13.a Devotional Appendix Part Two

“For our newcomers: while Tony & I are on the road, please enjoy his book, ‘Leaving the Trail’ as a weekly series in condensed form. Be sure to go back to the beginning to understand the story! If you can’t stand the suspense, simply order a copy from Amazon or write toinfo@martonpublishing.com.”

Devotional Appendix

Part Two

Main events of chapter two:

1. Introduction to Rendezvous

2. First conflict with demonic warriors

3. Encounter with Lisa, and learning of the lost

Background Scripture:

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more, as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10: 23 – 25

“Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.” ?30? Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. ?31? Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. Proverbs 31: 29 – 31

Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; Preserve me from violent men, who have purposed to trip up my feet Psalms 140: 4

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; ?5? and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly… 2 Peter 2: 4 – 5

And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day. ?7? Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example, in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. Jude 5-7

And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. ?2? And he opened the bottomless pit; and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. ?3? And out of the smoke came forth locusts upon the earth; and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power. Revelation 9: 1 -3

And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him. ?31? And they were entreating Him not to command them to depart into the abyss. Luke 8: 30 -31

Think about this:

As this section opens, Fisher and Sandy are processing their first encounter with a demonic warrior. Using the testimonies of trusted Christians and gleanings from God’s Word, they piece together a possible scenario for what they’re experiencing. This of course is not the only possible interpretation, but does provide a place from which to begin. The basics which are presented here are as follows:

1. Demons are spiritual beings who sided with Satan in a great rebellion in Heaven

2. For their part in the rebellion, they were cast out of Heaven and promised a day of judgment.

3. Both Old and New Testaments point to a time when beings from the angelic realm “left their place” and brought about the Flood

4. If demons involved themselves with humanity once, they might do so again.

By now, especially if you read The Road Rising, you know that Rendezvous is a symbol for the Church. As Christians, we are called to a pilgrimage, seeking God’s path each day as we draw closer to His kingdom. For the most part, it is a personal journey which each individual must travel alone. However, God has built into us the need for community, and it is within the gathering of His people that we find strength and encouragement. Led by the main character of The Road Rising, the man known as Friend has been called to head up the Rendezvous team, seeing to it that travelers are provided with all they need, be it physical, social or spiritual help. What has been your own experience with “Rendezvous”? Is there a community of believers to which you turn in times of need? Do you have a role within that community, and how do you fill it? How would life’s journey be different without these “communities of light” along the way?

All through both The Road Rising and Leaving the Trail, the necessity for staying on the trail to which we’ve been called is demonstrated time and again. It is on the trail that we find our strength, and as the story suggests, our protection from the evil powers of this world which would lay claim to God’s children. Fisher and Sandy lose the trail in a storm, and as a result come face to face with the one known as “The Evil Man” (Satan, for lack of a better term), and one of his followers, a demonic warrior. As terrifying as the encounter is, the young couple learn through the experience two important truths: the Evil Man cannot touch them directly, and even his warriors can be defeated. How would you define “The Trail” in your own life? Are you walking on that trail now? In what ways has the Evil Man confronted you? What power does deception have in a person’s life?

But if Scripture points to the demonic, it also points to the angelic, and assures mankind of Divine protection against the “dark forces of this world”. While Fisher and Sandy are unable to see these forces directly, evidence of their existence and work abound. Can you recall a time in your own life when circumstances seemed to be at work protecting and guiding you? Can you look back on events and see there a pattern over which you had no control but which profoundly altered the course of your life? While people from all walks of life could probably answer “yes” to these questions, for the child of God such a relationship with the Divine is the expected norm, causing us to pray daily, “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one”. Fisher and Sandy must come to grips with this truth early on, as they are led literally head on into the arms of Lisa, a child who escapes from the Evil Man’s domain and to the safety of the trail. Her parents are not so fortunate, which might caused us to ask the questions, “why?”. Why is the innocent child rescued, while her adult parents fall victim? Answers to such dilemmas do not come easily in the face of so many cases of the innocent who suffer. If you cannot find reasonable solutions to these quandaries, take heart in the fact that some of the smartest men in the Bible have also struggled with them.

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