Monday, November 09, 2009
Current Study: 1 Peter
Today’s Topic: As a Deer
Scripture Reading: 1Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Before I begin, thanks to all of you who have suggested names for these devotionals. I have a list of about 50 possibilities, and my wife and I will be reviewing that list over the next week to choose the permanent name. Also, this will be my only devotional this week. I will be on vacation spending time trying to track down that huge buck I saw Saturday morning. I promise I will hunt safely.
I am amazed at how alert deer are in the woods. With the exception of the big bucks during the breeding season, they are finely tuned to their environment so they can avoid any and all potential danger. The bucks have something else more urgent than personal safety on their minds right now. Otherwise, every sense they have is used at peak performance.
Their eyes have incredible peripheral vision and their heads turn instantly when they detect motion of any kind.
Their ears are precise directional homing devices. They can pinpoint the exact location of a sound from amazing distances and come running right to it. I’ve watched bucks respond to the rattle of antlers from half-a-mile away and run to the exact location of my tree stand.
Their noses are incredible. They lift their head towards the sky and lick their nose so that the saliva captures any and all scent particles in the air. Bucks can tell the direction a doe in heat was walking on a trail after she had been there 12 hours earlier.
And then there’s that non-scientifically proven sixth sense that every hunter knows a deer has. I’ve watched deer just instinctively know something is different than the last time they past that location, and turn and run away. They saw nothing. They smelled nothing. They heard nothing. They just sensed something.
The skilled hunter must go to extreme measures to have a chance to get close to these incredible game animals. He must use camouflage to blend into the environment so the advantage of the deer’s vision is neutralized. The hunter must by quiet – absolutely quiet – making only noises that sound like other animals in the forest or like the deer itself. And he must smell right, or not smell at all. It is the nose of the deer that works the best, and any whiff of scent not natural to the woods will be judged as dangerous and the deer will flee.
We can learn a lot from deer about taking precautions in the forest of the world. We are being hunted. We must develop our senses so we can protect ourselves from our enemy the lion who is stalking us and seeks to devour us. We can ensure spiritual survival if we become like deer in the woods. We must be alert to the potential danger lurking behind every tree.
How tragic it would be to find our lives described by the words of the prophet Isaiah through whom the Lord God said, Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
Our eyes can begin to see better in the darkness that surrounds us when they become illuminated by the light of God’s commands. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. (Psalm 19:8) The Lord knows the path that is safe to walk, and can release us from any trap into which we fall. We must keep our eyes on Him. My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare. (Psalm 25:15) With our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), we are determined to not allow anything into our field of vision that will be of danger to us. I will set before my eyes no vile thing. (Psalm 101:3) Lord, turn my eyes away from worthless things. (Psalm 119:37)
Our ears must be tuned to the truths of God’s Word so that we can discern the noise of the enemy. Then we will know and experience the constant guidance of God. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21) But hearing without responding will give the enemy a chance to attack. Once we have heard the noise of danger from the world, we must flee immediately and follow the direction of the Lord. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (James 1:22)
Our enemy the devil has camouflaged himself into the spiritual realm of our lives. He has made himself look like an angel of light. He has disguised himself as one of us. With a lying tongue he makes the sounds of the saved, seeking to seduce us into his snare. He has covered the aroma of death emanating from his very being and lies in wait to devour us.
But praise God that even when our hearing is deafened by the noise of the world, and our eyes are dimmed by the darkness of sin, the Holy Spirit, our “sixth sense”, alerts us to danger and causes us to flee. Oh that we would become deer in the forest, and apply every sense God has given us to be alert to every deadly danger that the Devil has deliberately designed to destroy us.