Jan
31

The Buffalo and the Lion by Randy Rowley 1/31/08 ©

By

On the first weekend in June, Jim McGee and I headed to the 300-acre Independence Ranch near Gonzales.  The ranch only allowed stalk hunts during the day.  The guides paired hunters up and dropped them off at various locations, several hundred yards apart.  We saw deer, elk, and buffalo – but no pigs.  We hunted until about 6:00 PM and then came back in for dinner.

Due to the cooks being late with dinner, the guides didn’t take us to our stand until after dark.  When we got to our stand, we were dismayed to find that a herd of nine buffalo, including two calves, had taken up residence where we had put out our corn earlier.  Not having the option to hunt another stand, we decided to let them be, hoping that they would move on eventually.

The sky was mostly clear, and there was a full moon, so we could see the buffalos’ dark shapes without using our spotlights.

Then around 11:00 PM, there was sudden movement!  At least one big body sprinted across the field for about 30 yards!

We thought that two buffalo had gotten into a fight, but a check with my night vision monocular revealed that 14 new and much smaller shapes had joined the party.  They could only be one thing – hogs!  And at least one buffalo didn’t like these party crashers one bit.

All but one little pig ran away after the buffalo’s second charge.  The one remaining audacious (or stupid) pig maneuvered into the herd of buffalo and feasted on corn for about five minutes.  We knew that if we shot him, we wouldn’t have any more pigs visit that night, so we let him be.  He was also too small to pay the required $50 cleaning fee for the guides to clean him.

We stayed out until a little after 2:00 AM.  We had hogs return several times but never could get a shot.  The hogs would come out of the brush, see the buffalo were still there, and then quickly fade back into the woods.

The dictionary definition of the verb buffalo is to bewilder or baffle (e.g., he was buffaloed by the problem).  Jesus said in John 8:44, “‘You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires.  He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.’”  Satan wants to buffalo us.

Many scholars credit Satan as being the serpent in the recount of the fall of man.  Genesis 3:1–5 (NLT) says, “The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made.  One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”  “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied.  “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat.  God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”  “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman.  “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

You know the rest of the story.  Satan filled his first dialogue with man with lies, and he’s been lying to us ever since.  Just like he did to Eve, Satan whispers words in our ears that sound sweet at the time but eventually (sometimes quickly) lead to our destruction.  Some of the questions that Satan tries to buffalo us with today include:

  • Does God really care about me?
  • How could God have forgiven me for all the terrible things that I’ve done?
  • Does my wife really respect me?
  • Do my children really honor me?
  • Do my friends really value me?
  • Would people like me if they knew the real me?
  • Will God really take care of me during this trial?
  • Will God really provide for me if I step out in faith?
  • Do others really appreciate what I do for them?

Some of the suggestions that Satan tries to buffalo us with today include:

  • I don’t have the money for a new shotgun, but I have a new credit card – so what if I don’t have it in my budget.
  • It’s just internet porn – it’s not like I’m going to a strip club.
  • It’s just a couple of six-packs – it’s not like I’m an alcoholic.
  • It’s just a pack a day – I can quit anytime that I want.
  • It’s OK to go back for thirds at the buffet – I need to get my money’s worth.
  • I worked hard all week – it’s OK for me to lie around all weekend.
  • It’s OK to surf the internet at work – they don’t pay me what I’m worth.
  • It’s OK to cheat the IRS – the government is always taking more of and wasting my money.
  • It’s OK to socialize with the women at my office – they, and not my wife, pay attention to me.
  • So what if this will be my third hunting trip without my family this month – I’m the breadwinner!
  • It’s OK that that bass isn’t legal – there’s not another boat on the lake.
  • It’s OK to sleep in on Sunday morning and miss church – it’s filled with hypocrites anyway.
  • It’s OK to hold grudges – all that forgiving does is give them another chance to make me a victim again.

Satan not only wants to buffalo us – he wants to devour us!  1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Satan despises Christians because we switched sides.  We no longer belong to him.  He can’t take away our salvation, but he will do everything in his power to make us ineffective as Christians.  He wants to take away our peace, joy, and victory.  He will do everything he can to confuse us, get us mired in sin, and make us doubt who we are in Christ.  He wants us to be like the man Jesus described in Matthew 13:22, “‘The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.’”

Satan knows that a confused and doubting Christian and one who struggles with sin will not want to make disciples, serve the Lord in any other capacity, or associate with people who remind him that God’s peace, joy, and victory are absent from his life.

The book of Proverbs contains many examples of the tactics that Satan uses.  Proverbs 7:8–23 tells the story of a man who is going down a street.  A woman comes over and took hold of him, kissed him, and propositioned him.  She led him astray with persuasive words and smooth talk.  He followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, not knowing it would cost him his life.  Satan used the woman to tempt the man to sin.  But the fault is not all hers – he had a choice.  He could have reacted like Joseph did when he ran away after Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him (see Genesis 39:6–20).

Like that man, when Satan tries to buffalo us with lies, confusion, and accusations, we have a choice too.  We can choose to submit to God and resist Satan.  James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  Both steps are required.  We will fail if we try to resist Satan without first submitting to God.  Submitting to God gives us the strength to resist Satan.  We will also fail if we only submit ourselves to God but don’t resist Satan.

Fortunately, God has given us armor and a weapon for us to fight Satan.  Ephesians 6:13-17 (NLT) says, “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil.  Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.  Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.  In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

When Satan tempted Jesus three times in the wilderness, Jesus answered each of Satan’s temptations with the word of God.  Then Satan left him.  (See Matthew 4:1–10.)

As Christians, we also can be comforted by the fact that the Holy Spirit is more powerful than Satan.  1 John 4:4 (NASB) says, “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”

Yes, there is an enemy who wants to buffalo and devour us, but because the Holy Spirit lives inside us, we can defeat Satan by submitting to God, resisting Satan, and putting on God’s full armor!

One of the buffalo

Categories : Devotionals

Bible verse of the day

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Mark Dillow’s blog – http://noclearline.blogspot.com/