"The Maker of the Mountain is Always Watching Over Me"
All roads lead to the church. Can you see Jesus' face in the mountain?

Close to finishing this painting, I went for a walk to one of my favorite places with God. It's a quiet place by the river with no distractions of man-made-things. I started hearing an unusual and unsettling sound. I asked the Lord, “What in the world is it?” as the sound rapidly came closer. All of a sudden a little fawn came barreling over the hill and down the ditch next to me. I asked, “What’s wrong with this poor little deer?” then I saw it was running for its life. A wolf was on a rampage with every bit of confidence that he was going to have this frail and innocent fawn for dinner. With no reserves, I stepped into its path screaming and yelling to save this little deer. The wolf could have turned on me and had me for dinner, but God gave me peace about standing up for the fawn. God showed me in the moment that this is the way the enemy (Satan) often works. With every intent to kill, steal and destroy, except he often begins his work with subtle thoughts in our minds.

As I stood there waving my arms, jumping and screaming at this wild animal, the thought crossed my mind that God could take me home right then. Have you had those moments when in a split second you ask God, "Is this it?" It all happened so quickly but I wondered if I was about to meet my Maker. I also realized if anyone could hear or see me, they could chime in with others that are convinced I’m crazy. Oh well, this was one time that fear had no hold on me. I was not concerned about what anyone might think or what could happen. After the wolf stopped in his tracks, he headed into the woods the other way. I'm sure he was laughing with his buddies, "Did you see that crazy woman screaming at me?" God reminded me of how the enemy works, but unlike the fawn we have choices. We often give in to the devil's tricks falling into sin, acting out our negative thoughts. God's plan is to save us from these unnecessary battle scars. We can stand firm, unwavering and equipped with God's armor. Be alert, Christian soldier, ready to fight every battle by surrendering ourselves to God who fights our battles for us.  

Paul tells us in Ephesians, to be alert, armed and ready to discern every thought before you find yourself in sin. When you are capable of recognizing the enemy, you can save yourself from brokenness and the consequences of sin if you’ll “run from it like a scared little girl”, says Pastor Larry Harmon. Charles Stanley’s book, “WHEN THE ENEMY STRIKES” gives us an example, “When Potiphar’s wife caught Joseph by his garment, physically touching him and said, “Lie with me,” Joseph did not argue with her or try to talk to her. He “fled and RAN outside” (Genesis 39:12). Your temptations may not be as critical, but whatever they are, recognize that the enemy is the source of ALL temptation. RUN from sin no matter how little it may seem or how tempting it may be. No sin goes unpunished. Consequences are sure to come. The only time you'll hear Satan tell the truth is when he admits he's a liar and this will never happen. You may think you can control yourself to just go so far into sin but no matter how big or how little it may seem to you, sin separates us from God. Run, my friend, as fast as you can from any sign of sin. Run to the loving heart of your Father who warns you against the tricks of the enemy. Your Daddy (in Heaven) is constantly watching over you and cheering you on. Run the good race of faith. Run to His Word for strength and wisdom. Run to Hide God’s Word in Your Heart to keep you from sinning against Him.” (Psalm 119:11)

There will always be attacks in your Christian walk. Don't let your guard down. Put on the Whole Armor of God every day. A lot of pain and suffering could be avoided by following David’s example by starting each morning with prayer and Bible study. “Listen to my voice in the morning Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.” (Psalm 5:3) When David was a young shepherd boy and volunteered to fight Goliath, he had no reservations about whether or not he could whoop this giant. David said that no one is going to blaspheme (dishonor or disrespect) “my God!” He picked up 5 smooth stones from a stream and went after the giant with only his shepherd’s staff and a sling. He was criticized and discouraged because of his inexperience and size, but David knew he was not alone in his battle. He had the power of Almighty God fighting for him. Out of obedience he took on what was impossible to a mortal man. Goliath didn’t realize that in fighting David, he also had to fight God.

The bridge in this painting represents one of two different ideas; 1) Your heart might be a bridge for Christ to reach someone searching for hope. 2) There's also the bridge of decision. It represent a free choice to either stay under the shelter of God's wings or the choice to cross over into sin and the bloody mess that follows it. This is where the enemy is just chomping at the bit to destroy you. The wolf on the left represents the enemy waiting to attack his prey. Like the wolf (and like a roaring lion) Satan always lurks around trying to confuse you and waiting to attack. Jesus is always there, friend, to defend and protect you. If you let Him, He'll steer you in the right direction.

Many are deceived to think that ignorance is a better way to live, but they are sadly mistaken. I lived in ignorance far too long. Had I known what spiritual warfare is; that it takes place right here in our midst; and how to respond when the enemy strikes, I would have been saved from many a heartache caused by bad decisions. Thanks be to God, I now have a discerning spirit (the Holy Spirit of God) to recognize evil. Supernatural power is enhanced as we grow closer to the Lord! 

My dad and my sister went to Heaven while working on this painting. I can't imagine loosing a loved one who never accepted Jesus. I'm so thankful to know that so far, every close relative I've ever lost is spending Eternity in sweet Beulah Land. If you've never received Jesus as your personal Savior, or if you have any doubt about your salvation, don’t hesitate. You can’t escape death. The greatest lesson learned in these three difficult years - everyone dies, but there is hope. Death is inevitable, so ask yourself, "Am I ready to meet my Maker?" Where will you spend eternity? You have free will to make the choice between Heaven or Hell! 

I lift my eyes to the mountains. Does my help come from there? No. My help comes from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth! He will not let me stumble or fall: the one who watches over me will not sleep. The Lord is my keeper. He stands beside me as my protective shade. The Lord keeps me from evil. He shall preserve my soul. The Lord keeps watch over me as I come and go, both now and forever. (Psalm 121) 

Joyce Girgenti

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