Bird season opened up this weekend and it was windy. I mean real windy. The type of wind that laughs at a 12 gauge and blows BB’s wherever it desires. The dogs didn’t care. They were happy to finally be doing what they are trained to do. A well trained bird dog is a joy to work and hunt with. Nothing sharpens the focus of the eyes or the attention to detail like a dog on point. Good bird dogs may be a variety of different breeds but each of them must be able to point purposefully and retrieve reliably. They also must be disciplined to follow the commands of their master. This…is a must.
I was reading through the Gospel of Mark in my treestand the other day and was startled by a couple of the passages on demon possessed men. In Mark 3:11-12 it says, “Whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall down before Him and shout, “You are the Son of God!” And He earnestly warned them not to tell who He was.”
This passage reminded me of a passage in Luke 4:33-34 which says, “In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”
Each of these passages record a confrontation between Jesus Christ and the spirit of an unclean demon. What blows me away is the responses by the demons when Jesus draws near. In both cases, the demons accept Jesus for who He is. They address Him as the “Son of God” and the “Holy One of God.” The passage in Mark even records the demon possessed man falling down before Christ and shouting, “You are the Son of God!” That sounds an awful lot like worship! However, it may be safer to say “reverence and awe” instead of worship. In Mark 5:1-9 we find an unbelievable story about this confrontation between Jesus and demons, “They came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gerasenes. When He got out of the boat, immediately a man from the tombs with an unclean spirit met Him, and he had his dwelling among the tombs. And no one was able to bind him anymore, even with a chain; because he had often been bound with shackles and chains, and the chains had been torn apart by him and the shackles broken in pieces, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. Constantly, night and day, he was screaming among the tombs and in the mountains, and gashing himself with stones. Seeing Jesus from a distance, he ran up and bowed down before Him; and shouting with a loud voice, he said, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God, do not torment me!” For He had been saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” And He was asking him, “What is your name?” And he said to Him, “My name is Legion; for we are many.”
This poor man was filled up with so many demons they described themselves as “Legion.” When Legion saw the figure of Jesus, from a distance, they ran up to the Son of the Most High God and bowed down before Him!
What strikes me the most about these passages is the respectful reverent way in which the demons accept and address Jesus. They, in all cases, accept Him for who He is…the Son of the Most High God. Yet…they do not follow Him as Master. Interesting that acknowledgement can take the form of worship yet be devoid of worship.
“Where is that stupid dog going now? (BUZZ) – (BUZZ) Get back here you blanket y-blank dog!”
“I think he’s running off to the next county. Is the training collar working? Does he do this often?”
“I don’t know, man, I’m going to shoot that stupid dog…Oh look, he’s on point…a 1/2 mile away.”
Bloodlines certainly indicate that certain characteristics are present for a well disciplined hunting dog. Loyalty in a dog is pretty much a given. How well a dog hunts in tandem with his master is all about training and practice. The master must take the time to train his well meaning excitable puppy into an extension of his own thoughts and actions. If the hunter is constantly calling, yelling, and attempting to direct his dog…many birds will remain on the wing and in the field. The dog may be loyal to his master, in that he acknowledges him as master, but still doesn’t follow him. Hunting dogs like this…are actually family pets…and are considered worthless in the field.
Mark 8: 29-33 says, “And He continued by questioning them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.” And He warned them to tell no one about Him. And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”
I love this passage. I love the emotional side of Peter. Peter put his foot in his mouth many times with Jesus. Jesus continued to instruct Peter and forgive him for his many outbursts and emotional statements. When Peter set his mind on the things of man, meaning his focus was on the here and now…the temporal…and not the eternal; Jesus addresses him as Satan. Peter was still loyal to Jesus but was not following Him at that moment. When Jesus had to spend time calling, yelling, and attempting to direct Peter…many unsaved souls remained stuck in the temporal.
Our bloodlines indicate that we have the necessary characteristics to do more than acknowledge Jesus as the Son of the Most High God…we have the ability to combine worship and loyalty. We have the ability to follow Him.
(BUZZ) – (BUZZ)
For those that have ears, let them hear.