A few weeks ago I enjoyed watching a robin build a nest on our porch. The nest was cleverly built inside a vine-like decorative sphere hanging from the porch. A nice safe place for the nest. It laid 3 pretty little blue eggs in the nest and I enjoyed my mornings of coffee and devotions on the porch watching and waiting for the babies to hatch. I went away for a few days and of course when I came back there they were – 3 sweet little babies. Every morning I would go out on the porch and mommy bird would fly away while daddy stood watch over the nest and then mommy would come back and feed the babies. They did not mind that I was sitting near by – they kept a careful watchful eye on me as they went about their business. I delighted in watching the babies grow and how the mom and dad worked together to protect their young.
One morning I opened the porch door and the two robins flew at me, swooshing back and forth through the porch, knocking over plants, swooping at me and squawking! I ran through the porch and back in the house through the other door, quickly making my way to the window to see what was going on. The mom and dad were frantic and continued to fly around. As I looked over at the nest I saw no movement. I could not get high enough from inside to see in to the nest but I suspected something had happened to the babies. After an hour of flying about mom and dad perched themselves on near by branches and watched, occasionally checking the nest. As another hour passed one flew away, followed shortly by the other mourning parent. I cautiously snuck out and climbed up on a chair, Peering in the nest confirmed my worst suspicions. The babies had been taken in the night.
Our hearts were broken as we realized those birds would never reach their full potential, we would never see them fly and the harsh reality of nature set in.
God used this to paint a picture for me of the care we must take as Pastors in watching over our flocks. The harsh reality of the world and Satan’s roaming in it needs to remain in the forefront of our minds. All too often we see things are going well, we are enjoying seeing growth happen, the church is functioning nicely and we let our guard down. Those are the very times when Satan would love to tear the church apart, snatch away the people and the good that is happening. When all is going well we need to be on guard and protecting our flock.
The Bible tells us that no weapon formed against us shall stand but it also tells us to put on the armor of God. We have seen it before; strife creeps in, discontent, people wound each other, marriages begin to break down, serious moral failings in our parishioners, our leaders and even our pastors when we least expect it.
While we do not seek to give Satan any glory and we stand firm on the fact that he is a defeated foe, we must also be prepared for him to attack and attempt to destroy God’s kingdom.
1 Peter 5:8-9 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
We need to be praying for protection, more than that we must surround our ministries and churches with saints who are praying continuously for the protection of God’s church and people. We must be laying foundations that will stand firm and prepare our people for the attacks that will come and we must be teaching them how to be open to God, turning everything meant for harm into something that can be Kingdom Building. This is not about living in fear or looking for the enemy under every rock, it is about heeding God’s warnings, being wise, standing firm and using the tools He has given us so that we will not be snatched away.
Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
We can’t let our guard down on this, we can not take our protection for granted but must remain active and participate in it. Much like we mourned for the mom and dad robins who lost their babies, I picture God mourning over us as spiritual leaders when our sheep are lost or snatched away. I am sure God often sees what we failed to do and what we could have done to help them. Of course people make their own decisions and we are not at fault for those BUT if we speak truthfully here, how much more can we be doing, should we be doing and what are we overlooking when it comes to protecting and preparing our people?
- Putting on the WHOLE Armor: Preparing For War (lakeishachestnut.wordpress.com)
- SPAM vs God’s Firewall (truelivingtoday.wordpress.com)
- Making Enemies (isaiah532.wordpress.com)
- The Armor of God (gingerforjesus301.wordpress.com)
- No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service (thecarpentersministry.wordpress.com)
- Graceology – A Study of Grace – Ocean, Snow and a Spring Rain (darrellcreswell.wordpress.com)