The Backyard Bully
You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world, I John 4:4, HCSB.
We have a bully in our backyard. He is not very big, but he thinks he is very important. He has no business acting the way he does, but he cannot understand that he is not in charge of all the happenings in the backyard. He is gray and fat, and has a bushy tail. Yes, a squirrel has become territorial and our backyard is his “turf.” No birds are allowed to sit and prune in the grass; no other squirrels can venture into our yard to hunt seeds or nuts. He sits perched, tail twitching, chattering and dares anyone to challenge him.
Ava, our dog, took his challenge. She had no fear of him, and she could not understand why he was so territorial—after all, it is her yard, not his. She would bark at him from the window and whine at the back door to get out. One day, she got her chance. I was walking her on the leash when she spotted him. She tore off after him and her speed jerked the leash from my hand. She sprinted across the yard, barking and wagging her tail—she finally had the opportunity to put that bully in his place, and she was taking full advantage of it.
He saw her coming. At first, he stood on his hind legs, puffed out his chest and chattered at her. The next moment, he was scampering up a tree trunk to save his own skin. Ava was undeterred. She continued to bark and growl as she jumped as high up the trunk as she could, trying to reach him. When I caught up with her, she sat down at the foot of that tree, still eyeing the squirrel and very pleased with herself. The bully had been defeated. He was cowering on a branch in the tree overhead, and he would think twice before claiming her territory as his own again.
The devil is a bully-squirrel. He tries to be territorial in the lives of God’s children—on turf that does not belong to him. Instead of dealing with him, ourselves, cowering from his threats and being harassed like the birds in our backyard, we need to “let the dog out,” so to speak. We need to ask God to take care of our bully, to send him running to save his own skin. After all, God is not afraid of the devil. God knows we are His turf, and when we ask Him, He will send the devil scampering and give us our yard back so we can rejoice in our relationship with Him.
Thought-provoker: Are you allowing God to get the devil off your territory? If not, ask Him to do it today, and then rejoice in the results!
Lord, thank You for taking care of the spiritual bully in our lives. Help us to rejoice when You give back our territory to enjoy. Amen.