I have enjoyed watching the various species of birds that land on our lawns throughout the day looking for delicacies to munch on or items that they can use to insulate their nests. Late yesterday afternoon we had two little brown birds with spotted breasts picking through a pile of dirt I had made when I dug the hole for our new Plum tree.
As I observed them through my binoculars from the dining room, I was delighted to see them picking up various sticks and other organic material in the beaks. Then there are the large black birds, the Cardinal’s, and the one’s with fluorescent blue wings or others strutting yellow markings, humming birds that taste of the nectar from the flowers in the weeds that blossom in the spring and many others that swoop down from the trees that surround the yard.
It has been interesting for me to note how these little creations seem to know who they can trust in the yard and whom they cannot. While I watched the little brown spotted birds yesterday, it caught my attention that there were other birds in the yard at the same time as well as two little bunnies happily chewing on some delectable salad like weeds in the grass. I assume that it is within their instincts to know who they can be secure with as whenever the dog goes out into the yard everybody scatters!
Those daily interactions in our yard makes me think about how Jesus likened seed to the Word of God and of the farmer who goes out to sow seed in his fields. In Mark 4:14-20 He explained:
“The sower sows the Word. And these are those by the wayside, where the Word is sown. And when they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the Word that was sown in their hearts. And these are those likewise being sown on stony places; who, when they hear the Word, immediately receive it with gladness. But they have no root in themselves, but are temporary. Afterward when affliction or persecution arises for the Word's sake, they are immediately offended. And these are those being sown among thorns; such as hear the Word, and the cares of this world, and the deceit of riches, and the lust about other things entering in, choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful. And these are those sown on good ground, who hear the Word and welcome it, and bear fruit, one thirty, one sixty, and one a hundredfold. (MKJV)
That is like the birds who frequent our yard. They are constantly looking for morsels to snatch up! When I reseeded parts of our lawn back in California, I had to continually guard against the birds coming to steal the seed that I had covered with a thin layer of soil. And you know… according to Jesus, that is the same thing that the enemy of our souls attempts to do whenever we receive the Word into our hearts!
With this thought in mind, Jesus prayed to the Father in John 17:14-16 declaring “I gave them your word and the godless world hated them because of it, all because they didn’t join the world’s ways, just as I didn’t join the world’s ways. I’m not asking that you take them out of the world but that you guard them from the Evil One.” Then He continued with the zinger: “(for) They are no more defined by the world than I am defined by the world.” (The Message)
You see, when we receive the Word and then have the boldness to step out in faith based on the revelation or ‘rhema’ personal insight based on that Word, the devil will immediately take steps to steal the Word and foil our stand! And he will use whatever means that is available to him to come against us… including close friends, family and/or other situations and circumstances. I have personally experienced this over the last ten years and believe me… it is quite eye opening!
I just wish that I understood this principle when it first happened so I wouldn’t have taken it so personal! For according to these scriptures, the people that tried so hard to discourage us in our stand weren’t really upset with us… they were upset with the Word! And what were they trying to do? Every word and action they took against us was actually a tool to put doubt into our hearts concerning the Word that we were depending on in order for the corresponding actions of our faith to work on our behalf.
And you know… I am pretty sure that they never even knew it! In the steps of faith we were taking, we were moving beyond the boundaries of our intellect, based on our intimate knowledge of God’s love which was bringing us into the realm of the unknown frontiers of faith where God is able to do “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us.” (Ephesians 3:19-20 KJV)
It is interesting to note that the word “doubt” in Mark 11:23 infers “to separate one’s self in a hostile spirit, to oppose, to strive with dispute.” In other words, it takes a definite and determined decision to not allow dis-belief to get between you and the Word you are standing on. (Thayer’s) Likewise to: “believe” demands that we “entrust a thing (ie; our stand of faith in the Word) to one’s fidelity.” Which means our “faithfulness to a person, cause or belief” as per our unfaltering trust in God and His Word. (Online dictionary powered by Oxford Dictionaries)
So you see… The enemy of our souls is out to steal the Word! He knows and is very much afraid of the power it can wield in the heart, mouth and life of a Believer who stands on It’s truths! And like I said, he’ll use whoever or whatever opens themselves (knowingly or not) to his deceptions.
So what do we do? We “stand not in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God” (I Corinthians 2:5 KJV) by taking “up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” (Ephesians 6:13 ESV)
Simple right? Well… maybe not! But don’t worry for we have been given all the tools we need to successfully “stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11 ESV)
So… Know the Truth, Know the tactics of the enemy, Stand on the Word and Expect God’s best!
Have a great week, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “What am I expecting to do when doubt tries to come against my faith today?”