I, for one, am tired of being pushed around by a culture that doesn’t give God the time of day. I’m also tired of watching other men passively fade into the background of the wallpaper hanging in Satan’s office. If we’re going to fulfill our God-given purpose as men, it’s imperative we stand up to these cultural bullies and start fighting for what matters most.
“So, Bill,” you may say, “what matters most? What’s worth fighting for?”
One of David’s mighty men would have answered, “A field of beans.” In fact, he risked his life fighting for that field. His name was Shammah. His name in Hebrew meant waste, and for years he may have wasted his life. But one day he did something which forever set him apart as one of David’s mighty men. A Philistine army had been attacking local farmers and stealing their crops. Since the Philistines had a monopoly on iron weapons, the task proved easier than taking a bone from a toothless dog.
In the face of such overwhelming force, all the villagers fled except Shammah. Something inside this man told him God had created him to fight evil. No Philistine punks would bully him. God had given the land to Israel, and he refused to let the Philistines drive him from it. Allowing the enemy to win would be paramount to surrendering to their idols and immoral practices. While the rest of the Jewish men took off with their families like flying insects afraid to light anywhere for fear they’d be crushed, Shammah grabbed his sword, planted his feet in the middle of his field of beans, and said, in Clint Eastwood form, “Make my day!”
I suspect the Philistines laughed at this single warrior pathetically challenging their might. Big mistake. You see, while they may have surrounded Shammah, they had not surrounded his God. Mighty men stand their ground and fight–and they fight to win. While the rest of the community nervously peeked out from their hiding places, Shammah single-handedly routed the Philistines.
Today our battle isn’t with swords and shields. And we’re not fighting for a field of beans but for our heart and home. We don’t take on an enemy in hand-to-hand combat in a fight to the death. Our war is against an invisible spiritual enemy and the forces of our culture he uses against us. The apostle Paul told us this when he said, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).
How do we fight such an enemy? We follow Shammah’s example–we stand our ground. That’s why Paul went on to say, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13, italics mine). Twice in one verse he exhorts us to stand.
I’m convinced we discover the secret of God’s strength when we follow his command to stop running, stop being bullied, and stop living passive lives. We unleash the warrior within when we tap into God’s power and say, “I will be bullied no more. From this day forward I’m going to stand my ground and fight for what God values–not what my culture values. I refuse to be driven by a desire to win the Marketplace War and I will no longer anesthetize my pain with sex or any other harmful process or substance. I will follow the example of David’s mighty men and wage war against the forces of hell that seek to destroy me and my family.”
I challenge you to renew your commitment to fight for what matters. By God’s grace let’s live the second half of 2013 in the power of God.
I love the story of Shammah. He is one of my favorite characters in the Bible.
I have read that his taking his stand likely meant in the military tradition of the time that he ‘set his spear’, meaning that he took his spear and planted it facing towards the Philistines, knowing he could not remove it to fight against them.
It was his way of saying that he was there to fight, to fight to the death in fact and he and his enemy would be aware of that by the fact he had ‘planted’ his spear or lance.
I agree that too often today we as disciples of Jesus are willing to let all of our ‘land’ be taken by our enemies. If we truly are followers of Christ then we had better be prepared to set our spear and do battle.
Christ did at Calvary and we need to do the same in our daily lives. In our workplaces, our homes, our communities and in our society.
Thanks for the great encouragement.
Cheers and Blessings.
I’m standing in the field with you Bill.