Hawk! Spotting the Birds of Prey in Your Life

 As a child my family would take several road trips a year.  Being for Oklahoma we’d also have long stints of prairie land where the only thing a person could see is the gentle rolling of golden winter wheat or the green soybean plants.  Often my dad would try to think of some game we could play.  We’d learn rhythm games and the state license plate game, but there was one that sparked much attention, and from my brother, especially.

The game was simple.  Spot as many hawks possible.  Usually I’d be asleep before we were out of Tulsa, but my brother and dad would play this game for hours at a time.  My brother would scour the misplaced trees in those farm fields looking for a hawk.  He’d examine every telephone pole, every line of barbed wire, every billboard hoping to find that one hawk that would put him ahead of my father’s count.

While they were looking to spot that hawk, the hawk was looking to spota little bit of prey.  Be it a rabbit or a field mouse that hawk would look and look just hoping to find the small animal to snatch up and devour.

Quite often, that's what happens to us.  It’s the little things that catch us off guard and devour our lives.  We don’t expect them to happen, but it’s almost as if they’ve been looking—searching—for us.  For that one small opportunity to swoop in, grab us up, and take us to it's den.

We must stay vigilant and look for these birds of prey in our lives.  The Bible gives us some instruction on being prepared for just an such attack.  
“Be self-controlled and alert.  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 your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (1 Peter 5:8-10)

So…here’s what we know. 
  • We have an advisory, an enemy, who wants to destroy us.  
  • We know he’s looking for opportunities to ruin our lives.
  • We must resist him and stand firm for what we believe.
  • God will deliver us and then restore us.

So what are some steps that I can take that will prevent him from gaining an inch of control in my life.

Keep your cool and keep your eyes open. 
We are coming into a season a utter busy-ness.  Being busy wears me out.  I forget things.  I stay up too late.  I work all the time.  Right now I’m working on whittling down a to do list that’s 4 pages long….and that’s no exaggeration.  

When I’m tired I have no self-control what so ever.  It’s like all reasoning power just leaves my brain.  I can’t allow myself to get to that place.  I have to stay connected to God through Bible reading, connected to His community by meeting with other believers, and connected to myself and my family by valuing time with them. 

Remember your hiding place. 
Jesus said Himself that He would never leave you or forsake you.  God’s presence and the power of the Holy Spirit are aides to help carry you through.  But besides His presence, He has given us the a physical representation of Himself through other believers.  That’s your hiding place.  

Surround yourself with other people.  There’s strength in numbers. Have you ever been around a person who just makes you stronger?  Who just makes you a better person?  I have several of those people in my life.  I know that without their influence
I would be a lonely, mean, cold person.  Sometimes I find myself slipping into cynicism and just plain nasty attitudes.  I call one of my mentors and ask them to meet me.  They remind me of who I am and who I want to be. 

You never know when the hunter might become the hunted. 
One of the hardest lessons to learn is that a mistake doesn’t make you a failure.  It makes you human.  You’re going to mess up and make mistakes.  You’re just going to.  The only perfect person to ever walk on earth was Jesus and He is the Son of God.  How can you expect to never mess up?  Still, always, strive for perfection.  That is the ultimate goal, but you’re going to mess up. 

But right here…this is where the grace of God comes in empowering us to continue to stand against the enemy…to continue to fight…when we do fall to get back up and start again…to never, ever give up.  And by never giving up we guarantee that we will win the fit.  We become the hunter.

Let me encourage you with this.

Don’t let the hawk in your life catch you.  He’s probably chasing your tail, but find your hiding place and stay there.   

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