“So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU.” (James 4:7 AMP).
I love his name, Stonewall Jackson, the famous Confederate general. But as for the record, his mother didn’t name him that. He was actually named Thomas Jackson. He earned the name Stonewall Jackson in the first major land battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Bull Run. The Confederate forces were overwhelmed. They were Retreating that day – EXCEPT for a group of Virginia soldiers commanded by General Jackson!
They REFUSED to give ground, with their general, mounted on his horse in the thick of the battle, inspiring them to take a stand. Well, another Confederate officer yelled, “Look! There’s Jackson standing like a Stone Wall!”
The Confederate forces rallied behind Jackson and his Virginians, and they ended up routing the Union forces. And from that day on, Thomas Jackson was known as Stonewall Jackson.
“A GOOD NAME is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.” (Proverbs 22:1 AMP).
I’ve learned that having just ONE PERSON, standing firm when the battle is intense, can literally turn the tide! On the battlefield where God has assigned you, He’s counting on you to be THAT PERSON! And today He’s giving you a great picture of how you can be a Warrior that your General can count on – one through whom He can win some Great Victories!
The picture is found in 2 Samuel 23, beginning with verse 8. It’s a description of David’s most Trusted Warriors – three soldiers called: “DAVID’S MIGHTY MEN” –Josheb-Basshebeth, Eleazar, and Shammah. Don’t worry, your homework assignment is not to memorize their names!
However, the Bible describes how JOSHEB-BASSHEBETH “…raised his spear against EIGHT HUNDRED MEN, whom he killed in ONE encounter.” Then it says,“Next to him was ELEAZAR…As one of the three mighty warriors, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammin for battle. Then the men of Israel retreated, (sounds like Stonewall’s big day, doesn’t it?), but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and FROZE TO THE SWORD. The LORD brought about a great victory that day…” (vs. 9).
As ironic as it may seem, TODAY, Pastor’s are known for having ENTIRE ENTOURAGES surrounding them, but look at what only TWO MEN did for David!
PASTORS, all you need is A FEW GOOD MEN! So the next time your facing a challenge or a change, TAKE THE TRIO, NOT THE TRIBE!
“Six days later, THREE OF THEM SAW THAT GLORY. JESUS TOOK PETER AND THE BROTHERS, JAMES AND JOHN, and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes…” (Matthew 17:1-2 MSG).
PASTORS, YOU’RE DOING YOURSELF A HUGE DISSERVICE WHEN YOUR INNER CIRCLE IS LARGE ENOUGH FOR OUTSIDE EYES TO SEE PRIVATE GLORY!
“Coming down the mountain, Jesus swore them to secrecy. “Don’t breathe a word of what you’ve seen…” (Matthew 17:9 MSG).
PASTORS REMEMBER: YOU ONLY NEED A FEW GOOD MEN THAT KNOW HOW TO OPEN THEIR EYES AND CLOSE THEIR MOUTHS!
If you find it hard to locate a FEW MIGHTY WARRIORS, know that they EMERGEat times when everyone’s Tired and Suffering from Combat Fatigue! TheyEMERGE in times when Most people would feel like Quitting! They EMERGE at times when the Odds are Overwhelming – like Josheb-Basshebeth with his 800 AGAINST ONE MAN ODDS! They A FEW GOOD, MIGHTY MEN ALWAYS EMERGE at times when most are Retreating from the Battle!
Mighty Warriors Always EMERGE!
The word “Emerge” means “to become gradually visible, apparent, or known”. Or the definition I like best, “to recover from or survive a difficult period.”
PASTORS: Mighty Warriors do NOTHING for vainglory, or to be recognized to receive accolades for a job well done! They don’t labor for the sake of hearing someone call out their name! They don’t come on the scene to make a scene!They simply EMERGE, GRADUALLY making themselves known due to their Ability to Recover or Survive a Difficult Period!
THAT’S WHO YOU NEED WITH YOU, THOSE WHO KNOW HOW TO RECOVER AND SURVIVE!
When the battle is raging, the LAST thing you want is a Soldier with NO EXPERIENCE! When the battle rages you want someone who has BATTLE BRUISES; WARFARE WOUNDS AND SURVIVAL SCARS!
You DON’T need a pressed uniform, YOU NEED SWEAT, DIRT, GRIT AND GRIME!Why? Because I’m not in a beauty pageant, I’M IN A BATTLE!
