In sharp contrast to the Lord, the enemy barks and shouts just to ensure that I am aware of and intimidated by his presence. Is he all bark? How do you walk in victory over the enemy who magnifies his presence to invoke fear?
Almost every day, at some point during the day, you’ll find me walking two, or probably four, but up to eight or ten miles.
My father had his first heart attack at the age of 40, then died when I was young from a massive heart attack at the age of forty-two. My brother also had a heart attack at the age of forty.
Because I always want to be there for my children and my one-day grandchildren, I choose to exercise to take care of my body.
I enjoy being out in nature, so my walks are almost always outside. Along the way, I almost always encounter squirrels and rabbits, various birds, and dogs. Always dogs.
I have come to find it interesting that some dogs will choose to see me as a bother while some will ignore me completely. Over the years that I have walked on an almost daily basis, I have noticed something interesting. Even today bore witness to that fact.
Usually, the biggest dogs remain silent when we come upon each other and they just walk right on by. While the littlest dogs seem to be those who get themselves in a dither and a bother, and they run and they bark the loudest. They seem to have a need to make sure I know they’re there and they can and will take me on if I don’t do what they want me to do.
It made me think of our enemy, the adversary. How loudly he barks in my ear, and threatens and taunts and shouts to ensure that I know he is there. But the interesting thing about those dogs is that the larger dogs who have greater power, greater strength, greater force to impact their will and make a difference in my life are not the ones trying to prove themselves. They’re the ones who walked by with hardly even a glance in my direction.
It is those who are insecure and weak by comparison who feel the need to magnify their presence to invoke fear and trepidation.
Isn’t that just the way it is in the spiritual realm, too?
How can I walk in victory?
Scripture says “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). The spirit of the living God does not have to bark and make a scene to ensure that I know his power. He is quiet; He is still, but He is more powerful than the enemy who barks and shouts just to ensure that I am aware of and intimidated by his presence.
There is a reason that God says to “be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Our enemy goes “around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8), but our Savior is like a quiet lamb who’s just waiting for you to turn your attention to him. He is the one who shut the mouth of the lion (Hebrews 11:33).
He is the one who died quietly on a cross but had victory over hell and He will have victory in our lives if we will but choose to be still and know He is God. Do not be threatened or intimidated by the loud bark of the enemy today. Turn your attention to God and walk in victory.
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Author, Shotgun Rider: Restoring Your Passion for the Ministry Trail