For the past few years the Lord has had my wife, my grand daughter, and I traveling the country going from one place to another. We have not been home in Arizona for a few years. Our work, our ministry and all we do today seems to be in small towns tucked away throughout the country.
Recently, The Lord brought me back for the second time to Michigan. This time to the thumb of the state, three miles outside a small beach-side town with a population of 800. Half the town closes for the winter months. The town sits along the beach of Lake Huron. During these winter months, the wind that comes across the lake from Canada is like a wave of instant refrigeration. It freezes the nose hairs. It is a whole different kind of cold here, one that goes all the way to the bone.
This picture is a block from our house, it is of Lake Huron as it appeared on the morning March 13, 2014. The dark spot you see in the center of the horizon is an Island 40 miles out from shore. The lake covers a surface area of 23,000 square miles and is totally frozen over.
This is the worst winter that the state has experienced over the last two decades. Just this morning my wife and I were driving back home from a doctors appointment fifty miles away, going 25 mph on the highway. This is the middle of March, and we a were in a snow blizzard with 45 to 55 mph winds. Nothing like a good whiteout to keep you on your toes and make you pay very close attention to the road. Although we love it here, my wife and I have questioned God’s purpose for bringing a cowboy Preacher and his ministering wife to a place like this. I can almost hear His laughter and see His smile each time I ask Him. We look forward to to finding that purpose here once again.
As I have been watching and feeding them I have been intrigued by their behavior. I have been thanking God for the
opportunity to witness this blessed event each day. And I have been reminded of the scripture found in Matthew that speaks of our worry or our fear:
Matthew 6: 25-31For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they? And who of you by by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?
My wife and granddaughter often joke with me telling me that my children are outside waiting for me to go out and see them. I enjoy watching them, and I have noticed how these beast of the field are not much different than us. The deer come into the courtyard of this home and they lay around and wait for what for the blessings that are to come. In my courtyard, they do not need to search for food among the frozen ground, for it is provided for them. They have learned there is an abundance of blessings here. We are no different from these deer when it comes to provisions of the Lord.
We come from the wilderness into the courtyard of His throne each day, sitting and waiting for His appearance. We eat the food that the Lord brings us, giving us life, wearing the robes of righteousness and gaining knowledge, like the deer gaining weight. We sit back and bask in the provisions He pours out upon us each day. All the while, the Lord is watching us bask in His provisions. We retreat back into the wilderness of this life, telling others what the Lord has done for us. Telling others where the provisions of the Lord can be found.
On the flip side the enemy (a hunter) tries to hunt us down to steal, kill and destroy our very life. He wants to hang our heads on the wall like a trophy, to set us up as an exhibit or hunting trophy proudly taken by whatever means necessary. But unlike the hunter who hunts these animals the enemy that hunts us is not wearing reflective clothing. He is not wearing an orange vest.
He is camouflaged to blend into our society and our homes. The enemy is attempting to starve us from the Word of God, just like a very harsh winter here could potentially starve the deer and other animals. There are stands in trees and along and the trails of our life that are used to hunt us, just as there are several stands in the trees and along the trails used by these animals. The enemy has snipers and archers in these stands to hunt us and take us out, just as a hunter sits and waits for his prey to come. We, my brothers, are a target. We are a trophy for the enemy, a trophy to be stuffed and mounted, one to put on exhibit as a prize kill. We are looked upon like that big salmon or a eight-point buck, to be hunted. We are the most prized trophy for the hunter.
Isaiah 33:15 -16 says,He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity, He who rejects unjust gain and shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe; And shuts his ears from hearing about bloodshed And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil; He will dwell on the heights, His refuge will be the impreggnable rock; His bread will be given him, His water will be sure.”
As believers, we can see how this scripture mentions two ways for the things of the world to enter into our life. We can see from these two verses that our eyes and ears act as gates or doorways that when left opened and unattended deprive us from discerning properly, thus allow the influences of the enemy to enter our lives. What would happen if we would stop looking and indulging in the things of the world and start focusing on the things of God? These temptations will continue to entice us and snare us, leading us down the path the enemy has prepared.
Proverbs 7: 22-23All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.
My brothers this is us: if we continue to live as the world lives, it is merely a matter of time before the arrow pierces our side, taking our life and the life of those that we are to be leading out of the wilderness to the courtyard of the Lord. God has set us aside for a power that we are denying by not accepting His gift. My brothers, we do not need to be running around in the world like a rutting buck. We need to come in like the doe and fawns we see here. We need to come and seek the Lord and wait upon Him to come to us. Stay in the courtyard of His thrown, feed on the food of the Garden that He created for us (His Word) and wait upon His presence to arrive so that we can bask in His glory. We are not to be trophies. We are to be warriors for the army of God.
Psalms 42: reads
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O Lord. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me long, Where is my God.”