Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Devotions From a Deer Stand is the name of a book, but the title is all I borrowed.

I just got back after almost a week at deer camp. I did get a deer, a small 5-point buck. It was my first buck, and only my second deer kill. Three years ago I killed a doe. Two years ago, I tried to put five shells in a four-shell clip. Though I saw a lot of deer I did not get off a shot. As you can imagine, my gun jammed. Last year I forgot to take my clip. I guess a good hunter only needs one bullet. The guys called me “One Bullet Barney.” I did not even see a deer at which to shoot. This year I was prepared, and bagged my prey. Lesson? Be properly prepared.

But by the way something else occurred to me while sitting in that deer stand. I could have made the best preparations possible, but if I had not gone to the deer woods and actually gone hunting I would not have shot a deer.

Imagine this scenario. My hunting buddy comes over the week after deer season ends. He asks me, “Did you get a deer?” And I say, “Let me show you my rifle. It is a 30-06 semi-automatic. I have sited it in, oiled and cleaned it. It’s a great hunting rifle.” But my friend asks again, “Did you get a deer?” And I say, “Let me show you my hunting outfit. Man! is it comfortable and warm. It has great camo and the deer have a hard time distinguishing me from the trees around me.” I show him my doe scent that is sure to bring in a buck. But my friend insists, “Did you get a deer?” I proceed to show him my hunting boots and brag about their being water proof and warm and comfortable. I show him my orange vest and hat. I even show him my hunting license. Finally, he says, “Yes, you must be the best prepared hunter I have ever seen, but did you get a deer?” Finally I admit, “No, I didn’t go hunting.”

We have churches and Christians just like this. They meet in buildings that are beautiful, comfortable, and perfectly equipped to do the job. We know how to share our faith. We know how to plan a great service with soul stirring music. We have studied the latest sociological trends. We have up to date demographics on our community. We put a large amount of money in the budget for evangelism. We have the best evangelistic tracts and the latest translation of the Bible. But the question is, are we leading anyone to Christ? Have we been hunting?

I love how the MESSAGE puts it in
James 1:22-27 Don't fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don't act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.
But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.
Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.

A song is not a song until you sing it
A bell is not a bell until you ring it

A talk is not a talk until something, you say
A hunter is not a hunter ‘till he goes after the prey

You’re not really a Christian until you live it
You’re not really a witness until you give it.



Jim said...

Great analogy, Bro., and it is so true in many a traditional church. Oh, if our traditions were more "do it" oriented, the church would find "hunting" more of a passion.

Glad you got one!

In Him,

Ray Edwards said...

Thanks BroCo for your comment. I have several more devotions coming based on my hunting experience.