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Standing Your Ground

DifferentIn my last post I began talking about David’s mighty men. I want to show you how they relate to us as spiritual warriors in our generation.

The first of David’s men that I want to look at were simply called “The Three”. Their names were Josheb, Eleazar, and Shammah. According to Scripture, Josheb was the chief of “The Three.”

These are the names of David’s mighty men: Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter.
2 Samuel 23:8

Think about what it would take to kill 800 soldiers with a spear. He was the type of a person who didn’t run from a fight. God is looking for people who won’t back down. That’s hard to do when it looks like the enemy’s kingdom is better equipped than you are.

That’s why we need to learn to rely upon the Lord’s strength within us. We can’t look to our own resources. We must come to the understanding that our equipment can’t be seen in the physical.

Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them. But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the LORD brought about a great victory.
2 Samuel 23:11-12

This is another amazing encounter. This man, Shammah, defended a field full of lentils. There wasn’t a town. Their families were not at stake. Why would he risk his life over such a small thing?

Israel’s troops fled. They felt that it’s not worth the struggle. It’s only a field of lentils.

But that’s the first thing we need to understand about being strong in the Lord. The mighty don’t let the enemy take ANY ground.

Think about how we got to where we are today in our nation. In its infancy, many believers felt that the television industry was ungodly anyway, so they let the devil have it. And as far as our schools go; it’s too much work to win that battle.

What about our government? More than once I’ve heard the excuse for Christians to keep out. “If you’re not corrupt when you start, you will be when you finish.”

Now, as a result of our hands off approach, we live in a society that’s largely humanist, ungodly, and lawless.

We have a choice. We can continue in that direction with the attitude that says, “I don’t like them anyway, let the devil have them.” Or we can take a page from Shammah’s playbook and declare, “There’s no way I’m going to let the devil get this.”

We have to get to the place where we’re mad about the existing conditions. The fact is that comfortable people are not mighty in battle. They want things to stay the same.

I hate to say it, but I think the Lord’s going to begin making us more and more uncomfortable with the status quo. We need to stir up our righteous anger over what the enemy has taken. We need to be on our knees before God, asking Him where our place is on the battlefield.

Don’t let the enemy take another step forward. Be who you’re called to be in Christ. Stand your ground in the Lord’s strength.

Question: What are you standing your ground for, right now, in Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

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Called to be Mighty

strongTough times call for tough people. That’s especially true in the body of Christ. More than ever we need to draw upon the power of the Holy Spirit to bring about God’s plan in our nation.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Ephesians 6:10

I am prompted to meditate on David and the men who were drawn to him as he was being hunted by King Saul. It was quite a group who joined him.

David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.
1 Samuel 22:1-2

According to the Bible, the men who came to David were basically fed up with the way things were. They were distressed, in debt, and discontent.

The fact is that God is still looking for some angry people. He needs people with attitude.

“This is not the way it should be.”

That’s what God is doing in the church right now. He’s cultivating this attitude. This nation needs to change. The church needs to change. I need to change.

I want to take a couple of posts to look at some of the men who came to David. The ones termed his mighty men.

Of course, that was for a physical battle. Right now we’re in a spiritual battle for the hearts and minds of those around us. It goes without saying that the Lord needs mighty women as well.

By the way, maybe you disagree with that statement – and don’t believe that it’s a woman’s place to be mighty. If that’s you, then please note that in Proverbs 31, the word usually translated virtuous, is the exact word mighty used with David’s men.

Out of the 600 or so men who eventually joined with David, only 30 were called mighty. Think about it; 600 people knew what God was doing in Israel. 600 aligned themselves with God’s plan. These men joined David’s fight, and committed themselves to see God’s will carried out.

But of all those men, only 5% were termed mighty. When it comes to God’s kingdom, I want to be on the cutting edge. I want to be in the mighty category. It’s my hope that you want that distinction as well.

Most of Israel was clueless as to what was happening around them at that time. It’s the same in our generation. Much of the church has no idea about the spiritual climate, or what God is planning on doing.

Then again, many are like the 600. They’re onboard with what God is doing, but they’re just following orders. Then there were the 30 mighty men; but even with them we mostly only know their names.

We’re only told the details about five of these men. That’s less than 1%. That’s where we should desire to be. We should strive to be in the upper echelon of God’s warriors.

When my time on earth is done, I want my angels to talk about me. I want them to have some exciting war stories to share with their friends.

“Let me tell you about the guy we were watching. More than once we had a fight on our hands. It was always exciting being with him.”

In my next post I’m going to begin talking about what it takes to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Who are these mighty men, and what did it take for them to accomplish great things?

Question: How far are you willing to go to advance the cause of Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

 
 

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A Call to the Mighty

ClockAs I read the life of King David, I see a lot of parallels with our present generation. In waiting for God to fulfill His promise to make him king, it seemed like everything was going against him. But it was at this time in David’s life that God started to bring people to his aid.

David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.
1 Samuel 22:1-2

This is one of the lowest points in David’s life. God had called to be king in place of Saul. He had accomplished victories over giants and armies.

Yet, at this time he was being pursued by King Saul – hunted like animal. His calling was to restore Israel to greatness, yet he was alone and outcast.

Many in Israel had no clue about the issues that were occurring throughout their nation. It was almost like the church in USA right now. We are badly in need of an awakening.

