I Peter 5:8-9
Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Today I was flipping through some of my teaching material and came across a National Geographic magazine from years ago. It was an article about Isle Royale, a small island just off the Michigan coastline. A primitive, well some would argue this point, island filled with wolves,moose and an inn for non campers like me. After visiting I can understand why only moose and wolves would find comfort there. Beautiful, scenic, quiet, quiet, quiet and isolated. It takes about eight hours to get there by ferry, a little shorter by seaplane. So it is a place you intentionally go. Not somewhere you just stop on your way somewhere.
Anyway, in this particular issue of National Geographic it showed a herd of moose with one of the moose not quite keeping up. Maybe he was injured or just having a bad day but for whatever reason he was separated from the rest of the herd, isolated from the others. The next picture reveals a pack of wolves in the distance apparently waiting for a chance to take down just one moose. The herd got further and further away and the pack of wolves got closer and closer to the isolated moose. The moose began to panic and before long we see the moose is down and being devoured by the pack of wolves. They didn't have to do much. The pack didn't take on the whole herd because that would have risked being trampled to death. But one, alone, isolated, away from the others, NOW that was a sure thing. They would just have to wait for the right moment,circle the target and make their move.
It reminded me of our lives. We isolate ourselves from others too, just like that moose. Memories from our past, hurt feelings, resentment, pain of our circumstances, our own sin - all of these things can isolate us. Oh we may not be home with the drapes drawn, however that is my personal favorite, but we isolate ourselves just the same. Does this sound familiar? You are at church, you didn't stay home. And when asked how you are the answer is "fine". Even though inside you are falling apart. There is no one there you trust because of the past hurts in your life. So you go home just as you came...isolated. Oh it all looked perfectly "fine" but still isolated.
Jealousy of relationships and resentment begins to build? Unconfessed and isolated. The devil has convinced us that no one else could possibly understand our trials or our past. No one except us has had to endure such hellish things done to us or said to us. You are alone and no one will understand. Of course, if anyone knew they might reject you and that is a chance you can't take.
You have passed up ministering to your sisters in Christ because you would have to be real, and if they knew it would mean giving up the pain, rejection, fear and hurt. Somehow it has become safer to hold onto than to give up. It has become a familiar place. The devil has lied to you telling you this is a place of safety, when in reality it is a place of destruction and deeper pain.
I am sure that moose thought that day it was ok to stray from the others. To just lag behind and see if anyone really cared he was gone. But it didn't end well for him that day and it won't for us either. The word of the Lord in 1Peter 5:8 says, "that our enemy is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour". Not to comfort us or calm us but destroy us. And this dear sister, is just the way it starts....ISOLATION.
We can get away from it all to pray and seek the Lord but what I am referring to is not a quiet time but a painful and lonely time. Now there may be some seasons in our lives where it is just the Lord and us, but isolation is feeling like even the God who made you doesn't care and can't help you. You know the difference, don't you. Isolation is place just like Isle Royale that you intentionally go. If that is so then you can intentionally leave, by the blood of Jesus and the power of God. Don't wait for your enemy to come to you like those wolves. Get into the Word, pray and seek fellowship with others. Ask the Lord to show you a someone who needs ministering to and maybe even a prayer partner. Ask Him, go ahead, ask Him. There are others who are crying out for the Lord to send someone their way. Is that someone you? Come on, live fearless, live free and live with the knowledge that the Lord is waiting and watching for you. It will cost you something but I promise the exchange will be worth it! So get with the herd and do great things in the Lord! And watch out for those wolves they're bad dudes!