Lord Solve my problems,
but let me keep my pigs.


Lately the Lord has been talking to me about what we can learn from animals. So I went looking in the word.  It didnít take long to find over fifty different animals in the Bible, there are probably more. But I choose only a few to talk about here.

In the Bible, there are three ways we apply the word. The word is literal, practical, and spiritual.

So we may use the examples of the literal (animals) that may apply to our lives.

I thought of Ostriches, at the slightest sign of trouble, they scream dismally and run and stick their heads in the sand, or in a hole, trying to make themselves invisible, hoping that the problem will disappear. Sometimes we want to do the same thing when a problem comes up. You don't?  I do.

How about Hippos, I recently saw a picture of one of those yawning. What a mouth, I thought, watch your big mouth, take good care of your teeth, and watch the deserts.

Crocodiles, came next, they have a tough hide. We need one too, stuff happens and it isnít always about us. Sometimes other people are having a bad day and we happen to be handy.

Ants work hard and have a nose that directs them to a feast. You might be two blocks away from dirt or grass, but leave a jelly donut on the table and very soon you will have ants. We need that same sort of attitude, work hard and be on the look out for blessings.

Eagles as they grow old have curvature of the beak which prevents them from eating all they need to stay strong and fly high. So they go to a high place for retreat. While they are there they sharpen their beaks, lose their old feathers and grow new ones. Thatís what the Bible means when it says that our youth can be renewed as the eagles. Are you tired, take a few days off and be renewed.

Then there is the spider, no matter how hard people try, they canít keep a spider out of the Kings palace, if that is where the spider wants to go. The same thing should apply to us. Nothing should keep us out of Gods throne room

After all this, it wasnít a surprise to me when the subject of pigs came up.

Mark 5:1-17 "1Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. 2And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, 4because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. 5And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.

6When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. 7And he cried out with a loud voice and said, "What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me."

8For He said to him, "Come out of the man, unclean spirit!" 9Then He asked him, "What is your name?"

And he answered, saying, "My name is Legion; for we are many." 10Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country.

11Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. 12So all the demons begged Him, saying, "Send us to the swine, that we may enter them." 13And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.

14So those who fed the swine fled, and they told it in the city and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that had happened. 15Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 16And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine. 17Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region.

Ever wonder why these folks were rasing pigs when the Hebrew covenant said stay away from the eating of pork. The people of this area were apostate Jews and had discovered that pork, which was very likely still thought of as unclean, was a profitable crop. There was a demand for pork and it was profitable, so why not?. After all, we are not eating it, so what does it matter if we supply the public with what they want. I imagine that many drug dealers use the same kind of reasoning.

This thought led me to another question, why is it that Christians want to keep a pig pen full of spiritual pigs? Weíll yell, 'Lord solve my problems but let me keep my spiritual pigs.'

Why do we do that? My answer is, that it is popular to let it all hang out. Pop psychology is riding high in our land. No need to restrain ourselves, after all we are free people, allowed to do what ever we want. There are even some churches that are telling people that they can believe any thing they want to believe and still be members in good standing, even accept non believers into leadership. Looking for those who are of good report and filled with the Holy Ghost has gone the way of the past, in these so called churches.

We think that we can hold on to our spiritual pigs and still move and live in the kingdom of God. After all God is merciful, isnít He? And besides everyone we know has a few pigs of their own, every one is used to pigs running around in the neighborhood, just accept, after all no body is perfect.

In Luke 8:37 "Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned."

The whole multitude asked Jesus to leave. They were more afraid of the sane than they were of the insane The region had a problem, one that had plagued them for many years and they had learned to live with the problem. Jesus had solved the problem but they were unhappy because their pigs were gone.

Many Christians have bought into this culture, because like some of the pigs that were raised in the country a number of years back, we have been fed a load of slop by the Television psychiatrists who take pieces of truth and add lots of un-truths and make a lot of money. Dr. Ruth comes to mind. These folks are so popular because they preach Ďdo whatever makes you feel goodí instead of truth. They tell us what we want to hear.

If we think that we can raise pigs without getting the smell and the mess of the pig pen on us, we are fooling ourselves, because the keeper of pigs must of necessity spend a lot of time in the pig pen.

In Oklahoma we used to drive past a pig farm as we exited the Indian Nations turn pike. It was smelly and it was a very barren place, it did not look to me like a place I would like to spend much time in. Yet we who are called to greener pastures still ask the Lord to solve our problems while we try to hang on to our spiritual pigs.

We say, Lord forgive me but let me hold my grudge and get revenge. But God says we are forgiven Ďas we forgiveí and Ďvengeance is mine saith the Lord.í Lack of forgiveness invites death into our lives. When we refuse to forgive we bind ourselves tightly to the person we refuse to forgive, if we want to throw them in jail, then we are actually in jail with them.

