3 items tagged "Courage"

  • Come Out of Hiding

    “When the men of Israel saw that they were in danger (for the people were distressed), then the people hid in caves, in thickets, in rocks, in holes, and in pits.” 1 Samuel 13:6

     

    Saul had a lot to learn of what it meant to be a king. Two years into his reign, things were not looking very good. Jonathan, his son, attacked a Philistine garrison, in hopes it would deter their great enemy from attacking them in the future. To say the least, the plan backfired. Though it was a technical victory for Saul, the Philistines quickly responded with the largest army Israel has ever seen. Thousands of chariots, horses, and more soldiers then one can count showed up for battle. Clearly, their great enemy was waiting for an opportunity to strike.

    Tragically, the mere sight of such a force sent God’s people, not just on the run, but into hiding. Caves, thickets, rocks, holes, and pits… These are not appropriate dwellings for people who know the one true God! However, we read they were distressed, trembling, desperate, and cowardice. Though they had enormous success against the Ammonites, they lost heart by simply seeing this enemy approach. Past victories of God’s faithfulness were long forgotten. Fear swept them away.

    This isn’t just an Israel issue. It’s everybody’s issue. When fear reins unchecked and runs wild, our view of God shrinks, and we quickly forget that all His promises are ‘yes and amen.’

    Paul says the following in Romans 8:15, “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” Evangelize yourself! When the enemy appears to be greater than you can face, don’t take up the yoke of fear. As sons and daughters of the Father, he has called you out of the cave. Hiding is never an option. Your marriage needs you to come out of the cave. Your kids need you to venture out of the thickets. Your church needs you to rise out of the rocks and holes. Climb out from the pit. Take hold of what God has promised you (Ephesians 1:3), and contend again!

    Persuade yourself again, that nothing can separate you from the love of Christ. Fan that gift back into flame. Pray with passion. Move with courage. You are more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ!

  • Spiritual Grit

    Let’s go across to the outpost of those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “Perhaps the lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!”

    1 Sam. 14:6

     

    I love stories that require some grit.  Grit can be defined as someone who displays courage, guts, resolve, and a backbonewhen the stakes are high.  Jonathan was a man that had grit.  The story above tells us how Jonathan and his armor bearer, though the odds were against them and defeat looked evident, charged the enemy anyways with a gutsy faith!  "Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord..." 

    That's a pretty gutsy thing to say.  Perhaps. Was Jonathan doubting God's ability?  I dont believe so.  He was confident that God can do anything and the battle was His.  Jonathan was just tired of doing nothing.  His father, Saul (the King), was comfortable sitting in the shade of the trees while an enemy approached.  Not for Jonathan.  Someone in this army needed spiritual grit. Someone needed to finally reject passivity and actually behave like God can do mighty things...impossible things!

    Another man that had grit is found not to long ago at the battle of Iwo Jima, his name is Jack Lucas.  Jack talked his way into the Marines at fourteen years old, fooling the recruits with his muscled physique.  While stationed in Hawaii he was assigned to drive a truck around the island, but had grown frustrated; he wanted to fight.  D-Day for Iwo Jima was about to begin, so he stowed away on a transport departing from Honolulu heading towards one of the bloodiest battles in WWII. He was only 17 at this point. He landed on Iwo Jima without a rifle, but charged anyways towards the enemy.  Once finding a rifle from a fallen comrad he fought his way inland.  While crawling through the trenches with a few other soldiers the enemy sprang up on them and tossed two grenades landing right by Jack.  Jack instinctively covered up both of the grenades with his body to protect the other soldiers.  Jack remembers thinking to himself "I'm about to die."  One of the grenades explodes tossing the badly wounded Jack through the air, but sparing his comrad's lives.  Jack miraculously survives the injury (after 21 operations) and becomes the youngest person ever to receive the Medal of Honor--The only high school freshman to do so.  Jack had over 200 peices of shrapnel in his body for the rest of his life.  Not only that, Jack joined the Army later in life to become a paratrooper...just to conquer his fear of heights.

     

    So what's our excuse again for not having a gritty type of faith?  As we move forward from the comfort of the shade, let us not forget that Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing hinders the Lord. Nothing.

     

  • Weary In Battle

    “And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel had retreated. He arose and attacked the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand stuck to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day…”
    2 Samuel 23:9-10


    David’s soldiers would’ve been quite the sight to see! These were not your normal, run-of-the-mill soldiers. These were men of valor, courage, faith. They were risk takers, and they had an appetite for battle. There is a grouping of David’s army named, “The Thirty.” These were the toughest military warriors and are credited for many heroic feats. From among these heroes, there was “The Three,” Josheb, Eleazar, and Shammah. The exact roles of this elite group are not clear, but they were certainly seen as ‘stand-outs’ among David’s Mighty Men.


    The scripture above tells us one of Eleazar’s defining moments and shows us a couple of important spiritual lessons.


    #1: “until his hand was weary…” These are the moments that give you the right to be called a Mighty Man. Israel sees the enemy, evaluates the situation through their human perspective, and then runs for it! I’m sure they had many rational reasons for their retreat, but Eleazar, for whatever reason, decided that he wouldn’t be defined as a man that would flee from his enemy. So, when everyone else turned and ran, Eleazar stood his ground and fought, until his hand became weary. This is important to see. He wasn’t weary of the battle. He was weary in it. Eleazar wasn’t regretting his choice to fight. He was not second guessing his decision to stand his ground. The enemy had to be addressed, and he knew if the Lord was in it, then victory was assured. Don’t retreat because you fear of becoming weary. Know that the Lord will strengthen you in the battle!


    #2: “…his hand stuck to the sword.” This is wild to even imagine! How long does one need to fight until the hand muscles literally freeze in place? Perhaps to get an idea of how intense the battle was, compare it with another battle fought by Josheb. In verse eight, it states that on another occasion, Josheb fought and killed 800 men at one time. Yet, with no mention of his hand freezing to his weapon. No one knows what this battle for Eleazar must have been like, but we do know this. He was not about to give up. If he was going to die, he would die with his sword in hand and his enemies falling with him. When in battle, never let go of the sword! Let the Word of God become the sharp weapon it was always meant to be! Hold on and keep fighting until the victory is won!


    The enemy is always roaring and will want you to tuck tail and run. When you’re in that battle, take some cues from Eleazar. Don’t retreat! Grip your sword, and know that the battle is won by the Lord.

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