The_Bear

During a time with the Lord one evening I found myself walking in the woods enjoying His creation. Suddenly I came upon a huge bear (it seemed to be over 7 feet tall) that was terrorizing people. The bear would stand up and growl in order to intimidate those around him with his bombastic anger. Many ran for fear because of the huge presence of the bear and the loud, angry noises that it made. I knew the Lord wanted me to help stop the terrorizing–I knew I could not do it alone so I ran for help.

As I came out of the woods I found many believers by the roadside watching a parade. I invited them to come and help rescue the people living in terror but they were intent on watching the parade and they were planning on playing some games afterward. No one would come with me so I headed back into the woods. As I began to hunt for the bear another brother joined me. He had heard my ‘call for help’ and had gotten tired of his leisure and pleasure lifestyle. Now, he had a look on his face that made me know that he would never again be a ‘parade watcher’ but would participate with the Lord in everything that He did from then on. It was also quite apparent that he would not be distracted by the temporal pleasures of that life.

My faith was stirred to even greater depths by his resolve.

Immediately we came upon the bear, which was now wounded, and my fellow laborer began to tend its wounds. I was astonished at how quickly the heart of my brother had changed through repentance —repentance in such a manner that he was now seeking out not only the terrorized, but also the evil workers that terrorize others.

The bear began to awaken and I grabbed a rifle. I realized that it wasn’t loaded and started to look for bullets as the bear was getting up from the ground. He came toward me and as I backed up the bear began to move faster. I turned and started to run from him, but he seemed different somehow. The bear began to run after me and was running so fast that he was catching up to me. It looked as if he was trying to give me something but I continued running. When he was almost on top of me I saw that he was trying to give me bullets for my rifle. So I stopped running and grabbed the bullets, fumbling to get them into my rifle. The bear turned and pointed to a spot on the back of his head and neck motioning me to shoot him. He wanted me to kill him (and put him out of his misery), or if I could not do that, to shoot him in the neck to paralyze him so that he would do no more harm. I complied.

This dream troubled me, but at the same time gave me incredible faith to see the most ferocious religious persecutors of our day converted to true Christianity. “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Corinhians 11:2-3). I was also troubled because I saw the believers so caught up in the societal norms of this lawless generation. “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4), living to please themselves, settling for ‘watching’ the parade instead of being participators in the work of the Lord. So concerned were many of them with their own pleasure and enjoyment that they had forgotten the price that Jesus paid for their redemption. Paul wrote, “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15), that those who receive and return His love are called to bondservanthood. What an honor!

It also seemed apparent that the wounded of this generation who have been terrorizing the world and the church, will come begging for deliverance from their bondage. They will be so scarred and wounded that they will be ghastly to look upon, but will be so desirous of escape from their bondage that they will even give us the information necessary (the ‘hidden’ things, the bullets) to set them free. The church must first stop running from such as these in order for the wounded bears to get close enough to us to hand us the bullets.

We must never neglect the religious intimidators but continually offer them the new life that Jesus promised. Even more importantly, we must never be intimidated, but boldly bring the Good News as Jesus said: ‘“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are downtrodden, To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” And He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed upon Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing”’ (Luke 4:18-21).

True believers must and will follow in His steps with the same attitude in us as was in Him, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians2:3-8).

Amen.



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