Sunday, 23 January 2011

Fighting talk!

Everyone loves a good story, and the narrative of David & Goliath is one of the best known - and I really enjoyed what Marcus preached from this famous account this morning. Check out the download entitled ‘Fighting Talk’. Maybe ‘enjoyed’ is the wrong word; it challenged me! When he described the armies of Israel, armed, equipped, poised for battle, but feebly inactive due to their fear and the intimidation of the enemy, I was challenged. How often am I like that when confronted by ‘enemy activity’? How often do I respond with passivity to fears or injustice or temptation? I am challenged.

At this point I am reminded of a story I heard a while ago about how C J Mahaney asked his listeners after he had just preached, if they had been blessed by the message. When they replied positively that they indeed had been blessed, he shocked them with a stark warning: “Beware!” he shouted, “You are in great danger of being deceived! The Scripture warns us to be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.!”
We can be guilty of the very passivity that the armies of Israel were guilty of that day when David went out against Goliath.

I hear too many people bemoaning that they are victims of their circumstances when actually they should be nothing of the sort - and I allow this to be true of myself too often. We may be outnumbered, overwhelmed or under the cosh, but that should never diminish the fact that we are sons and daughters of the living God, alive in Christ, sharing the triumph of his death and resurrection, and members of a new kingdom that is advancing and will never fail or fade. O how we need to engage in fighting talk in those moments! “No, I’m not putting up with that accusation / temptation / discouragement / ......... (fill in the gap). Satan, you are a defeated foe and the Lord of the armies of heaven is on my side!”

I was reading Psalm 13 this morning. Look at how David refused to be overwhelmed and how he turned the tone of his complaint. Watch out for that wonderful word but!
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

That’s fighting talk!