June 16, 2009

Big Dogs

2 Cor. 10:4"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled."

I have two dogs- a German Shepherd (Zeke) and an Akita (Lucca). The other day I had Zeke's head in my lap. I started examining him. He's probably about 80 pounds, not the biggest German Shepherd I've seen but he's quite a large animal to have sprawled across my lap. He is about chin level to the kitchen table. If we ever decided to let him join us for supper, he could easily eat out of a plate without much effort.
His teeth remind me of the wolf rug my Papaw used to have hanging over his bed. Papaw was a trapper back in the 1950's and 60's. He'd trapped a huge timber wolf and had had the taxidermist make him into a rug (like the bearskin rugs you see in old Westerns). I always wondered why my grandparents had separate bedrooms... thinking about that wolf, I think now I understand why! A dead animal in the bedroom was probably where Mamaw drew the line. It wouldn't seem to me to be condusive to rest, plus the decorating factor alone... ugh!! But as a child, I was fascinated with it. I attempted to take many a nap in that bed while staring wide-eyed over my head at the fixed snarling mouth of that poor glass-eyed wolf. Those teeth were like something out of a horror movie. But looking into Zeke's mouth, I thought- his massive teeth look so like Papaw's wolf. Long, sharp, scary and created with the capability of breaking the necks and tearing into the flesh of prey. He is big enough, and his teeth strong and sharp enough to seriously harm a human if he were threatened... People usually hesitate when approaching a German Shepherd. Probably some of that is due to movies and how they are portrayed as Police and guard dogs. And with good reason. Their intelligence, strength and bravery are legendary. They are a dominant species of dog. They appear intimidating.
However..... somehow...... Zeke doesn't realize that. He doesn't understand that he looks intimidating and that he is....a big dog. He has no revelation that his jaws could easily defend himself and could even break the hand that feeds him. He is the gentlest dog I've ever known. One stands more of a chance of being attacked and mauled by a hamster than by Zeke. All he uses those teeth for is to eat and to tear up empty water bottles in the back yard. He doesn't know what he's capable of. The other day, Keith took him to the vet. As they sat in the waiting room a lady came in with a Chihuahua.... This Chihuahua didn't realize what it was NOT capable of. It didn't know that it was NOT a big dog. It proceeded to rush at Zeke, barking and snarling. With the Chihuahua being about the size of Zeke's head, Keith was obviously concerned for the foolish little fellow. He needn't have been.... Zeke ducked under Keith's chair and remained there, hiding and wishing the vet would hurry up and rescue him from the dangerous threat of Fifi... Keith was embarrassed.
Lucca, on the other hand KNOWS she's an Akita. Akitas are another dominant breed, known for their guard dog skills that can appear intimidating. And I pity the Chihuahua who would try to snarl at her. She's gentle and sweet to PEOPLE, but would have no mercy on smaller prey, or if her family was threatened. She walks with a confident air. She doesn't get anxious or nervous...She's at peace. She knows she's a big dog.
How many of us are like Zeke? We don't know what we are capable of in Christ! We are German Shepherds who think we are as capable of defending ourselves as hamsters. As Nick Callaway put it this past Sunday-we view our capabilities in warfare as if we were going into a gunfight with a Popsicle stick (haha).
Pastor has been preaching on spiritual warfare the past several Sundays. Then lo and behold Nick also speaks on it. Obviously the Lord is trying to get our attention. We, who are children of the Most High God are equipped with everything we need in Him to face our enemy, but we walk in unbelief and fear.
We have many God-given weapons, in our aresenal. One of our biggest weapons in overcoming the enemy is- surrender!
James 4:6 "But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:“ God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up."
So many times I've looked hard at the "Resist the devil" part and quickly skimmed over the "submit to God" part. But they are inseparable. We cannot resist the devil without first surrendering to God. The enemy is a legalist... He cannot take what we have not given him. When we truly surrender, we have moved off the throne and God has taken His rightful place as Lord of our life. Where God is enthroned, the enemy cannot hang around for long.
But the weapons of our warfare are mighty in God for pulling down strongholds. There is power and authority in a "not my will but Yours be done".
Prayer and fasting are also powerful weapons... Fasting combined with prayer is like throwing a nuclear bomb at our mountains... (Matt. 17:21)
The Word of God is our sword (Eph 6:17). Jesus used it against the enemy. (Matt 4).. Our Father is not a man that He should lie (1 Sam 15:29). Men will break their promises- they are promise breakers. But our God is the Promise Maker! We can take His promises to the bank. We can stand confidently on God's promises and use them as an effective weapon against the enemy. declaring"It is written!"
Praise and worship are powerful weapons- How many times in God's word did He rout Israel's enemies, when they worshipped their God, played their instruments, with the singers out front marching into battle (2Chron 20, Judges 7:19-22) Or what about Paul and Silas in the jail, singing praises to God at midnight. He brought an earthquake and set them free ( Acts 16:25-26). God is enthroned on the praises of His people (Ps 22:3). Again- when God is enthroned, the enemy can't hang around for long.
One of satan's most effective weapons against us is unbelief. He can't take our salvation, but he can sure get us so in doubt and confusion that we don't access God's available, powerful, rich promises. We could have an oil well on our property but live in poverty if we don't BELIEVE that it is there and take advantage of it. When will we believe God and His word? His promises are for us, today! Faith is a POWERFUL weapon. For without faith it is impossible to please Him (Heb 11). As believers, we have the 'mind of Christ' (1Cor 2:16). God is alive and He lives inside of us. That same Uncreated God who created EVERYTHING... including our little planet earth, that is like the size of a dust particle compared to this vast universe which He holds in His hand... He is INSIDE of us (1 Cor 6:19)... And we are In Him. (Eph 2) Wow!
So for those of us, feeling like a hamster facing a snarling Chihuahua.... let's see ourselves as one of the 'big dogs'... :) Not crazy about the dog analogy?. Well, how about seeing yourself as a dearly loved child believing in and protected by his big and strong, loving Daddy... 'Don't mess with my kid!' Those of us who are parents understand that! Lets run to Him, believe in Him, trust Him and stand confident against our Goliaths, not in our own strength, but in the all-powerful name of our Lord, our Daddy!
Have a great week, all you mighty warriors, dearly loved, protected and equipped by your Papa God!



staceyn said...

well said. shn

Haley said...

zoe knew she was a big dog...ask the possum

Anonymous said...

That was a very well written and very powerful message. Awesome..You sure can write. Its a gift..KJ

Jordan said...

Bless the Lord and Praise God! That was so helpful. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

another amazing blog

Anonymous said...

Just read this again. It is a timely and Now word. Very encouraging. I am who God says I am, no one else gets a vote!! Love ya. KJ