When I was in 7th grade I went out for wrestling. I was terrible! I remember my first match, I was going as hard as I could and was winning. I was looking at my coach for help and I remember him just laughing at me. That season, a kid named Cody from my church went out for the team. He was worse than me. He went to my church and our moms were friends. So my mom would have him over to hang out with me. In the hallways at school he would put his arm around me and announce to the whole hallway full of middle schoolers that I was his best friend. One day at the end of practice, the other wrestlers started making fun of him. They were so cruel. Cody looks at me looking for some defence. I took the cowards way and join in the making fun. I can still see the look on his face as his “best friend” humiliated him.
2 Samuel 23:20 Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it. (emphasis added)
In a pit- Defining moments often happen in enemy territory
Benaiah has to go into the pit to face the lion. The pit is the lions home, for Benaiah this is enemy territory. I was on a wrestling mat with my character on the line. For you it is at school, at work, at the party, or alone at a computer. These defining moments rarely happen at church. The lion you face is not a 500 pound predator. It is not even a person though often it all feel that way.
Ephesians 6:12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Your lion might look like addiction, or lust, or lying, or depression, or fear, or many other things. The hard thing about facing those lions is your do not know what to hit at. If you are facing a lion you better go with a gun in 2018 or a spear in 2000 BC. When you look at a physical enemy you can know how to kill it. But when it is unseen, it can feel like punching at the air. It is easy to feel stuck or defeated.
So how do you go into enemy territory when you can’t see your enemy? You build yourself up in the Word of God. You spend time in prayer asking God to give you victory. You show love. You forgive. You confess your sin to God and to other people. You bring the things hidden in the darkness and bring them to the light. The hope that we share because of Christ, is that when we do those things the enemy flees and victory purchased by the resurrected Christ avails.
So today… FIGHT! Find the Freedom you were freely given. You are NOT too far gone, you have NOT sinned to greatly, your hopelessness is NOT too deep. You are deeply loved, highly favored by the Creator. Go to Him and find freedom.
Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus