Did you know that God has a sense a humor? Over the weekend, He’s managed to give me my own personal illustrated lesson. As I was doing my morning walk with my dog Friday morning, we came across two black barking dogs. Startled by their presence and their barking, I momentarily halted. Unsure if I should turn around or continue going forward, I quickly analyzed my options. There was no way I could out run them and they were already inching closer and closer to us. In spite of the fear, I quickly picked up a rock and began commanding the dogs to get back. Although they didn’t stop barking or completely retreat, they only came so close to us and caused us no physical harm. The closer I got to my house, I couldn’t help but laugh at how courageous I would look to someone passing by. My arm raised with a rock in hand ready to slay those Goliaths. Yet fear had besieged my mind. God brought the story of Shammah to mind as I neared home. In 2 Samuel 23: 11-12, the Bible tells Shammah’s story of how he courageously defended himself in the middle of a field of lentils against the Philistines while other members of the Israelite army retreated.
God used the run in with the dogs to remind me that is how the enemy does. He attempts to corner us where our options seem to be one of two choices-retreat or defeat. The odd thing is that I had seen one of these dogs at other times during the week when walking but the dog always quickly turned and ran in the opposite direction of us. But on this particular morning there were two dogs, which looked like twins that had combined their forces and were now ready to attack. Double teaming is another tactic used. He comes at us in multiply ways to weaken our defenses. However, when we make up our mind that retreating is not option, we’ll find that God has given us the strength to confront and win.
After getting the victory, imagine my surprise when the next evening I walked out in my yard to discover those same two enemies in my back yard of all places. They did bark but as I was urging them to get out of my yard, it was them that were confused this time. For some reason, they couldn’t remember how they had entered the yard and as my nephew and I were trying to lead them out, they began to try to hide. It seemed my lesson wasn’t quite over. There was still more for me to glean from this situation. Why or how the dogs managed to find themselves in my yard of behooves me. But it did show me that our enemy doesn’t give up easily. Just because we face one encounter and win doesn’t mean will not find ourselves confronting the exact same enemy. But do not allow their resurgence to cause you to draw back.
Are there places in your life that you’ve been retreating in fear? I learned that the absence of fear was not necessary. Only the courage to keep walking and not back down in spite of it was really what I needed. Did you confront a situation and assumed you had gotten the victory only to see it come back with a vengeance? If so be determined to stand your ground again.
Father, I pray that you reveal to us those areas in our lives that we’ve been refusing to confront due to fear. Give us the courage, oh Lord, to forge ahead in the strength that you have given us. We thank you that you teach our hands to war. Thank you for strategic tactics to defeat our enemies. Thank you that it is you, who give us the victory.