As I begin to compose this, I hear a raptor behind me.
No, I’m not imagining yet another Jurassic Park spin off. In the pre-dawn hours here on my patio, there is an owl perhaps not less than fifteen feet in the trees at my back. My dog, Buckley, seemed to be a tad unnerved by the sound. I assured him he was too big to tempt the creature toward an attack, and I made some big human noise to assert my dominance and position as well.
This guy can have all the mice he wants, thank you very much; however, I have heard of owls carrying off smaller canines. When it comes to enemies with teeth, to quote the old movie, Jaws, we gotta get a bigger boat.
Pardon the corny segway, but the disciples discovered a similar thing when they found themselves in a crowded and small vessel when a nasty storm blew in. Thankfully, they had someone on board Who was bigger than the storm. Interestingly, His being there didn’t prevent the storm, as in “oh wait a minute, there’s Jesus, let’s wait ‘til they all pass.” (How convenient would that be?) Jesus, did, however, have to assert His dominance in the situation to make it go according to His plan, rather than the storm’s plan.
Neither does Satan keep away merely because we bear Jesus’ name. Sometimes that Name acts like a magnet! Satan himself has some pretty big teeth, and he knows it:
“Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
Nevertheless, we are in a pretty sizable boat:
“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.”
Which the writer (Paul) follows in the next chapter with:
“For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.”
Part of being united with Christ is learning how to, like Christ, assert His dominance in and through me when I see the enemy. “Take up your cross and follow me” includes that part; that is, not only the sacrifice, but the proper use of the authority and power which was paid in full by His own cross.
I can spend a lifetime learning how to fish in that boat!
1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 1:19-23; Ephesians 2:6 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.