Friday, July 22, 2016
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Sometimes when we travel to Indian reservations in North America, we end up on roads that go where not many go. Our Director at the time, our Qjibwe brother, Craig Smith, was on one of those roads. His destination was a remote reserve in Northern Canada. At one point in his 140-mile journey, he noticed a van coming from the other direction, proceeding very slowly. Craig decided to slow down, too. That's when he saw what the van driver had already seen-a beautiful deer by the side of the road. Sadly, one of his rear legs was broken and just kind of dangling limply when he moved. Actually, my friend said it was too painful to watch. At that point, he saw the rest of the picture that had caused the van to stop in front of the deer. On the other side of the road was a wolf, stalking the wounded deer. It was obvious all the van could do was postpone the inevitable. There was no happy ending for that deer.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Escaping the Stalker of Your Soul."
If we could put on God-glasses for even a day and look at our life, we'd see a scene much like my friend saw that day in the Northwood's of Canada. And it would unnerve us. Because we'd see the one who is stalking us, waiting for the chance to have us. He's the one the Bible calls the devil, and he wants your soul. The Bible describes him, not as a wolf, but as a lion who "prowls around...looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). To ignore or laugh off that warning is to play right into the predator's hands.
However smart or strong we may think we are, that vulnerable deer is an all-too-accurate picture of us. Again, the Bible describes us as being "like sheep" (Isaiah 53:6), one of the most vulnerable animals of all. The devil's goal for you can be summed up in one horrible little word-hell. The Bible says that the people who are on that road are "many" and the people who are headed for heaven are "few" (Matthew 7:13-14). That should be unsettling for all of us.
Our word for today from the Word of God reveals the life-taker who is counting on having his way with us. But it also reveals the life-giver, who is your hope. In John 10:10 Jesus says, "The thief (that's the devil) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full." The devil seems to offer you life, but he gives you only death. His plan to steal and kill and destroy you is to keep you away from the only One who can save you. That's Jesus. Because Jesus was torn apart for your sin so you don't ever have to be.
The only hope that wounded deer had that day was a rescuer. That's your only hope of ever being free from your sins, of being healed of your wounds, and of being with God in heaven someday. The Bible says that Jesus "was pierced for our transgressions" and "crushed for our iniquities" (Isaiah 53:5). Like the van that temporarily stood between the killer and the deer, all our religion and spirituality can do is postpone the inevitable. There are a lot of nice things that can't save us. Sin is too expensive for religion to pay for. The Rescuer is your only hope. And the Bible says of Him, "By His wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).
The devil's plan is simple: keep you busy with anything but Jesus. He doesn't care if it's pleasure, or religion, or work, or education, or family, or people-pleasing. All he needs to do is to keep you from trusting Jesus. All he wants to do is keep you from Jesus until you breathe your last breath. Then he'll have you where he wants you forever.
Today, the life-taker and the life-giver are fighting for your soul. That's the tug-of-war you feel in your heart. Please, would you let this be the day you give yourself to the only One who can save you; the Rescuer who refused to save Himself so you could be saved. He's calling you to Him today. Why don't you tell Him, "Jesus, I'm Yours."
You must have questions. You want to be sure you have this relationship? Would you go to our website? It's there for you right now. That's why we have it there-ANewStory.com.
I love the way the Bible describes what will happen to you the moment you give yourself to Jesus. You're going to love this. It says you will literally "cross over from death to life" (John 5:24).