The Alaskan Bull Moose is known for its battles of dominance during the fall breeding season. They go head-to-head with other males, crashing their antlers violently into one another. The antlers are the only weapons that they have to fight with. In these battles for dominance, it’s common for one of the moose to have an antler or antlers broken and be unable to defend themselves, ensuring their defeat. It’s usually the heftiest moose, with the largest and strongest antlers that triumphs. Therefore, the battle for fall dominance is often won in the summer by the moose who consumes the best diet for growing strong antlers and gaining weight to be able to push other moose around during a fight. The moose that doesn’t eat well or doesn’t eat enough will have weaker antlers and less bulk to win with. The Alaskan Bull Moose provides a great lesson for us as Christians. We know that spiritual warfare will come and we know that Satan will choose a season to attack us. The lesson here is; will we prepare now for the battle that will come? Will we do what it takes to prepare ourselves now so we are victorious later? The bottom line here is to win in spiritual warfare, the attributes or weapons we need to win are best developed before we enter the fight. Here are 4 ways you can bulk up and grow your spiritual antlers before entering the fight that is ahead:
Most of us has watched a little league game or T-ball game before. It can be an entertaining sight. The kids struggle to focus on what they need to focus on. You’ll have kids in the outfield picking flowers…or their noses. Sometimes they completely miss a play on the ball. As Christians we’ve got to learn not to get caught picking flowers when the ball or spiritual warfare is in play. 1 Thessalonians 5:6 says “let us keep awake and be sober”. It talks about how we shouldn’t be caught sleeping. Our focus is to be on the return of Christ. Verses like 1 Corinthians 16:13 tell us to “be watchful”. Maybe if I took it back to the T-ball story for some advice…keep your eye on the ball. To prepare for battle we have to learn to be alert, waiting, watching, focusing on Christ first and the battle ahead.
Don’t Get Tangled
Any of us that have been around a toddler before who is learning to walk or has just learned to walk realizes how much of a challenge it is for them to stay balanced and upright. As parents or grandparents we often go out of our way to make sure the floor is clear of obstacles or other things they might get their feet tangled in. In 2 Timothy 2, it talks about being a good soldier for Christ. It says that the good soldier doesn’t get “entangled by civilian pursuits”. In Hebrews 12:1 it talks about how sin “so easily entangles us”. Satan isn’t like our parents; he doesn’t remove obstacles that will trip us up. Satan probably goes out of his way to put more obstacles or entanglements in our way. If he can trip us up, get us off balance with Christ, then he has a better chance in battle. We need to constantly be watchful of things that have us tangled up in life. What sin exists in your life? What temptations are you succumbing to? Rip off that which entangles you or in other words repent of your sin.
The Summer Olympics is quickly approaching. Many of the events that take place during the Olympics require great self-control. If you’re faster than Usain Bolt, it doesn’t matter how fast you are if you aren’t able to control yourself on the start line and end up getting disqualified. In Shooting competitions, the competitors go to great lengths to control themselves. They will use relaxation techniques to reduce their heart rates to one half of what it normally is. They’ll be so focused that they will shoot between heart beats. In 1 Corinthians 9:25-27, Paul speaks of athletes competing and how that relates to how we live. He says they “exercise self-control in all things”. Paul goes on to tell us he doesn’t “run aimlessly” or “box as one beating the air”. Paul says I “discipline my body and keep it under control”. The Christian life doesn’t happen accidently; it requires great self-control. If you don’t have discipline and develop the ability to control yourself, you will fail when the enemy attacks you.
I read a story about a motorcycle police officer who pulled over a truck for running a stop sign. The cop was unaware but the guy in the truck had just robbed a convenient store. When the police officer approached, the man inside the truck got scared, thinking that the police already knew what he did. He grabbed the gun that he just used to rob the store and when the officer approached and greeted him and began to request his ID, the man in the truck quickly shot the officer right in the chest from point blank range. The officer went to the ground after being shot. A few seconds pass and the office sits up, shoots the man in the leg and the thief throws the money and the gun out the window scared to death. That day a bullet proof vest saved the police officers life. He was equipped for the job. He was equipped for the unexpected. Ephesians 6:10-12 speaks to putting on “the full armor of God”. The motorcycle cop didn’t expect to get shot that day. It’s easy for us not to expect to be in a spiritual battle today as well. You have to learn to equip yourself before the battle, especially the unexpected ones. If you’re not equipped for the battle, you’ll take a very painful wound.
As Christians we have to be like the moose, prepare for what’s ahead. First you have to be alert, focused on the right things, watch out for sin that will entangle you, develop self-control, sin doesn’t own you, and equip yourself for attacks. Don’t be the moose that’s underweight and with weak antlers. Prepare yourself this summer for the battle that may come this fall!