My friend Dawn wrote a fascinating blog entry at her blog, http://dawndo.blogspot.com/. You can read it there, or read it below.
Here are my short thoughts on it, but I also was already planning on speaking to this very point in a sermon series I’m giving starting this weekend!!! It’s always so exciting to me to see the Spirit work through me — that He put on my heart to share something that goes directly to what people in our fellowship are experiencing, but that I didn’t know.
Any case, here are my thoughts on her blog:
This is a totally powerful entry, Dawn! I love reading through your analysis of the Goliath message and how it ties into your understanding of God. So profound.
I suspect most Christians have the same understanding of God as you did. If we had any idea of the “arsenal we’re sitting on,” imagine how different the world would be. Look at what 1 man did in 3 years because He understood the arsenal He was sitting on.
But of course, that would be the enemy’s ploy, wouldn’t it. To convince us he doesn’t exist so we discard or become contentedly unaware of our arsenal. Reminds me of The Usual Suspects: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”
And here’s the text of her blog:
Last week I pondered Wrestling with God. This week my pastor challenged me to contemplate spiritual wrestling only this time with the enemy. As I meditated on the story of David and Goliath from I Samuel 17, I was struck by how little spiritual truth I’d taken from this passage over the years. I mean it’s just the story of the little guy taking out the big, bad guy, right??
Whenever I’ve pictured Goliath in my mind, I’ve envisioned this huge, lumbering, clumsy creature somewhere between Jack’s beanstalk giant and a mythical ogre. I had always thought of him flailing about with a huge club in his hand trying to swat at smaller soldiers running to and from between his legs, all the while bellowing dim witted insults like “Duh, you’re God is nuthin‘ !”
So you can imagine my struggle to shift my paradigm of 30+ years this past week as I began to realize that Goliath was in fact a well trained, crafty even, lethal fighting machine, a super soldier of sorts. As I began to chew on this the story took on new relevance for me. Not just Goliath’s image, but the true miracle of his defeat.
Okay, well that’s nice, Dawn….No!! But wait…there’s more…So, being that the physical aspect of the story had now changed in my mind and the relevance of the miracle of Goliath’s defeat now had changed…oh my gosh, this means that the spiritual aspect needs to take on a new face as well. Uh, oh…just exactly how skewed has my view of the enemy been?
My Pastor told an amazing story about his adventures on a safari. Long story short he was being stalked by a pride of lions. In his illustration of this story was the incredible truth of how lions actually prowl about looking for something to devour. Yes…you’re right it does sound familiar try I Peter 5:8 where Peter warns us of the enemy prowling about like a roaring lion. Okay so what’s your point we know that verse already…yada yada yada.
You’re right, you do know that verse, but then again…so do I…or at least I thought I did. I began to think about my perceptions of that doggone ‘roaring lion’. I had again envisioned a dimwitted animal half stumbling about the dusty Serengeti letting out that throaty wild kingdom sound…’arrrg–arrg‘. That isn’t very intimidating. It’s kind of like my benign Goliath image. Okay, so I’ve begun to make a paradigm shift…Goliath – Super Soldier, agile, powerful, terrifying and now Prowling Lion – Super Hunter, agile, powerful, fast, crafty. The Lion actually knows how to pick the weakest animal out of a herd and is so astute that it can separate the animal from the herd. Hmmmm…the enemy of my soul is beginning to take on a whole new image in my mind.
Okay, so the enemy is well trained, prepared – remember he can quote scripture better than most Christians – he’s a lethal fighting machine, he knows all my weaknesses and what would make me most vulnerable. He also knows how to separate me from the ‘herd’. His tactics are precise, accurate and lethal. So, where does this leave me? Do I live in terror?
Okay, so if I’ve underestimated my enemy then it stands to reason that I’ve also underestimated my strength in Christ. HA!! So, now I began to think about that. What exactly do I think….how far off am I in this area too? Well, apparently I’m not too far off I have the majority of the verses nailed down on this one, but as I thought about them and started to look them up I realized while my scholarly part of the brain knows these verses I didn’t fully understand them or the power I have in Christ.
Good grief, yeah, I’m the biggest loser on this one….I’ve been sitting on an arsenal and didn’t even realize it’s potency or that I needed to be using it. So – here I am God, it’s me – Dawn, Thank goodness Your strength is made perfect in my weakness because I’ve been an utter weakling….for years!!! NO MORE…today I realize that I have an unseen enemy who is relentless to destroy me, he wants to set his own rules of engagement and he will seek to attack me where I am the weakest – his most effective weapon is fear.
Okay, so my enemy looks and fights like a Spartan Warrior King, but I will not be afraid, I will resist him and he will flee. I will stand firm and be strong in the Lord. I will put on the whole armor of God. And about that roaring lion from I Peter 5:8…well the first part of that verse says…”Be self-controlled and alert…” I got me a new pair of night vision goggles…I’ve just re-drawn the battle lines….and, Oh yeah, see this here specialized body armor I’ve finally dusted off…
Now who looks like a Spartan Warrior?? You talking to me???? Bring it on!!!!