I awoke in the night to the sound of coyotes yipping and howling incessantly to one another. There are wild things that roam in the night just over the hill or back in the tree line, ever on the watch for their next meal. They may be feeding on bunnies or they may get together in a pack and take down an elk. It’s what they do and they do it well. This cold night choir was a visceral reminder that no matter what our day to day lives look like in the natural: there is a wild and vicious supernatural enemy which dogs our trail and waits for a straggler to stumble and fall behind.
I have a good friend who sings sad songs around the campfire and he sometimes sings an old Garth Brooks tune you may recall entitled, The One the Wolves pulled Down. In the song it wasn’t the lazy and good for nothing people he sang about. It was solid, hard working, good people who couldn’t withstand the hardships of weather or circumstance as they farmed and ranched and the “wolves” of winter pulled them down.
In real life we can see those awful circumstances of financial stress, job loss or marital failures as heartbreaking but often don’t associate such real life happenings with the Spiritual or supernatural realm. Somehow, if it doesn’t happen on Sunday morning while occupying a church pew then it doesn’t fall into a mental “spiritual” file folder. The other 6 days a week in our work-a-day minds, it’s just the way things are. Win some, lose some. A Darwinian survival of the fittest attitude (with compassion, of course!) prevails until it is you or your children or friends pulled down by the wolves. What is our defense? How do we wolf proof ourselves and teach others to do the same?
We all know that belief in Jesus is essential to eternal life but often don’t see much actual relevance to this life we are living on this side of eternity! Many however, completed this initial step of faith, perhaps at a very young age and were never set on the path of studious discipleship really learning the ins and outs of the real power and protections available to them as Believing Christians. Without this foundational, on-going increase of Biblical education folks erroneously assume that’s all there is and that’s all they needed to do. With this eternal destination problem solved, the new recruit is cut free to go merrily thru life perhaps joining with the herd on Sunday Mornings for an uplifting sermon and a donut.
A firearm is a powerful weapon. Whether a long rifle or a handgun, with it I am able to potentially protect and feed my family. However, I need training and practice with that weapon in order to know it’s potential, how it operates, how to care for it and take responsibility for it’s use. We have all heard sad stories of kids who somehow got hold of a weapon and killed themselves or others goofing around with a loaded firearm. It isn’t the firearm that was the issue. It was the fact that unbeknownst to this individual they got their hands on something very powerful and had no understanding of the potential power or dangers of what they were grasping. Certainly this is a cautionary tale regarding guns and ammo. But, it is much the same thing with our spiritual lives. Somehow, Christians have forgotten that their Faith is intended not as a Sunday Morning pastime or club membership of “Nice People.” Faith in Jesus as Messiah and King it is an entre to an essential, life-giving, power-packed way of life that has the potential of changing the world and to snatch those stumbling in darkness and bring into Light and Life! Success requires training, understanding and obedience to the entire manual. Not being in possession of these assets leaves one at a dangerous disadvantage.
We must also realize this full inheritance of powerful knowledge makes us a serious target to the “wolves”. ( Let me add here, that they, the demonic “wolves” have no power over me or mine unless I cede it to them in ignorance or stupidity.) These wolves have no real concerns about the viability of those entrenched in satisfaction or mediocrity snoozing thru a quick sermon only to retreat to a leisurely football Sunday afternoon. They will happily go after anyone but really want to pull down the ones that are activated.
The followers of Jesus who really “get the vision”, who are called and come to action with the seeds and the sword are the “dangerous” ones the wolves will watch, awaiting their opportunity.
With awareness and understanding that there truly is a real, supernatural enemy, our mission then must come with a continual need for filling and re-filling of the Holy Spirit. Without a complete reliance on this anointing you will inevitably grow exhausted “planting seeds” in your own strength. Many go down under the power of intimidation, sidelined by the cares of this world, or be tripped up in a net of addiction or adultery. Others unschooled in their Royal Authority may step off path into the weeds of compromise or be ripped asunder by those operating under powerful controlling or religious spirits.
How many pastors and leaders come in and out of ministry in the space of 5 years? Bypassing the book of Acts, Seminary and Bible School taught them that they have all the Holy Spirit they ever required when they accepted Christ as Savior . Unwittingly they skip onto the battlefield offering Salvation in Jesus yet armed only with a heart for change, a true compassion and love for people and no knowledge of the supernatural realities in play. Inadequately armed against a savage and hateful foe they go down (with salvation intact) but mortally wounded, shredded on the field. Sadly, many never understand this missing battle component, and worn down and discouraged assume that God is powerless, uncaring or irrelevant.
Satan is desperate to keep the Church unschooled, powerless, resisting the full scriptural truth of the Holy Spirit. Without His anointing we are easy pickings. Without the full armor we stumble or become wounded , paralyzed with fear and easy prey for the wolves who salivate over the herd. (1 Peter 5:8) Without the compounded power of agreement within the Body of Christian believers we begin to have a straggler mentality. We need that co-dependence on other believers and their special gifts and offices operating in a true first church community. Paul tells us this is especially important as we near the end times. ( Hebrews 10:25)
Christians, be armed and dangerous with a full understanding of what lies ahead. Without the gifts of the Holy Spirit, you will never see these “spiritual” wolves before it is too late.