Stand Fast by Randy Rowley 2/7/12 ©


On a frigid and windy Friday in late March, four friends and I journeyed to the CZC Ranch near Mercury for an FCS weekend hog hunting trip.  On Sunday morning, we conducted a group stalk.  We wore blaze orange caps as we walked alongside each other in a line about 30 yards apart.

As I walked down a trail in a heavily wooded area, I came across a large pile of hog scat.  Beyond that pile was another, and beyond it were many more. I counted at least 15 piles, many of them fresh, and radioed that I had found the hog outhouse to my friends.  My announcement resulted in movement in the heavy brush to the right of the trail.  I softly radioed, “Hogs!” and then headed to my left in the hope of finding an opening.

Suddenly, three hogs bolted in single file across my bow from the heavy brush, about 25 yards away.  I fired one Federal 180 grain .30-06 Nosler Partition bullet at each of them from my Remington Model 7400, using my iron sights (through my Weaver See-Thru scope rings), and hit the third one in the head, killing it.

After my friends converged at the hog, I told them what happened and then went to show them the hog outhouse.  As I pointed to where the hogs had been, I spotted two hogs in the heavy brush – a blonde one and a dark grey one.  I shot at the blonde one.  It was standing still just 15 yards away, but my bullet must have deflected off of one of the many branches in the brush as the bullet only caused it and its companion to scurry deeper into the brush.

When the hogs moved, I went to the left, and Ken Miller went to the right.  His movement pushed the dark grey hog towards me.  It bolted from the brush, and at first, it looked like it was going to run right over me.  But when it saw me, it ran across my bow only five yards away.  Somehow I missed it with all three remaining shots in my magazine.  I treated it like a rabbit sporting clays target – aiming in front of it.  In hindsight, I should have aimed my iron sights right at it.

Incredibly, that pair of hogs hadn’t moved until the fourth shot from my rifle – they stood fast.

During a previous hog hunt near Blessing, I walked up on a hog that didn’t run until I poked it with the end of my rifle barrel.  I initially thought it was dead, but it must have been asleep.  I chalked it up as a fluke.  However, since the “Hog Outhouse Stalk,” I’ve been on other hunts where hogs stood fast when they sensed danger coming, unlike deer, which always run.  I think that hogs do this because they know that hunters will often walk past them if they stand fast.

The Bible has several accounts of people who stood fast when faced with severe duress.  Three of the most famous are Daniel in the Old Testament and Peter and John in the New Testament.

The book of Daniel recounts that the Babylonians had taken Daniel and the rest of Judah into captivity.  Some years later, King Darius issued an order that anyone who prayed to any god or man other than him during the next 30 days would be thrown into the lion’s den.  Daniel defied the king and continued to pray to the Lord.  Daniel was caught in the act of praying to the Lord and was then thrown into the lion’s den.  You probably know the rest of the story (if not, see Daniel Chapter 6).  One of the worst deaths imaginable is to be killed by a pride of lions, but Daniel stared death in the eye and stood fast.  The following morning, he was found alive and well.

Acts Chapter 3 conveys that one morning Peter and John went to the temple in Jerusalem to pray.  Along the way, they encountered a beggar, who had been lame since birth, who asked them for money.  Acts 3:6 says, “Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.’”  Instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.  He jumped to his feet, began to walk, and then went with Peter and John into the temple courts, walking, jumping, and praising God.

The people who were there were astonished.  Peter gave the credit to Jesus and taught the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead, adding around 2,000 to the disciples’ number.  The priests, temple guard captain, and Sadducees were greatly disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people and proclaiming redemption through Jesus, so they jailed Peter and John.

The next day the Sanhedrin (the rulers, elders, and teachers of the Jewish law) interrogated Peter and John, asking them in Acts 4:7b, “‘By what power or what name did you do this?’”  Peter replied in Acts 4:10b, “‘It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.’”

The Sanhedrin commanded Peter and John not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.  Peter replied in Acts 4:19b-20, “‘Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him?  You be the judges!  As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.’”  The Sanhedrin threatened them and then let them go.  Peter and John knew that these were the same men who orchestrated Jesus’s death and that they could easily do the same to them, but they stared them in their eyes and stood fast.

Fortunately, we live in a country where we Christians presently are not physically persecuted for our beliefs.  However, there may come a day when we have to take a stand with a boss, schoolteacher, coach, scout leader, neighbor, relative, etc.  Admitting our beliefs may result in ridicule, being passed over for promotions, our kids sitting on the bench, or worse.  Do you know where you stand on Biblical issues?  Are you able to communicate your stands to others?  Are you embarrassed to discuss your faith?

When questioned, many Christians falter because they don’t know what the Bible says about various subjects, such as greed, jealousy, doubt, fear, anger, money, relationships, service, trials, forgiveness, and abundant life.  These are spiritual babies who have never grown.

There are primarily three ways for Christians to learn about God’s word.

  • Join or attend a church or body of believers in your community that preaches and teaches what the Bible says.
  • Read the Bible frequently and memorize fundamental passages. There might come a time when you have an opportunity to take a stand, and there isn’t a Bible, smartphone, or computer nearby.  Memorizing God’s word ensures that you’ll remember significant points.
  • Find a mentor who will challenge you to learn God’s word, and who’ll help you build a Christ-like character.  Your church or body of believers can probably hook you up with a mentor.

Many experts think that we establish our personalities as early as age four; however, they continue to evolve throughout our lifetimes.  Psalms 27:17 (HCSB) says, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”  It is just one of many verses that support this concept.  Notice that the verse does not say, “…and one child sharpens another.”  Only mature Christians can help other believers build Godly characters.

We weren’t born with Christ-like characters.  Before Jesus redeemed us from the penalty for our sins, our characters reflected the ruler of this world – Satan.  2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  “All things” includes our characters.  After we receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord, our worldly characters die, and the Holy Spirit transforms our characters to be like our new master’s.

2 Peter 1:3a (NLT) says, “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life,” and that includes the strength to do so.  2 Corinthians 1:21 (HCSB) says, “Now it is God who strengthens us, with you, in Christ and has anointed us.”  Knowing that God recreated us and gifted us with everything we need, we must resolve to stand firm, through his strength.

Jesus promised us persecution.  He said in John 15:18-20b, “‘If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you.  Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’  If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.’”

If you haven’t taken a stand for Jesus yet, you will.  It’s not a matter of ‘if’ – rather, it’s a matter of ‘when.’  1 Corinthians 15:58a says, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.”  When the time to take a stand comes, only one question will matter – will you stand fast as those hogs did on that cold spring day, or will you be silent?

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Edward Terry, Jim McGee, and Randy

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