Barking at the Buzzards

I was painting a house at a place in the country, where they have several dogs. One dog stood out in particular as I was working in and around the place. They were all friendly and settled, but this one would suddenly run out across the field barking. I looked to see what he was barking at, and at first it seemed there was nothing there in the open field. But as I studied it more closely, I realized that the dog was barking at the buzzard that was sailing around in the sky. “Well”, I thought, “now that’s a good watchdog! Not even a buzzard can sneak up on the place.” As I continued to observe over the days that I worked at that place, I realized that he is in fact a good watchdog. He does not bark unless there is something that is invasive or out of place. That’s a good dog to have around. If he barked excessively, you would not pay attention to him. But as he is, when you hear his bark, you know there is something there, even if it is just a buzzard sailing around over the field.

Jesus told his disciples that when he went away he would send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, and he would be their guide and helper. Not only does the gospel provide forgiveness of sins for us, but it also affords the divine “watchdog” to warn, alert, and instruct us in those things that need to be brought to our attention. The Bible says that God is faithful and will not allow us to be tempted above that we are able, but will with the temptation (a putting to proof, trial, adversity) also make a way to escape that we may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13). With this being so, the “watchdog” of the Holy Spirit must be barking a lot and often, warning, alerting, and instructing us, because life carries a constant stream of temptations, trials, and adversities. If we ignore his warnings and fail to watch, then something can over take us. If we will listen and see what it is all about, then we are in a position to do whatever we need to do. If the fowl of the air, a Biblical reference to the spirits of the devil, are floating over our field (Matthew 13:4), it is good to have a divine alert of what is going on. I am persuaded that the Holy Spirit will communicate with us constantly if we will give ourselves to him to allow that communion. Certainly, according to the Word, he will faithfully warn us as needed. So if we hear some barking at the buzzards going on in our heart, we need to pay attention and check it out. God always has our best interest in mind.

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