“Oh my gosh, Mom, it’s a bear!” my thirteen-year-old son exclaimed.
I looked up from the hand-held game we’d been playing. Sure enough a “teen-age” bruin was not eight feet away from us, and closing in fast.
“GET OUT OF HERE,” I yelled – both at the bear and my son. The bear backed up a few paces, then began to walk toward us again. My son moved not one step. Only a dozen feet behind me, nicely corralled in their playpen, were my two youngest boys – one was almost two years old, the other would be one in a couple of months.
At the time, money was limited. I’d spent everything we had for the groceries now stored in bags and ice chests – ironically sitting under the warning sign to campers that all food should be kept in vehicles because bears were a problem. Did I point out the sign when my (ex)husband unloaded the food and left in our only vehicle to go fishing? Yes, I most certainly did. He assured me that everything would be fine. Right!
Several scenarios flashed through my mind. Every one ended up with our food strewn throughout our camp, mixed with bloody body parts of my children. How could one woman defend three children from a bear?
I didn’t know, but I was going to do all I could.
I chased our intruder back into the brush. I thought he was gone for good, when my oldest said, “Mom, I think you made him mad.”
We could hear his low “woofs” from somewhere just beyond the edge of our camp. Nerves stretched like Saran Wrap on a bowl, we peered into the thicket, but couldn’t see him.
Suddenly, he began to boldly walk into camp again. I clapped my hands and shouted; so did my son. Still he came on.
Not knowing what else to do, I thought if I appeared to be larger than he, that might do the trick. I jumped up onto the picnic table, stomping, clapping, and yelling for all I was worth.
The bear was undaunted, determined, and continued to move in. Exasperated and scared out of my mind, I picked up a couple of pans, clanged them together and yelled, “ALL RIGHT! NOW YOU’RE STARTING TO P*SS ME OFF!”
To my amazement, he growled, stood up on his hind legs, twisted his torso, and landed facing the other direction. Relief flooded my taut nerves as he lumbered back into the brush and out of sight.
We didn’t see him again that weekend. I have a feeling my ex-husband would rather have faced that bear than me when he returned to camp! I’m fairly certain that everyone on that mountainside heard what I had to say about the matter, too.
In this case, my choices were fight or flight. Without a vehicle, and with two toddlers to carry, flight was not an option. I was prepared to fight until death, if necessary, to protect them from this enemy.
The Bible tells us that we have an enemy that is of far greater danger than my bear. He merely wanted food. This enemy wants to kill and steal and destroy you and me.
We’re told that he walks around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. He has a will for our lives. His destiny is Hell, and he wants to take as many with him as he can. Our bear was doing what bears do, looking for food. Our enemy is looking for souls.
Oh, that we would see the peril we are in every day and fight with all the fervor and fierceness that I used to fight for my children on that day. Do you have children? This enemy wants them, you know.
The wondrous aspect of fighting the enemy of our souls is that we have a guaranteed victory. When we are ‘fessed up, and dressed in the armor:
Salvation girds our minds, we stand in the righteousness of Christ (and not our own), we are encompassed by truth, we have peace with God, faith is our shield, and we know how to wield the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God –
NO weapon formed against us shall prosper. The Bible says so. We must believe this, and act as if it is so.
What’s more, we’re told that the gates of Hell will not prevail against us. I wonder: when was the last time you were attacked by a gate? This is not a defensive statement, rather it is for offense. WE storm the gates. On the other side are family and friends. They have been taken captive…they’re POWs. And they are OURS. We must fight for them.
In this battle, it does no good to attack or belittle the POWs for being captives. Our fight is not with them, for they are not the enemy. If we engage in a battle of the wits with them, we’re spinning our wheels. Having been taken by the enemy, they’ve been brainwashed. Let God sort out that bit, but for heaven’s sake, fight for their freedom.
This fight will take place in our prayer closets, not at the kitchen table, not on the phone, and certainly not in an e-mail.
Using Scripture, we can speak against the enemy. As we speak to our Father, it’s not to ask Him to please do something, rather it is to thank Him that He is faithful to do what He has said He will do. Acts 16:31 reads, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved, you and your household.” I remind the Lord of that promise. His arm is not so short that He cannot save. I thank Him that while nothing seems to have changed, I know that He is on the move to bring this promise to pass, and thank Him for the outcome!
We must not give up.
I’ve watched Him bring one person after another into the family as I’ve lifted them in prayer and stood in the gap and against the enemy. God’s promises are sure. Do we believe this?
Had I not fought that bear to save my children, who knows what would have happened. The stakes are much higher – eternal – if I fail to fight the enemy for their souls.