The Art of War ~ Believer’s Edition
As I was reading the other day in the bible, I came across an interesting verse of scripture in Judges chapter three that I’d never noticed before. Before I share the verse, I’ll set the stage briefly with a little background. God was finally establishing the children of Israel in the Promised Land. (where we all want to live) He had used Moses to deal with Pharaoh. There were plagues, bugs, frogs, water turning to blood, and then this really big red sea incident that essentially amounted to God whooping some serious…. <be imaginative>.
Anyhow, after they made it out of Egypt, they had to wait for an entire generation of pansies who were too scared to enter God’s promised land to die off so that God could raise up another generation who were just crazy enough to believe that God could do what He had already proven in Egypt that he could do. So, the scared generation died, and the new generation received God’s okay to make their move and take over this ‘promised land’. They did it with style. There were marches, trumpets, walls falling down, little guys conquering big guys, the most classic of underdog moments, and yet again what essentially amounted to God empowering his people to whoop some serious…
So as they’re finally claiming the territory, they’re starting to get settled and move into their new homes. Most of the nations that had lived in the ‘promised land’ had been driven out by the Children of Israel, and things were starting to look pretty good.
Except for one thing… There were still some of the nations that they were supposed to drive out still living in the land. They hadn’t completely conquered all of their enemies. There were still some tyrants trying to reclaim their territory and drive out God’s people.
This is where the verse comes in: Judges 3:1-3
“These are the nations that God left there, using them to test the Israelites who had no experience in the Canaanite wars. He did it to train the descendants of Israel, the ones who had no battle experience, in the art of war.”
This verse tells us that it was important to God for His people to understand how to fight. It was important enough for them to learn, ‘the art of war’ that God was willing to let a few evil tyrants encroach on their territory.
Apparently, God didn’t want His people to be a nation of timid, weak, and powerless wimps getting pushed around by any nation or religion that tried to work it’s way into their lives. In fact, it looks to me like He placed a few bullies in their lives for the purpose of giving them a backbone and teach them to not just live out their lives in defensive mode. He occasionally wanted them to stand up and fight for what they believed in!
One of my favorite verses in the New Testament (Matt. 11:12) talks about the Kingdom of heaven being forcefully entered and how that violent (forceful) men seize it for themselves. (It’s an awesome verse to study sometime since many of the translations do not do it justice.) The point is that God’s kingdom on earth is established and advanced exclusively through His people as they are empowered by His Spirit. If God is going to do it, He is going to do it through you and me.
Too many believers have taken the timid, weak, and powerless approach to their faith. We allow the bullies that God has allowed to be in our lives to push us around, shove us in the corner, and leave us cowering behind fear of the opinions of man. Maybe it’s time to grow a pair and stand up for what we believe.Maybe it’s time to grow a pair and stand up for what we believe. Let’s stop simply letting the enemy of our faith intrude on the promised land that God has given to us. Claim what is rightfully yours as an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ and then Go To War for it! 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 talks about the weapons that God has given us for this battle. “The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools (weapons) of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.”
Don’t back down today. Don’t settle for a few of God’s promises. Stand up, be strong, and take back all that the enemies has stolen from you!