Monday, April 16, 2012

A Better Kind of Champion







[Image by Ozgur on Flickr]


A champion steps out from the battalion. His appearance is terrifying. Look at him, who will dare to rise up against him? See how much he's prepared. There's a bronze helmet on his head, I don't think I can easily get to his head. Isn't that a heavy coat of mail around his body and a bronze armor about his legs? I try to calculate the likelihood of defeating him. 0%. No, 1%. Boy, I don't know. The metal won't let me get to him. It's too thick. I've never seen such a complicated spearhead. It must be custom-made.

As I stare at him, I slowly realize I have not yet considered what I have. I look at my bare hands, slowly I raise them up toward the sun and my palms become really hot. 

I start sweating as the implications of what stands before me in this valley start to set in. It's obvious the champion has everything for battle, and what do I have? Am I ready for this? My brothers think I'm a joke. 

As I consider these thoughts, the sun becomes brighter and I begin to squint. I've heard stories before of God causing the sun to stand still. I eventually close my eyes for a minute, and my life flashes right before me. All those times I kept my father's sheep, did not a lion come once to eat a lamb, and I ran boldly towards it and struck it dead, delivering the lamb out of its mouth? My God was the one who strengthened my hands for that moment of victory. Was it by my own power? I do not think so. So who is this champion that defies the name of the living God? What is his spear compared to God?

All of a sudden, I bend to the earth and dig into the soil with my bare hands. I find five smooth stones, well-rounded. My sling is already on my shoulders. I instinctively know what to do. I run to the front line where the champion stands cursing my God, and I shout so that everyone can hear me clearly,

"You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel whom you have defied. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear, for the battle is the Lord's and He will give you into our hands."

I am indeed...another kind of champion. 

A re-telling of 1 Samuel 17.

* * * * * * * * * *

In whose name do we fight by? In our names? In our own talents, abilities, or prowess? Or in the name of the Lord? I think it's obvious whose name I choose to fight by. 

See, instruments and tools are only man-made. They don't compare half-way to the dynamic ways God achieves victory in our lives. Not that we shouldn't use these tools, no we should. But we must never get to a place where we depend on our man-made tools over God's ability. His ways are far more advanced in technology. His ideas are far more mind-blowing than our little ideologies.

There are two different kinds of champions. Those who depend on worldly intuition and those who simply come in the name of the Lord. The name of the Lord is greater. My challenge for you today is to be the better kind of champion who knows the true source of strength. Just as water has its source, strength also has its source. The Bible says, "In our weakness, His strength is perfected."

When you are achieving your wins and accumulating your trophies, to whom will the glory go? God or yourself? I choose God. He has made me a better kind champion who does not rely on man-made abilities, only so that through me He is glorified. Today, I choose to give ALL the glory to Him. My source and my joy. The Author and Finisher of my faith. The Lion and the Lamb. The Lover of my soul. The One who died only to conquer death and resurrect after three days to make victory a permanent emblem in our lives. I will never come to you with worldly intuition, because I haven't seen store houses laden with snow before He chooses to allow snow flakes fall around me in inches upon inches that I cannot control.

Dear Readers of the Lamp, as you accomplish great heights this week and this year, always remember the kind of champion you are. In 2012, I choose to remember. I missed ya, had a busy past few weeks, thanks for your emails and messages. :)



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