I just saw a documentary about a man named John Colter, who was born in Virginia sometime between 1770 and 1775, and was a valued member of the Lewis and Clark expedition. He is widely recognized as the first European man to set eyes on Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. He was a true pioneer, adventurer, and mountain man and was instrumental in finding a route to the west coast.
He had many adventures, but the one that truly captured my attention was an altercation he and a man named John Potts had in 1809 with some Blackfeet Native Americans on the Jefferson River in Montana. They were canoeing upstream when a group of Blackfeet stopped them and demanded they come ashore. Colter complied, and was disarmed and stripped naked. Potts refused, shot one of the Blackfeet, and was instantly riddled with arrows, killing him.
The Blackfeet debated for a while what to do with Colter, but eventually told him to run away. Their plan was to chase him down and kill him as well. Colter, hardened by years in the wilderness, was an excellent runner. After several miles of running, he had out-paced all but one of the group of Blackfeet who were chasing him. The enormous exertion of his run caused blood vessels in his nose to rupture and he began to bleed. Exhausted, he turned to face his pursuer, struggled with him, took away the spear he had been carrying, and killed him.
Colter continued running and, about five miles from where he started, came to the Madison River where he located a beaver lodge. He jumped in the river, swam under the lodge, and successfully hid until nightfall. Over the course of the next eleven days, John Colter walked naked through the Montana wilderness to a trader’s fort on the Little Big Horn River.
Stories like this amaze me because we currently live in an era where people (read that as “where I…”) complain bitterly about the heated seats in my vehicle taking “forevvveeer” to warm up in the cold.
I wouldn’t survive 14 seconds under the conditions John Colter encountered because I would be completely and utterly incapacitated by fear.
And the enemy of our souls knows that very well. That’s why he whispers those lies that we are not good enough, that the ministry God has called us to costs too much or can’t possibly work, or that when Jesus said if we ask for anything in His name –anything– it won’t really be granted to us. He lies and says that because we are in the end times and the love of many will grow cold, it’s not worth trying to love, support, encourage one another, and live out the Gospel. He lies and says society is too far gone to save so we should just sit down and shut up.
But let me ask you, and myself, this question: If it is impossible to please God without faith, what does that say about worry and fear?
Isn’t fear the opposite of faith? Didn’t God say nothing is impossible for Him? (Matthew 19:26) Didn’t God say, over and over again, “Do not be afraid?” https://believersportal.com/list-365-fear-not-bible-verses/ Didn’t He say that we are more than conquerors? (Romans 8:37) Doesn’t Kinship Radio broadcast encouragement and the truth that casts out fear every day, all day, 24/7/365?
The truth is, we are not running naked and afraid through brambles and briars with a bunch of people right behind us set on murdering us. We are beloved children of the One True God, called to share His truth, His mercy, His grace, and His love with all the world.
And we are under His protection always.
2 Colossians 2:15
“And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. ” (NIV)
By the way, you might enjoy a book about pioneers written by Kinship’s own Jennifer Stokes, published under the name of Jennifer Hayden Epperson, which you can find here: https://www.amazon.com/Pioneers-Way-Leading-Trailblazing-Community/dp/1642934577