Everyday is an illustrated sermon when raising sheep. Just as the kids were leaving for school this morning, a neighbor’s dog came strolling up. The shepherd (my husband) knew why it was here: to chase those sheep. The sheep knew it too.
The dog seemed harmless. He even rolled over on it’s back when we would walk up to it. My husband tried to run it off but it kept coming back. The kids got upset because they just knew that the dog was friendly. The sheep are on high alert. They’re frozen with fear. We watched closely to see if the dog would go after the sheep with us standing near. He catches their scent on the ground and within seconds begins to chase them.
And the race is on!
Round and round the barn they go as the shepherd starts to intervene. Down into the front pasture they sprint, startled and running for their lives. My husband strategically times his move and cuts in between the sheep and the dog. I help hold the dog off while the shepherd gets them safely to the sheepfold.
All the while I am thinking back to the moment those sheep saw the dog. They stood clustered together, watchful and nervous. Had they just stood together and held their ground, the dog would not have chased them. In fact, he would’ve lost interest and moved along.
But they ran. And ran. And ran.
The shepherd said, “No, that dog won’t likely attack them but he will run them in the ground. The pregnant females would lose their babies. They have to stop running.”
Our enemy, according to the Word, has weapons formed against us (Is. 54:17). He tries using them but we are promised that they won’t prosper. The enemy may not destroy us, but he would be happy to keep us in a frenzy, running and running and running until we are so ragged that we fall.
Perhaps this is a word for some of us. Stop running yourself ragged.
Stand your ground. Stand safe in the community of fellow believers. Stop running and face the enemy head on. Don’t let him chase you one more moment. Paul told us in Ephesians 6:13, “Put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after battle (yes you will have to fight a few) you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground!”
The first piece he lists is the Belt of Truth. TRUTH. Our ultimate and greatest defense against our Adversary, the opposer of Truth. Hurl Truth in the face of the enemy and watch him run. You do not have to listen to his lies. You do not have to reason with his shame. You do not have to hide from his intimidation. You do not have to run in a panic. You have the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in you!
You are in the Good Shepherd’s sheepfold and He has prepared a table for you in the presence of your enemy (Ps. 23:5). Take heart and fight the good fight.