A few years ago one late evening, I knelt alone in prayer in a forest known as the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, New York. I had taken the trip to find some undistracted alone time with God. It was there I spewed out my frustrations with God about life’s challenges and what my future holds. And answers came immediately.
For me, most revelation from God comes as I’m out and about living life. But on this occasion, for whatever reason, I felt immediate guidance about my faith and my purpose in life. It was an experience that does not happen often for me.
The night fall came and I knew my conversation with God wasn’t over. I needed to return for more “Josh and God” time. So I returned to my hotel to get a good-night’s rest before returning to the grove the next morning. But it was anything but a good-night’s rest.
That night I had a dream. I dreamed I was standing face to face with the meanest, the ugliest, the most ferocious wolf I had ever seen. And our noses were only inches apart. This monster of an animal was growling and gnashing its teeth that were designed to shred its kill. It lunged tirelessly at me while its dripping saliva splattered my face. It was the closest I had ever been to so much hatred and pure evil. And It was trying to kill me.
I stood there and stared back at the wolf. But strangely, the wolf had a boundary it couldn’t cross. And I only knew this boundary existed because of the wolf’s failed attempts to actually reach my face. It was then I realized the only way the wolf could get me, is if I took a step towards him.
This dream played over and over until I shot up out of bed with my heart racing. It was 3:00 am and I would be returning to the Sacred Grove in a few hours. “Hell no!” I thought. “I can’t go alone into some forest in the early hours. Some crazy animal is going to kill me. I’m leaving for the airport instead.” I fell back asleep determined not to return to the grove.
My alarm went off a few hours later and I awoke with same feeling of peace and confidence I had felt in the grove the evening before. It was in complete contrast to what I experienced in the dream a few hours earlier. I was now determined to return to the grove to talk with God. And then I understood the significance of the wolf in my dream.
Satan, the adversary, is real. He and his ‘pack of wolves’ are showing no mercy in their efforts to stop God’s children from communicating with their Father. These monsters are out to destroy people’s souls by going for the individual and frankly, doing a great job tempting people to not talk with God. But these wolves have boundaries they cannot cross and areas they cannot go.
The Direction Of Our Steps
There’s too many of us (and I’m included in the ‘us’) who find ourselves taking small steps toward the wolves. Small steps might include being lazy in our worship. Maybe we are neglecting alone time with God. Sometime we feel our circumstances don’t fit the commandments so we disregard them. Possibly we are exhausted of trying to keep the faith so ‘anywhere but in the faith’ seems better.
Our steps must be towards God and his son, Jesus Christ. There is safety, peace, and joy when those steps include calling upon God and turning our hearts towards the Savior.