of changes in the routine, children growing up, etc. The Lord asks us to drive out all the mosquitoes of complaint (in thought and word and feelings). Philippians 2:14
  • The small mosquito of being offended by the actions of someone else. The Lord asks us to violently drive out all self-pity. Matthew 16:23
  • The small mosquito of envy towards the blessing of God on another brother. Jesus tells us to love as Christ loved us (1 Corinthians 13:4; John 13:34)
  • The small mosquito of lust in my interactions with others. The Lord tells us to repent of lust just as we would repent if we had committed physical adultery (Matthew 5:28)
  • The small mosquito of unkind words towards loved ones. Jesus tells us that anger in our heart or words is as serious as murdering our loved ones (Matthew 5:22)

Spiritual mosquitoes cause the most havoc in Christians. The devil and his forces might find that sincere Christians watch for spiritual serpents and tigers and lions and so on. But we can be casual to allow his spiritual mosquitoes to fly in and out of our everyday lives. And the biggest cause for spiritual death among Christians are the tiny mosquitoes that are allowed to remain.

Solomon used a similar analogy of “little foxes” that were ruining the vineyard that was in blossom – Song of Songs 2:15 - Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, while our vineyards are in blossom. These were not the adult scary-looking foxes. These were the foxes while they were still cute and harmless-looking.

So may we always be on guard.