Tuesday, May 05, 2015
Psalm 20:5 May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners!
Believe it or not, I’m already thinking about fall. I have to. I need to be prepared for one of my favorite activities in life – stalking whitetail deer with my bow. I’m already thinking about scouting, tree stand placement, shooting practice, and concealment.
Being inconspicuous is absolutely essential when bow hunting deer. The three main senses a deer uses to detect danger are sight, smell, and hearing – all of which are far superior to mine. If I hope to get close enough to a deer to be able to have a quality shot, I need to conceal three things:
- my appearance by looking like my surrounding environment;
- my smell, by covering up my natural human odor with natural odors of my surrounding environment and other animals, some of which really stinks (like raccoon urine);
- and by being silent so I am not detected by the sounds I make unless I am intentionally trying to attract a deer by sounding like one of them.
If I do these three things well, and have scouted for good tree stand placement, I stand a pretty good chance of accomplishing my goal.
None of this has anything to do with serving Jesus Christ. All of these techniques are diametrically opposed to how Jesus Christ wants me to live my life as His representative in the world as through me He seeks to save the lost.
Unfortunately, far too many Christians think following Christ is best accomplished through concealment.
- Their appearance looks just like their environment. They choose to conceal Christ and blend into their cultural surroundings.
- They cover the naturally sweet smell of Christ’s love by putting on the stink of their surroundings, or even using the latest scent covers that neutralize the ability of others to smell anything. It’s called tolerance.
- They intentionally remain silent about their faith so that no one around them is scared off by religious language.
Concealment is NOT the call of God.
Being conspicuous is.
King David proclaimed it in Psalm 20 when he said, May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! The Hebrew word for banners literally means to be conspicuous. A person does not raise a flag in hopes that no one will see it. They raise their banner to reveal that for which they stand! They intend to let everyone know in what they truly believe.
Christ calls us to be conspicuous. He calls us to shout for joy over our salvation. He intends for us to raise a conspicuous banner in His name and for His glory.
Last year, after silently stalking a deer through the woods, being as inconspicuous as possible, I let out a shout after I shot her. I didn’t care what other deer in the area heard, because I had accomplished my goal. In fact, two other deer came to investigate what had happened even though I had shouted. (Not a recommended tactic to attract deer.)
But letting out a shout about your salvation is God’s recommended tactic for attracting more people to Him. Being conspicuous is how He has chosen to attract others. So be conspicuous by letting your appearance resemble Christ, your smell be that of His love, and your only silence by to refrain from speaking evil about anyone, and but boldly speaking up about Jesus.