So David decided to go to a place called Adullam. It was a cave in the side of a cliff, surrounded by wilderness. It was near a cool, clear spring so there was plenty of water. It had a system of caverns that could hold 1000 men comfortably. Eventually 400 to 600 would come and join with David here.

In the same way, it’s time for God’s people to rally together. So many believers are “serving God” yet going nowhere. Where do we start?

Maybe where God starts. In David’s life it was his father’s household, his immediate family. That’s us – the church.

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Galatians 6:10

The work God wants accomplished in our generation starts with us. God is calling the church family together.

But it also says his brothers. The Hebrew word used is relatives in the most general term. There are many people who are a part of the body of Christ who have distanced themselves from their churches. It has been for various reasons. It might have been the results of hurts, laziness, disappointment, offence, or any number of issues.

For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
1 Peter 4:17

The word judgment is simply the word decision. It’s time for decisions to begin here, among God’s people. We want the world to decide for Christ. How about if we decide first. It’s time to give up the excuses.

I’ve been in church for my whole life. My deepest hurts have come from church people. Even as a pastor I’ve endured hurts, betrayals, and other problems. Yet on the lowest day of my life, I would choose God’s people over the world.

I want to take a few posts to show how David’s mighty men came together. God brought people to David to bring about His plan for Israel.

In the same way God is calling His people to do a great work in our generation. But it won’t be accomplished by big names or televangelists. It will be normal, everyday people who have heard and obeyed the call of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

Question: What is your place in the Body of Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
 

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The Challenge

ClimberIf you’re not facing any challenges, then you’re not living up to your full potential in Christ. That statement is true, whether we want to hear it or not. As much as we’d like a nice easy road, that’s not what the Lord promised us.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

Many Christians would rather bury their heads in the sand than face the truth. We’re in a battle. We’re fighting for the souls of the men and women around us. Most of them are not even aware of what’s really going on in the spirit.

The good news is that Christ has already won the victory. We’re simply a part of the clean-up crew. We’re here to enforce the Lord’s victory on the enemy’s kingdom. We’re to open up the prisons and bring healing to the scarred and hurting – spiritually speaking.

It’s not all about my agenda and what I want to accomplish. I need to yield my life to the will of Christ. After all, He’s the Commander and Chief. He’s the one who gives us our marching orders.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Ephesians 6:10

I might be dating myself, but one of my favorite Sci-Fi movies is The Matrix. It had an interesting concept. Because they lived in a virtual world, if they needed to know Karate, they could just download it into their brain. If they needed to fly a helicopter, they could download that knowledge.

It’s too bad that doesn’t work for us – even though some Christians try that technique in their spiritual lives. We sometimes think that we can do our own thing, then when we get into trouble, we can pray.

Many people find out too late that this strategy doesn’t work very well. I can’t wait for the enemy’s attack, then suddenly learn to resist him. The time to prepare is before the problem.

The “secret” to overcoming is in knowing where our strength comes from. We’re told to be strong in the Lord. That’s where we prepare for the struggle.

That’s why it’s so important to remain in Christ. We need to be a people of prayer, even when everything seems to be going smoothly along. It’s when we’re spending time in the Spirit that we’re downloading the weaponry needed to overcome our future challenges.

I’m only ready for the problems of life if I am resting in the Lord. It’s His mighty power that will sustain me. Take the time to draw from the Lord’s ability. Be strong in His mighty power.

Question: How can God’s power help you in the challenge you’re facing right now?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 

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Strength for the Battle

GlovesMy last post talked about the spiritual battle that we’re in. We need to be prepared for it. We are going to face hardships whether we’re ready or not.

It’s unfortunate that many Christians wait until they’re in the middle of a spiritual firefight to learn how to be victorious. You can’t wait for a fight and download the Karate program. It doesn’t work like that.

How do we prepare for the challenges ahead? The same way a soldier does. Boot camp consists of two aspects – knowledge and work.

For us, it’s knowledge of the Scripture and God’s voice. Then we have to work at implementing what we know to do.

You may be thinking, “That’s not an easy thing to do.” You’re right. In most cases it turns out to be beyond our ability. But that’s why understanding the spiritual battle is so important.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Ephesians 6:10

I’m glad that we’re not told to psych ourselves up and power our way through the challenges. I don’t want to have to rely on my willpower. I’ve got an advantage that the world doesn’t have.

I’m told to be strong in the Lord. Sometimes this goes against our nature. We want the ability to brag about our accomplishments. We want to say that our intelligence or strength was what it took to overcome the obstacles before us.

That’s why so often we make our plans then ask God to bless them. Wouldn’t we be much better off if we asked the Lord for His plan right at the start?

If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:11

The fact is that it’s not about my glory, but His. If I were able to lay hold of my own destiny, why would I need Christ? The work before me is too much for me by myself.

When we finally learn to admit this truth, life gets so much more enjoyable. Not that I can sit back and let God do all the work, but I know He’s there to cover my weaknesses. I don’t have to worry about whether I can handle the problem or not.

If I’ll draw on His strength and listen to the Holy Spirit, then there’s nothing that can stop me. We need to rest in God’s ability and not our own.

Question: What are you going through right now that’s too big for you to handle?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2014 in Faith, Power of God, Spiritual Warfare

 

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