May
15

Heaven’s Rain by Randy Rowley 5/15/09 ©

By

Opening Day proved to be a perfect day for an FCS goose hunt – there was a high fog, it was very overcast, and it was cold for early November.

Seven friends and I met our Bill Sherrill Waterfowl guide at the Wharton Whataburger at 4:00 AM.  We ate breakfast and signed the liability waivers.  We then followed the guide a few miles until we stopped at a large field.

The first thing that greeted us as we exited our trucks was a sound that every hunter should experience at least once in their lifetime – the sound of thousands of geese honking in the distance.  Their serenade encouraged us to quickly gather our gear, white butcher coats, and stacks of white rag decoys – made out of cotton and attached to thin two-foot-long sticks.

After putting our shells bags and guns down, we proceeded to put out a Texas rag spread that was easily the size of a football field to entice large flocks of geese to join our party.

Then, with great anticipation, we lay down at our designated spots while listening to the increasingly loud serenade and watching the sky lighten in the east.

Finally, the geese lifted off!  It was like thousands and thousands of locusts taking off, but these locusts weighed six-ten lbs. each!

Two years before this hunt, I saw a geese lift-off, but this one seemed to have ten times more birds.  Several sections of the flock were so dense with birds that it looked like a giant flying blob.  It was breathtaking!

Then several geese headed our way.  Soon hundreds were gathered overhead and began circling like a black and white tornado.  Then sections of the tornado started to peel off and wind their way down towards us.  We gripped our shotguns tighter as we waited for the guide’s command to shoot.

The geese got closer and closer.  Just as we thought that the guide was going to let them land among us, he said, “Take ‘em!”  Eight hunters raised their guns as one.  In around three seconds, there were 24 shotgun hulls on the ground and several dead geese.  We frantically reloaded as more geese headed our way, seemingly oblivious to the fate of several of their companions.

Some of the geese would break through the fog 20 yards above our heads, realize that nine geese were much heftier than they should be, and frantically try to take evasive action.  Others were oblivious to us and never knew what hit them.

The guide wanted us to concentrate on the specklebelly geese first, as the limit for such geese was two per hunter.  In a short while, the guide informed us that we had our limit.  We then began to target the snow geese.

Snow geese have excellent eyesight and are notoriously hard to decoy.  But on this day, I don’t think that we could have kept them or the specklebellies from trying to land where we were even if we had worn neon pink jumpsuits!

The shooting seemed to be unending.  We would shoot geese from a flock, and a minute later, another flock would arrive.

At around 11:00 AM, our guide decided that we had shot enough.  The count was almost unbelievable – our group had bagged 119 geese, one bird shy of 15 geese per man!

I’ve been bird hunting since I was 15 years old and have been on many great hunts, but this hunt far surpassed the rest.  It was a hunt for the ages that I will probably never experience again, at least with that outfitter, as he now has a 50-geese limit per group.

Sometime later, it occurred to me that the way that those geese rained down from the sky that day was very similar to how the Holy Spirit rained and continues to rain down on us when we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord.

There are several accounts in the Bible where the Holy Spirit came upon or filled men and women, but only one account tells us the Holy Spirit came down, and one account implies he came down.

The direct account occurred when John the Baptist baptized Jesus.  Matthew 3:16-17 (NLT) says, “After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.’”

The Holy Spirit came down and rested on Jesus and anointed him for his ministry.  Jesus didn’t need to receive or be filled by the Holy Spirit, for they were one.

The implied account occurred when the Holy Spirit filled Jesus’s disciples.  Acts 2:1-4 says, “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”

Although Luke did not state that the Holy Spirit descended onto the disciples, we know that the sound that the Holy Spirit made came from heaven.  Colossians 3:1-2 says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”   The passage states that Christ is above.  Therefore, as Christ and the Holy Spirit are one, logically, the Holy Spirit rained down from above.

Ephesians 5:18 (NLT) says, “Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life.  Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you.”  “Fill” is present perfect tense in Greek, which indicates that we should continually seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

When we receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we also become filled with the Holy Spirit.  We don’t get a partial installment of the Spirit of God and then get the rest later.  We also cannot ever completely lose the Holy Spirit.  Some Christians think that “once filled with the Spirit, always filled.”  But that interpretation is refuted by the above verse.  If we cannot allow the Holy Spirit to diminish in our lives, if we’re as filled as we’re ever going to get, then why did Paul urge us to let the Holy Spirit fill and control us?  Paul wrote those words because we can and do rebel, take back control of our lives from the Holy Spirit, and need to let him fill and control us again.

Jesus said in Luke 11:11-13, “‘Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’”

Although sin no longer rules Christians, we still occasionally rebel.  1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  After we confess all of our known sins, God will forgive and cleanse us.  Once we are empty of sin, the other parts of our getting right with God must be to yield our lives once again to him, ask him to fill us with the Holy Spirit yet again, and to believe that he has filled us.

Are you living a Holy Spirit-filled life?  Or do you need the Holy Spirit to rain down on you?  The Spirit of God is always ready to rain down on his children.  If you are not where you should be in your walk with God – confess all known sin, ask him to take back control of your life, and to rain down the Holy Spirit like those geese rained down on us on that cold November day!

The lift-off of geese

Categories : Devotionals

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Bible verse of the day

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

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

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