Feb
11

Stand Fast by Randy Rowley 2/7/12 ©

By

On a frigid and windy Friday in late March, four friends and I journeyed to the CZC Ranch near Mercury for a weekend of hunting hogs.  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 those facts to my companions.  I then took a couple of steps forward and heard movement in the heavy brush to my right.  I radioed that there was probably a hog to my right and then circled the area, going to my left.

Suddenly three hogs bolted in single file across my bow, about 25 yards away.  I fired one 180 grain Nosler Partition bullet at each of them from my Remington Model 7400 in .30-06 and hit the third one in the head.

After my companions convened at the hog, I took them to the hog outhouse.  As I pointed to where the hogs had emerged, I spotted two hogs in the heavy woods – 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.  Both hogs then scurried deeper into the woods.

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.  I should have put my iron sights right on 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 held 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 don’t move.

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 next morning he was found alive and well.

Acts chapter 3 reveals 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 credit to Jesus and witnessed to them, 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 in Jesus the dead’s resurrection.  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, school teacher, 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?

Many Christians falter when questioned 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 key 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 key points.
  • Find a mentor who will challenge you to learn God’s word and who’ll help you build a Christ-like character.

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 Satan – the ruler of this world.  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 character dies, and we receive a new character like our new master’s.  The Christian life is a growth process of our characters becoming more like Jesus’s.

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 16:13 (NKJV) says, “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”  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?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 3-29-09_randy_and_boar-1-300x225.jpg

Edward Terry, Jim McGee, and Randy

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 3-29-09_randy_and_hogs-300x225.jpg

Randy

Categories : Devotionals

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Bible verse of the day

The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

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

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