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Head-Up and Head-On! (11.10.05--Christian Soldiers!--James4:7)


When you are afraid to take an action, it’s the first step that’s the hardest one to take. Our little dachshund Webley is a living example of that. Webley has always been afraid of stairs. It doesn’t matter if he is going up or coming down them. He fears them.


Dachshunds are built low to the ground to enable them to be good tunnelers. They can pass though some of the tightest places, squirming, wriggling and just plain pushing. But put them on a flight of stairs, and their tunneling bravado is of little worth to them. Built with a deep chest and very short legs, dachshunds have a very difficult time negotiating anything that is stepped. Webley will park himself at the foot or landing of a staircase, look sadly around, and then let out one, lonesome yelp for help. And, with just a little push on his haunches, the first step is negotiated. After that, the rest, thought challenging, are negotiated one at a time. It’s that first step that is critical. After that, however clumsily, the rest are conquered with head-on aggressiveness.


Reports the Denver Post: “Like many sheep ranchers in the West, Lexy Fowler has tried just about everything to stop crafty coyotes from killing her sheep. She has used odor sprays, electric fences, and ‘scare-coyotes.’ She has slept with her lambs during the summer and has placed battery-operated radios near them. She has corralled them at night, herded them at day. But the southern Montana rancher has lost scores of lambs--fifty last year alone. “Then she discovered the llama--the aggressive, funny-looking, afraid-of-nothing llama . . . ‘Llamas don’t appear to be afraid of anything,’ she said. ‘When they see something, they put their head up and walk straight toward it. That is aggressive behavior as far as the coyote is concerned, and they won’t have anything to do with that . . . Coyotes are opportunists, and llamas take that opportunity away.’” (Barry McGee.)


The moment we sense Satan’s attack through temptation is the moment we should face it and deal with it for what it is. Like Webley, however, we often need that reassuring touch of the Master to get our attention and embolden us to action. The devil would like us to stay put, filled with fear, not wishing to take that first step. And, if we believed that our power was equal to his and he could be defeated by our might, that first step might be disastrous. But, God gives us a faith founded in Christ that causes us to put head up and face the foe head-on. The devil, like a coyote, is an opportunistic foe. Take the opportunity away and his power is muted. Putting that first step behind us is the key to overcoming our fears.

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