Do You Have a Crippling Disease?

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’”
John 1:29

The founder and President of The Christian Deer Hunters Association, Tom Rakow, is considered to be a very good deer hunter. His leadership and inspiration has encouraged many hunters and has helped to improve their hunting skills and spiritual life.

Tom cultivated his appetite for hunting as a youth, when he could only dream about a time when he could at last distinguish himself as a great outdoorsman… Years later, he was finally invited along on a real deer hunting adventure. Shortly after leaving camp, though, Tom recalls falling victim to a non-fatal disease commonly found amongst “first-time” deer hunters. Believe me; it has spoiled more than a few hunts.

“I will long remember the opening day of my very first deer season,” says Tom. “A member of our hunting party kicked out a nice six-pointer to me which stopped broadside only yards away. You could not have asked for an easier shot. Unfortunately, I fell under the power of that dreaded disease, ‘Buck Fever’”.

Buck Fever is famous for making hunters behave in some strange ways—like shouting “Bang! Bang!”, but never actually firing a shot. I even remember reading about a hunter who broke two legs when, upon seeing a large deer, he got so excited that he attempted to stand up—completely forgetting he was in a tree stand more than fifteen feet off the ground!

For Tom, Buck Fever meant having arms that felt like lead. He knew what we wanted to do, but for some strange reason, he just couldn’t bring the rifle to his shoulder. Instead, he shot eight times from the hip hitting dirt and trees just a few feet in front of where he was standing. Tom recalls, “The buck seemingly smiled at me, winked, and darted back into the woods without a mark on him.”

Buck Fever may be amazingly powerful and crippling; however, there is a force far more dangerous and devastating in our daily lives. It’s a disease that can injure and damage everyone who is infected with its subtle poison. If left untreated, it not only cripples us, but eternally destroys us: Sin. On our own, we are powerless to fight it. As the Apostle Paul wrote: “When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.” Rom. 7:21b.

God has not left us helpless or hopeless, though. Jesus is our only remedy, conquering sin on the cross If we have truly trusted Jesus Christ as our Savior, the Holy Spirit dwells inside of us, empowering us to live lives that are pleasing to God. As Paul encouragers the young Roman church, “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” Rom. 8:9.

Tom may have missed the mark on his first hunt, but he didn’t miss the mark on the most important hunt of all—eternal life. We don’t have to be overcome by sin, but rather, Christ, who is in us, has overcome sin for us! Let’s not let sin cripple us. Let’s put our trust in Jesus Christ—He offers freedom!

The Power of Truth:
“Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” Psalm 51:2
“For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.” Rom. 8:2 (NLT)
“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Rom. 6:11

Suggestion for Prayer:
Ask Jesus to wash away your sins, and accept the freedom He offers. “Go and sin no more.” John 8:11b (NLT)