Aug
07

Hide by Randy Rowley 8/7/16 ©

By

On a bright and sunny Saturday in early March, eight hunters, including me, and four spectators converged at Mike Schumann’s ranch near Dime Box for an FCS guided upland bird (quail, chukar, and pheasant) hunt.  My group, consisting of my wife, Chris, my son, Ryan, Michael Armstrong, and I, opted to go after pheasants first.  We drove to the field and waited for a few minutes while the guide positioned six pen-raised pheasants.  (We don’t hunt wild quail and pheasants as they’re up to 450+ miles away.)

The cover was a mixture of open country and thick mesquites, oaks, cedars, and scrub brush.  In less than five minutes, we had two birds in the bag.  The guide’s pointer, a Brittany named Buddy, ran through the scrub brush and into a small open field with a few clumps of high grass the size of basketballs.  I thought to myself, “There can’t be a bird there!”  Then, suddenly, he stopped and pointed.

We converged on Buddy.  After spreading out in a half-circle, we indicated we were ready.  The guide then flushed the pheasant with his around seven-foot-long flushing stick.  A rooster flew straight up and to the east.  His flight ended abruptly when my 6 shot load intersected with him.

Buddy retrieved the rooster, brought it to the guide, and then resumed searching for birds.  In less than a minute, he was on point again.  Soon after that, Ryan bagged his first rooster.

After we bagged five of the six pheasants, we hunted chukar and bagged seven of the nine the guide put out.  After lunch, we hunted quail and bagged nine of the 18 the guide put out.

I was in the lead on the way back to the truck, followed by Ryan.  Buddy passed us on the trail and suddenly came on point just a couple of feet off the path.  Ryan and I couldn’t see anything in the thick grass and thought Buddy had scented chukar or quail that were there previously.  Much to our surprise, a quail flushed, and we managed to bag it, despite being unready to shoot.

It amazed us that, both times when we didn’t think a bird was present, the birds had hidden in the most minuscule amount of cover imaginable.

Just as that pheasant and quail recognized they were in danger and hid from it, we must recognize we’re in danger from the one who wants to destroy us – Satan.

Sometimes, perhaps because we can’t see him, we forget Satan would rejoice in our destruction.  1 Peter 5:8 (NLT) says, “Stay alert!  Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”

1 John 4:4 says, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”  We know Satan’s a defeated foe, but we sometimes forget he’s the prince of this present world.  Jesus said in John 14:30-31, “‘I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming.  He has no hold over me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.’”  Because Jesus defeated sin and death, we think Satan’s run away.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Peter wrote his ‘roaring lion’ warning after Jesus’s redeeming work on the cross.

Coaches and parents taught many of us when we were young to be good sports – to win and lose gracefully and not be sore losers.  Perhaps that’s why we’re shocked when we learn Satan’s the epitome of a poor sport.  He’s losing the game, but he’s going to do everything in his power to make our victory a costly and sour one.

The Bible isn’t flippant when it describes Satan as the deceiver, hinderer, wicked one, father of lies, the god of this world, accuser, usurper, imposter, devourer, the old serpent, dragon, and ruler of darkness.

The Bible says Satan wields genuine power.  He ceaselessly works on the earth – in our nations, states, counties, cities, neighborhoods, homes, individual lives, and even our churches and other bodies of believers.  We dare not carelessly or brashly forget what he’s done and the methods and strategies he uses against us.

We mustn’t forget Satan’s the one who:

  • Declared war against God and enlisted one-third of the angels to fight with him (see Ezekiel 28:11-19 and Isaiah 14:12-17).
  • Repeatedly encouraged Israel to rebel against God.
  • Tried killing Jesus after his birth, using Herod to order the death of all boys two years old and younger (see Matthew 2:1-16).
  • Tried to get Jesus to bow down and worship him after Jesus had fasted for 40 days in the wilderness (see Matthew 4:1-11).
  • Filled Ananias and Sapphira with greed, causing them to lie to the Holy Spirit after they sold their land and gave some of the proceeds to the church in Jerusalem, but claimed to have given all of it (see Acts 5:1-11).
  • Masquerades as an angel of light (see 2 Corinthians 11:14).
  • Repeatedly blocked Paul’s way from returning to Thessalonica (see 1 Thessalonians 2:18).
  • Has won many battles today (examples include there’s now no difference between the divorce rates of Christian couples and non-Christian couples, there’ve been widely published sexual abuses by protestant ministers (which reflects poorly on all Christians), and the only profession less trusted than the clergy is politicians (according to some surveys)).
  • Will wage war against the rest of Jesus’s offspring – those who keep God’s commandments and hold fast their testimonies about Jesus (see Revelation 12:17).

1 Corinthians 6:13 says, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong,” Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes,” and James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  These powerful verses have resulted in many victories; however, our toolbox has a tool the Bible encourages us to use less often – hiding.

For men especially, conflicts with our God-given drive to be protectors – it goes against the grain and just feels wrong.  I’ll be the first to admit hiding’s not my first choice when confronted by the enemy.  Most of us would rather be standing firm wearing the full armor of God and resisting Satan than hiding.  But, frankly, there’re times when we’re too weak to put on God’s armor or resist Satan because our relationship with God has grown stale from sin dominating or taking control of our lives.  For those times, our best option is to hide.

As a young man, David knew about hiding.  Samuel had anointed David to be Israel’s next king because King Saul had turned away from God.  Saul, who no longer enjoyed God’s approval, became jealous of David.  His jealousy quickly turned to paranoia.  Saul decided to kill David and hunted him for eight years (see 1 Samuel chapters 19-31 and 2 Samuel chapter 1).

Possibly, David wrote the following verses while hiding from Saul.  He certainly remembered what it was like to hide whenever he wrote them if he didn’t write them while hiding.  Psalm 27:5 says, “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock,” and Psalm 31:20 says, “In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues.”  “Them” refers to those who fear God.

So, when you hear the lion roar (you’re overwhelmed, your life’s crashing down, and you can’t stand firm, fight, or resist Satan) – run to the shelter of God’s presence and hide there.  Be like that pheasant and quail – don’t move a muscle or make a sound.  But, unlike them, when we hide in God’s presence, Satan can only harm us if God allows it.

Randy, Chris, and Ryan

Categories : Devotionals

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