(originally posted 9/25/2015 at littlegirlriseup.blogspot.com)
I live on a rural farm and we have a pond. We used to have several ducks that lived on the pond, but now we’re down to one little fella. That is because not only do we have ducks, but we also have a bobcat. I hate that bobcat. We’ve tried to trap it a couple times, but to no avail. How do I know it’s a bobcat? I know it’s a bobcat because of the evidence it leaves in its wake. The bobcat doesn’t want to be seen, it wants to stay hidden and do its damage in secret. It wants to pick-off our farm animals in stealth, one by one. And the bobcat would stay hidden, if it weren’t for the evidence of his presence, which is the loss of our ducks.
And because we are down to one duck, I have declared war on the bobcat. I mowed around our pond with the riding lawnmower, but I can only get so close to the edge with it before I get stuck in the mud. So that means there is about a 4 to 6 foot border of very tall grass around it. And that means that the bobcat has plenty of space to hide, as he waits for the ducks to swim to the edge. Since I have declared war on the bobcat, today I realized that I was going to have to get my hands dirty if I was going to win this war. The riding lawnmower would only get me so far, but the push mower would get me right to the edge. However, the push mower was harder to use and using it meant that my feet would have to be on the ground, walking right along with it through all the tall grass and yucky edge-of-the-pond yuckity yuck yuck. But the good thing about the push mower was that it went out ahead of me, into the tall grass and unknown yuckiness, so even though I had to be down on the ground with it, I could see where I was walking and what I was walking on because it cleared the path ahead of me.
As I was mowing, I was praying and fellowshipping with God and He began to minister to me. God began to use my declaration of war on the bobcat to show me spiritual truths that could be related to it. Many of us have spiritual bobcats in our life. Spiritual bobcats like to remain hidden, operating in stealth. But these spiritual bobcats always leave a trail of evidence in their wake. Once you realize you have a spiritual bobcat, you must declare war on it, and often times that declaration of war will require you to get your hands dirty. It will require boots on the ground. A spiritual bobcat will require you to confront some really nasty things as God leads you to mow down the tall grass blocking your line of sight.
When I started mowing, I wanted to start with the biggest, nastiest, tallest patch of grass that the bobcat most likely hid in once he got close enough to the pond to lay in wait for one of our ducks. But as God ministered to me He showed me how the ducks were safe as long as they were in the middle of the pond, it was only when they came to the edge of the pond that their life was in danger. So I realized that the best thing for me to do was not to start mowing the patch that hid the bobcat once he got close to the pond. The best place for me to start was to mow the area around the pond that was blocking the duck’s ability to see beyond the pond, to the edge of the woods where the bobcat came from. If the ducks could see clearly to the place where the bobcat came from, they would see him coming and swim back to the center of the pond where they were safe. Our ducks have been prey for the bobcat not because he lay in wait at the edge of the pond, but because they never saw him coming.
Another thing God showed me was that far too many of us spend more time hanging around at the edge of the pond, rather than in the middle of it. One of the things I noticed about the edge of the pond, is that there were a lot of nasty things collected around there. There was a gross layer of pond scum, there were all sorts of spiders and bugs. The edge of the pond is also where snakes live and hang out. The edge of the pond seemed to have a lot more things going on around it than in the middle of the pond, that’s for sure. The edge of the pond may have seemed more interesting than the middle of the pond, but it was also more dangerous.
Another thing that happened while mowing around the edge of the pond, was that my mower would sometimes stop. The engine would die when I got into a particularly tall patch of grass and I would have to pull it out and restart it. I would back out, pull the starter rope and the engine would spark back into life and I would push my way back into the tall grass. Several times the engine died, but every time it died I would pull it out, pull the cord, start it back up, and resume mowing. The mower made a clear path and I followed behind. When we have a spiritual bobcat, God is the one Who does the work, God is the one who clears the path to deliverance, but we must follow behind. As we follow behind, sometimes the mower will stop, but we have to be determined to keep pressing on. We have to press on because while mowing, we are going to disturb some of the things lurking around in the tall grass. If we don’t press on, we may find ourselves standing on a large fire ant hill that is none too happy that we mowed the top off.
Mowing around my pond with the push mower was hard. I was hot and sweaty, it was tiring, I kept seeing ginormous, gnarly spiders everywhere, there were ants and I even got a blister. But since I have declared war on the bobcat, mowing around the pond was absolutely necessary to create a clear line of vision for our duck to be able to see the edge of the woods where the bobcat comes from. God wants us to declare war on the spiritual bobcats in our lives so that we can live in the spiritual victory He has already won for all of His children through the death and resurrection of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. God wants us to live and act with determination to keep the tall grass that blocks our spiritual vision mowed down from the edge of the pond. Too many of His children live in spiritual bondage because they can’t even see the enemy coming! Too many of God’s children spend their time at the edge of the pond, making them vulnerable victims to the enemy that lies in wait in the tall grass.
Pray for God to reveal to you the spiritual bobcats in your life. Declare war on those spiritual enemies. Cry out to God to tread a path through the tall grass before you, leading you to victory. Keep pressing on, determined to have the freedom that God has already won for us. “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.” (Eph 6:12)