Psalm 18:33-35 (New International Version)
34 He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35 You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.
It is amazing to me at times to see the extremes we like to take things too. We can’t seem to find center point all that easily. Balance is something we don’t seem to do naturally. Christians tend to do the same thing because we are, after all, all human. Some Christians see the enemy in everyone and everything and are ready for war at all times, while some Christians don’t see a battle at all. To me this verse brings the two extremes together representing a balance that only an Extreme God could create for His children.
“He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.”
God does train us for battle. We are in a war here on earth, spiritually speaking.
When we learn his promises, learn his Word, learn who we are in Christ we are being trained for battle. We are made strong in the Lord as He becomes greater inside us than ourselves. As we start to look more like Him, talk more like Him, walk more like Him we are becoming transformed into a warrior. Jesus walked this earth in love for every single person to be saves, and He did take back the keys of hell and death! He is a Mighty Victorious Warrior and He is a Gentlemen.
Relationship with Jesus is where it all happens. Not the book smarts, not memorization… these are needed and good, but they are not the sum. Seeing the Lord transforms us, being with Him. The two must become one –book smarts and relationship.
But the training does no good if we won’t go out onto the battlefield. What good were the mighty military men, the large, scary, strong men of Israel, who wouldn’t go out to meet Goliath? No one would go out to face the battle until David, a small shepherd boy, showed up ready to kick butt.
In churches, I believe God’s forces have limited to no vision for what God would do with them. Without a vision for what God wants you to do, what do you do? A vision is like a plan, you have that goal in sight so you can plan your steps accordingly to reach it. Instead of looking for that call, that vision, we stay internalized in our own little group. Our own church is the extent of our world, our vision.
I personally don’t believe God wants that. I agree with having a home church, a base to recharge, but I believe in the direction Jesus gave to his disciples to “Go Out into all the world.” There is a large world out there beyond our church property lines. If we are to be like Christ, we would be about relationships not religion. We would not be afraid to “go out” and meet new people, to be a friend to anyone and everyone. We are at a time when Jesus is outside the church walls calling to whosoever would come out to walk with Him, serve Him.
1 Sam. 17:
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
As we read, David was ready to show that giant a thing or two, but also that the Lord would win it. There is the balance we must have… when the desire and ability to fight collide with the wisdom and knowledge of God’s Word.
David knew what the Word said. He knew his God. He knew the promises of God. He knew the battle was only his to show up too, and then, as he declared, it was in the Lord’s hands.
God trains us to fight, He prepares us, He teaches us how to kill the enemy, BUT then He “hands us” the victory lest we believe it was won by our own strength. Our fight is not with flesh and bone, but with a devious liar that operates in illusions and misperceptions. Therefore the fight must be through Jesus’ strength, through His methods of warfare, through His intelligence and tactics. He wants us to win!! But in order to win He has to teach us His way of fighting, which I believe mostly has to do with being a doorway!
Wow, never saw that coming huh? I know because I didn’t either! A doorway, how can a doorway be a weapon, or used in a fight? How does a doorway figure in to this discussion? I know I threw that at you out of left field, but check this out…
Proverbs 8:33-35 (New International Version)
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. 34 Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. 35 For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD.
In this verse we see that God is on one side of the doorway and He wants us to be on the other waiting for Him, wanting to see Him, hear His direction, His voice, His Word to us. Whosoever finds Him receives favor from the Lord – when the Israelites fought in the bible the outcome was determined by the quality of their relationship with the Lord! If we are at the doorway waiting for our Lord, daily watching for Him, listening to Him, He will have favor on us and He will win the battle for us. Victory (Jesus) comes through an open door (heart/mind/soul).
“You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great”
So, then we have believers who are unaware there is an enemy or a battle. It seems they take life as it comes being tossed about on the waves while believing and speaking that God is making them sea sick for a reason. They don’t see the enemy, and wouldn’t want too. Jesus does give us the shield of victory, his right hand sustains us, he stoops down to make us great, but we have to show up to the battle to see that happen. How can Jesus give us the victory to a battle that never happened? How can we see Jesus move when we won’t? We are His hands and feet, so for Him to move we have to move. His promise to us is that the victory is ours if we will but show up for Him.
God training us implies mutual effort in my opinion. A teacher trains a student. A drill instructor trains a soldier. Both teacher and student have a part in the training process. A teacher imparts the knowledge and we take it in, studying it. A teacher shows us the way to go, teaches us the skills, and we apply them till we have them down. The teacher trains our eye to hit the target by giving us target practice. Let’s just not practice on each other! 🙂 Aim at the target God gives. 🙂 The Lord is honored by what we build in each other, not what we tear down in each other.
8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD.
There is “work” we must do. We need to build the “house” that the Lord may dwell inside us. Listening at the door, seeking Him daily, watching for Him, and being consistent in our relationship with Him we enable Him to pour out favor on us.
We carry Jesus and the Holy Spirit inside us wherever we are. Wherever we are there is a doorway for Him to enter into that space and time. Ultimately we are doorway if you think about it. If we are speaking in line with the enemy we are a doorway for him to enter, but if we are speaking in line with God he can enter.
Battle is serious, but the only fear we need have is the fear of the Lord.
Psalm 144:1-3 (New International Version)
1 Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.
2 He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples [a] under me. 3 O LORD, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him?
(Note: Much love and appreciation to Stacy from World Lighthouse for the Word she brought forth about being a doorway.)