In fact when we donít forgive someone, that person has more control over us than we have over ourselves. When we do not forgive, all of our thoughts are directed toward how much we dislike that person and how unjust they were toward us. There are businesses built on lack of forgiveness, people actually pay to have dead fish and dead roses and poison ivy delivered.

Lack of forgiveness causes our thoughts to center on how great it would be if something unfortunate would happen to the one who grieved us. Thatís cherishing our animosity. When we let it drop and leave all the things which we have against others, then our Father can also forgive us our OWN failings and short comings and let them drop. If we want to be forgiven, we must forgive. Lack of forgiveness is a spiritual pig that will grow until it gobbles us up, one bite at a time.

We ask the Lord to give us peace, but let us keep our worry and be fearful. After all we do it so well, in 3-d and living color. But God says we should, Ďlet not our hearts be troubled.í He says, Ď we should keep our minds on Him who is the prince of peace.í He says, Ďdonít be afraid and Fear not.í

Ephesians 6:13-14 does not say "having done all WORRY." It says, "having done all stand." The root cause of worry is that we are not sure God is our source.

WORRY DOUBTS GODíS WILLINGNESS TO PROVIDE. Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; My (own) peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not be afraid ó

STOP ALLOWING YOURSELVES TO BE AGITATED AND DISTURBED; AND DO NOT PERMIT YOURSELVES TO BE FEARFUL AND INTIMIDATED AND COWARDLY AND UNSETTLED." John 14:27

Ever notice how Worry seems to fasten itself to tomorrow. This may come as a surprise, a real shocker, but as the old saying goes, "We canít cross a bridge until we come to it." Today is all we have, so lets not ruin it by worry about tomorrow.

In both Matthew and John, the Lord says, let not and be not. That sounds like we have a choice in the matter. We must learn to be certain of our source, it is not our job, not our friends, it is not the brook or the ravens, it is almighty God. If we have not learned this, then we are raising pigs in our lives.

We ask the Lord to give us joy, but let me vent my anger and foul mood every where and steal joy from every one else. Perhaps you have seen bumper stickers on cars that say, ĎJesus is Lord,í whose occupants use vulgar sign language and mouth curses instead of blessings. Driving seems to bring out the worst in some folks. They take the words King of the road to mean them personally. Anger is a spiritual pig that can grow to immense size and ruin every relationship in our lives.

Sometimes, we cherish our anger, it is with delight that we consider doing harm to others. People even buy little voodoo dolls and stick pins in them. God says let not the sun go down on your wrath. It is said of King Herod that he cherished his animosity toward the people of Tyre and Sidon and the result for him was being consumed by disease. He died in the mist of the people he hated. There were other factors involved, but un-forgiveness, worry, fear and anger may have played a big part in his death.

Pigs live in pens as they are fattened up. Pig pens are barren smelly places and if you insist on keeping pigs in your life, it wonít be long before you will look and smell like the pig pen.

We also need to keep an eye on new piglets that are born into our lives. Little pigs are not usually ugly, they are cute and soft, but little pigs grow into big pigs and they are not cute and soft.

Those herd keepers mention in the Bible very probably did not start with such a large herd. Iíve noticed that pigs when they are well cared for, tend to multiply and grow.

My father thought my anger when I was a child was cute, feisty is what he called it, but even he didnít think it was cute when I was thirty years old. Anger is the doing of the flesh and those who belong to Christ Jesus the Messiah have crucified the flesh. Galatians 5:24 "And those who are Christís have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."

Jesus is the answer to strife and anger. He purchased our freedom and gave it to us. But He will allow us to raise spiritual pigs if we insist. Look at Gal.3:13-14

Isaiah 26:12-14 says, "Lord, You will ordain peace (that is Godís favor and blessings, both the temporal and spiritual) for us, for you have wrought in us and for us all our works. O Lord our God, other masters besides You have (past tense) ruled over us, but we will acknowledge and mention Your name only. They the former tyrant masters are dead, they shall not live and reappear; they are powerless ghosts, they shall not rise and come back. For You Lord, have visited and made an end of them, and caused every memorial of them (every trace of their supremacy to perish."

We do not have to do the works of the flesh, it has been crucified with Jesus. Godís blessing in our lives will not have room to multiply when we are into growing spiritual pigs.

Remember the story of the prodical son? It says that he was in the pig pen, and he came to his senses and said I will arise and go to my father. If we have been spending a lot of time in the pig pen and we want to reach out for the blessings of God. Then we need to come to our senses.

Raising pigs and living in a pig pen is not what God has called us to do. He sent Jesus to exchange lives with us so that the blessing of Abraham might be our portion. Abrahamís blessing was freedom from sin, sickness and poverty. Sounds a lot better to me than hanging on to and feeding pigs.

The good news is that we can get out of the pig business, and into a more abundant life, for Jesus has given us the power to trample over all the power that the enemy possesses. Luke 10:19

Donít be like the people of Gadera who feared sanity more than insanity.

If you have some pigs in your life, this is your hour to come to your senses and arise and come to your Father.