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May 7, 2014

On the Outside Looking In

The first week of spring turkey season where I do most of my hunting was fast and furious with numerous gobblers sounding off and many of them coming right into range to calling and the decoys. Many toms breathed their last that week. However, since that first week, the behavior of many gobblers around those same parts has been much more characteristic of what I have become accustomed to over many years of turkey hunting. Gobbling some on the roost, shutting up quickly once they hit the ground, hens getting with him shortly thereafter and an overall short and unproductive morning in the woods. Now, it has not been due to a lack of effort though. We have worked hard to try to get underneath these gobblers while they're up the tree. We're in the woods before first light, maneuvering stealthily through the woods, getting as close as possible to them as soon as they start gobbling, placing decoys in the best possible areas, and 'talking' just like the hens are talking around us. The only problem is that we aren't dealing with a stupid animal, and he's not going to leave the hens that are roosted right next to him to go in search of one that sounds a bit different than those he is used to communicating with daily. No matter how close we get and how authentic we sound, very few gobblers are killed on the mornings when they are roosted with or nearby to their hens. And when we attempt to get boisterous in communicating with the hens, they often take the gobbler in the other direction. Close is never quite close enough when the gobblers are henned up.

2 Timothy 3:1-9, 13 (NASB)
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth...so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all...But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

In some regards, turkey hunters play the role of 'impostors' in their attempts to lure a gobbler into gun range. Even though they are on the "outside" of the flock, they attempt to sound and act like part of the gang in order to fool him just long enough to kill him. And in a very similar way, Scripture warns that there are impostors around us that demonstrate religious activity but are not connected to a living relationship with Jesus Christ. Impostors love to look religious and put style over substance. They are those who are attractive on the outside, but are morally bankrupt on the inside. Impostors ignore the Gospel. Believers are warned to beware of false prophets and keep away from those who lead unruly lives not according to Christian tradition. Impostors profess to know God, but they deny Him by their deeds. Impostors are always looking for something new and different. In summary, impostors attempt to get on the inside track by appearing, sounding and implying to be Christian, but God knows His children, and He will not be fooled.

1 John 1:5-7 (NASB) says it like this - This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Are you able to recognize spiritual impostors around you? And in an honest reflection - do you find your "spiritual" life being outwardly attractive but inwardly empty? Spend time today on your knees today before Him, confessing your shortcomings and asking Him to make clear your spiritual intentions. - GE

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