Chasing Outlaws

Averell horseThe Bible is my favorite book today.  It is filled with exciting stories of God’s protection and rescue in times of peril. However, when a child on the farm, I treasured my Big Little Books more than anything.

My first one, 4 5/8 inches wide by 4 ½ inches high, and 1 ½ inches thick, featured the Lone Ranger. The story was on the right side and pictures were on the left. And an added feature was a thumbnail sketch in the upper corner of each right hand page. When we held the book tight and flipped the pages fast enough, Lone Ranger ties up an outlaw and takes him to the sheriff just like a movie.

The cover of the Big Little Book was coming loose from the spine with a few pages torn a little, but the Lone Ranger and Tonto still chased the outlaws and rode through those pages with smoking guns, and “Hi Yo, Silver, the Lone Ranger rides again” echoed from page to page. The Big Little Books always had the hero win over the outlaws.

My little brother Dick couldn’t read so he looked at the pictures as I read aloud. As I did, Dick cheered the Lone Ranger’s horse Silver onto run faster so the masked man could jump on a bank robber’s back, pull him off his horse, tie him up, and take him to jail.

The Bible, full of drama and adventure, as in God hurling Satan out of heaven, lets me chase truth that puts evil thoughts on the run like the Lone Ranger did with the outlaws.

My goal, as I keep reading God’s Word, is that I’ll arrive where the psalmist did, “Your statues are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart” (119:111).

Read with me until we become such lovers of His words that His Book becomes the joy of our hearts and we keep chasing Satan’s outlaws.

Satan’s Cowboys

Satan throws his diabolical missiles at us to entangle our spiritual legs so that we trip over things, like losing our temper with a fellow believer or criticizing our wives for the very same weakness evident in our behavior. I’d like to think of those missiles as bolas, sets of cords with heavy balls at the end, used by cowboys to entangle the legs of cattle. Satan’s strategy is to concentrate on our weaknesses. He is not omnipresent, (Remember, he can’t be everywhere at one time) so he recruits his “cowboys” to attack our unguarded moments.

Remember Peter when he was accused by the girl of being a follower of the Christ. He denied knowing him three times, and, in an unguarded moment, he cursed to reinforce his denial. Satan’s cowboy caught him at a weak moment, his fear of being arrested; and the bola tripped Peter’s faithful balance into a vehement denial of his Messiah.

I’m reminded of a time I agreed to direct a musical for a community theater, which had hired a new director each year for the last eight years. The board’s president asked me to find another orchestra director because he felt the present one was not as competent as he wanted. I recruited one immediately; the board was pleased, but the cast was not. Satan’s cowboy used his bola to trip me when I, in an unguarded moment, was manipulated to axe their long-time friend.

Our constant prayer should echo the psalmist’s prayer: “Keep me, O Lord, from the [bolas] of the wicked; protect me from men of violence who plan to trip my feet.” Those men of violence are Satan’s cowboys, who hurl their bolas toward us in our vulnerable times: failing to hold constant conversations with God, neglecting to feed our minds from God’s Word, and ignoring his promise, “Call on me in trouble, and I will rescue you.” Satan is smarter than we are. When are we going to believe that?

So when we hear those swinging bolas chasing us, let’s cry out with the psalmist: “Protect me, O Lord, from [Satan’s cowboys] who plan to trip my feet.”

How convinced are we that Satan and his cowboys are always seeking our defeat?

 

Satan’s Cowboys

Satan throws his diabolical missiles at me to entangle my spiritual legs so that I trip over things, like losing my temper with a fellow believer or criticizing my spouse for the very same weakness evident in my behavior.  I’d like to think of those missiles as bolas, sets of cords with heavy balls at the end, used by cowboys to entangle the legs of cattle.  Satan’s strategy is to concentrate on our weaknesses.  He is not ominpresent, (Remember, he can’t be everywhere at one time) so he recruits his “cowboys” to attack our unguarded moments.

I’m reminded of Peter when he was accused by the girl of being a follower of the Christ.  He denied knowing him three times, and, in an unguarded moment, he cursed to reinforce his denial.  Satan’s cowboy caught him at a weak moment, his fear of being arrested, and the bola tripped Peter’s faithful balance into a vehement denial of his Messiah.

I’m reminded of the time I agreed to direct a musical for a community theater, which had hired a new director each year for the last eight years.  The board’s president asked me to find another orchestra director because he felt the present one was not as competent as she used to be.  I recruited one immediately, and the board was pleased, but the cast was not.  A Satan cowboy’s bola tripped me when I, in an unguarded moment, was minipulated to axe their long-time friend.

Our constant prayer should echo the psalmist’s prayer:  “Keep me, O Lord, from the [bolas] of the wicked; protect me from men of violence who plan to trip my feet.”  Those men of violence could be Satan’s cowboys, who hurl their bolas in our vulnerable times: failing to hold constant converstaions with God, neglecting to feed our minds from God’s mind, and ignoring his promise, “Call on me in trouble, and I will rescue you.”  Satan is smarter than we are.  When are we going to believe that?

So when we  hear those swinging bolas chasing us, let’s cry out with the psalmist:  “Protect me, O Lord,  from [Satan’s cowboys] who plan to trip my feet.”

How convinced are we that Satan and his cowboys are always seeking our defeat?