One thing I notice about these deer that I walked amongst and took photos of in Kings Canyon, they weren’t like other deers. They weren’t like others deers I had seen – deers kept in zoos, or around city suburbs. These deers looked a little beat up! Their fur was ragged, as if they had parasites, maybe even ticks troubling them. They were beautiful, as deers are, but they appeared as if they were fighting for existence among the elements. I thought about what shared this land with these deers – mountain lions, and bears. They would be hunted by both of these. I watched their behavior, they tried to stick as a unit, and, they followed the lead deer.
Isn’t that like us? Fighting the good fight of faith among lions and bears of this world – the demonic realm. We are in a war, instructed to put our armor on, depend on Christ’s strength and pray. (Ephesians 6) We are instructed in God’s Word to be one minded, to have the mind of Christ and to follow our Lord’s life that He lived when He came to this earth. He is our example, our righteousness, our safety, and our deliverer to overcome the world – the Devil and deception, false prophets and teachers. The forces that threaten faith in Jesus Christ and a love for one another – a love like Jesus’ who laid His life down for our eternal glory.
These deers stuck together with one thought in mind – survival. They allowed me to walk fairly close to them as I took photographs. I wasn’t a threat to them. But they were cautious, every watching with a flee mentality. And we are to flee danger, run from it.
It is God who arms me with strength
And keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
– Psalm 18:32-33
I love Psalm 18. It is all about survival. Surviving death and an enemy bent on destruction. But Jesus is the overcomer of all things evil and all things against His righteous reign to come into this world that will sustain forever. He has won this victory on the cross, banishing the powers of darkness from the triumph of death that they once held. They still roam, but only until the completion of the gospel.