“RUN!! RUN!!” The men screamed as their enemies pursued.
If you were on the sidelines watching this play out like a movie before you...what kind of men do you think these were? What were important to these men who were being chased? What had they spent their lives doing and investing in and becoming?
Unbelievably. These men were trained warriors.
Psalms 78:9 “The warriors of Ephraim, though fully armed, turned their backs and fled when the day of battle came...”
All their lives these men had been trained for this day. And they miserably failed. Completely failed. Mortally failed.
As we read before and after in that chapter, there is a theme. They had a heart attack. Not literally...but you see what their problem was by their response. They were afraid. They were cowards. Though they had learned the mechanics of warfare, though they had all the armor they needed, they lacked the heart.
They had a heart attack because of fear.
They didn’t remember the good things God had done for them. They were “stubborn, rebellious, unfaithful and refusing to give their hearts to God.” Ps. 78:8
Fear drove them to a response opposite of what they’d been trained for. Fear stemming from not remembering, not seeing and not believing who God was and wanted to be for them.
God had promised to be their FORTIFIER. God had promised to be their VICTOR. God had promised to be their DEFENDER. It just required what they were unwilling to give...complete surrender. Complete surrender yields a heart of faith...which results in trusting the only ONE who is our VICTOR!
Today, rather than running...as believers, let’s remember in the day of battle, today, that we are fortified in Him. He fights for us as we hide in him. We rest in faith and fear vanishes as we look to our VICTOR. Let’s take our place and stand firm today knowing that He fights for us in ways we can’t even fathom!!
“From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.” John 1:19
“Position yourself to receive…” a woman was talking in Bible study and suddenly the Holy Spirit spoke so clearly to me this summer.
I pondered this statement. What does this mean and how does this apply to me? I am a hard worker who earns what I receive. What does it mean to position myself? What does it mean to receive?
To position is to be in the right place at the right time-especially as it relates to business and the ability to seize an opportunity. To position is also to just stand or wait-as in your number 10 in line and you wait until you are called. In sports, you are to play a position as it relates to a team as a whole. In wrestling, you must know your positions and when to be defensive and offensive in your positions. In the medical world, when you are recovering and doing physical therapy, you must go through rehearsing different positions to get your full range of motion back.
So what on earth does it mean as it relates to God? How do I position myself to receive?
And how do I receive? If my hands are closed, am I positioned to receive? If my back is turned, am I positioned to receive? If my eyes are closed, am I positioned to receive?
You can view this phrase, “Position yourself to receive…” in many different ways. After all, I could receive a punch in my nose with my eyes closed, right? And one could argue that I had positioned myself to receive the punch because I was standing there with my eyes closed.
This was not the angle the Lord was taking with me. He wanted me to simply open my hands. To rest and be quiet and wait to see how He showed up. To enjoy His goodness simply as I slowed down in my spirit to notice His movement in and around me. To take some time to tune my ear to His voice and receive pivotal direction in my life.
Indeed, it is true, “From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another…”
Let’s ask ourselves today, “Father, do I need to do any repositioning to put myself in a place to receive from you? If so, help me see where and how this needs to be done so that my heart is open to all of the goodness you have for me…”
Shanda Harris is a lover of Jesus, dedicated wife, mother of 6 and the Women's Pastor at Epikos Church in Bend, Oregon.