Your battle may be your family, your church, your health, or even your sanity! Therefore, you’re in no position to have A ROOKIE AT A RIOT!
You need Mighty Warriors who know how to Fight, even when the odds are not in their Favor!
So what then does it take to make a Mighty Warrior, a Soldier the Lord can count on?
FIRST, LIKE JOSHEB-BASSHEBETH, YOU NEED TO LEARN HOW TO STAND ALONE, EVEN WHEN FACING AN ARMY! Josheb-Basshebeth “…raised his spear against EIGHT HUNDRED MEN, whom he killed in one encounter.” I wish I could tell you that every time you face a fight you’ll always be surrounded by friends, BUT THAT IS NOT THE TRUTH! Some of your greatest battles you’ll have to face ON YOUR OWN! YES, WHEN MULTIPLE AREAS OF YOUR LIFE ARE ALL FALLING APART AT THE SAME TIME, YOU WILL HAVE TO POSSESS AN “OCTOPUS ANOINTING” AND LAY YOUR OWN HANDS ON ALL AREAS BY YOURSELF! JOSHEB-BASSHEBETHhad to fight with odds of 800 to 1, be honest, not even your odds are that bad! So put away your diapers and put on your big girl panties or your big boy boxers AND FIGHT! Make it personal, Paul did: “I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race, I have kept (firmly held) the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7 AMP). Did you catch that? “I…fought…I …finished…I…kept…” SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO DO IT ALL BY YOURSELF! It can’t always be you and the prayer network, you and the ministerial staff, you and the sisterhood station, you and the brotherhood broadcast, not even you and Manpower or you and Woman Thou Art Loosed! Sometimes it will simply be YOU! “Do you really think I can do all by myself?” YES! “BLESSED BE the Lord, my Rock and my keen and firm Strength, Who teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight.” (Psalm 144:1 AMP).
SECONDLY, LIKE ELEAZAR, STICK WITH YOUR SWORD! “…Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and FROZE TO THE SWORD.” Mighty Warriors Always Cling To Their Sword! “…take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17 NLT). Keep fighting, and holding onto what God says as tightly as Eleazar held onto the sword that became BONDED TO HIS HAND! Remembering: “God means what He says. What He says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.” (Hebrews 4:12 MSG).
THIRDLY, LIKE, SHAMMAH, DEFEND YOUR STUFF! “Next to him was Shammah…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…” (2 Samuel 23:11-12 NIV). DON’T LET THE ENEMY WALK IN YOUR HOUSE AND TAKE OFF HIS SHOES, KICK UP HIS FEET, TURN ON YOUR TV AND TELL YOU TO GET HIM A SODA TO GO WITH HIS DINNER…AND YOU DO IT! FIGHT FOR YOUR STUFF! Today, the enemy isn’t stealing, killing or destroying, THE SAINTS ARE GIVING HIM THEIR STUFF, KILLING THEIR OWN SPIRIT WITH DEPRESSION AND DISCOURAGEMENT AND DESTROYING THEIR OWN REPUTATION BY ALLOWING THE ENEMY TO TREAT THEM AS THE TAIL INSTEAD OF THE HEAD! STOP MAKING IT EASY FOR HIM! FIGHT FOR YOUR STUFF! STOP LETTING EVERY FLIRTING EYE STEAL YOUR MARRIAGE, EVERY SUBSTANCE TEMPTATION KILL YOUR CHILDREN AND EVERY DIVISIVE SPIRIT DESTROY YOUR CHURCH! FIGHT FOR YOUR STUFF!
AND, FINALLY, ALWAYS REMEMBER WHO DETERMINES THE OUTCOME OF THE BATTLE! It says of the weary, outnumbered mighty men, “THE LORD BROUGHT THEM A GREAT VICTORY” They sure couldn’t have brought a great victory against those odds! But Mighty Spiritual Warriors know that the outcome of the battle will not be decided by THEM! It will not be decided by their ENEMY! IT WILL BE DECIDED BY THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS!
SO NO MATTER HOW INTENSE THE BATTLE, NO MATTER HOW WEARY THE WARRIOR, NO MATTER HOW OVERWHELMING THE ODDS – DO NOT RETREAT! With the Word of God in your hand, with your brothers and sisters by your side, with the Lord your God fighting for you, it won’t be you who retreats – IT’S YOUR ENEMY WHO’LL BE PUT ON THE RUN!
“So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU.” (James 4:7 AMP)
THE REDEEMED NEVER RETREAT!!!