Friends, we have a relentless enemy that stalks us like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Fortunately for us, he’s an already beaten foe that can easily be parried by appropriately using the Word of God. Why? Because God’s Word is true and the enemy can’t argue with it. Therefore, if we resist him, he has no choice but to flee (James 4:7).
However, today I want to dig a little deeper. What are some characteristics that are important for being battle ready? What can we learn from some of the amazing heroes in the Holy Bible. I’m going to take a look at four such mighty men and talk about how we can apply their attributes in our own lives. So here we go.
The Heart of Gideon
Gideon was a champion of sorts. His task was to lead the Israelites and rescue them from the Midianites. Now what’s so special about Gideon? Well I’m going to tell you. He was literally declared by the angel of the Lord, and we all know that when a holy angel says something, it’s to be taken seriously.
Judges 6:12 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.
Isn’t that awesome? The angel of the Lord didn’t just say “Hello Gideon”, and drop a task upon him. He declared him a “mighty man of valor” and then assured him of the Lord’s presence.
Of course, Gideon was still uncertain because of all the trials he had faced, but the Lord gave him reassurance. This just goes to show that the Lord knows we can have weakness, but He’ll still give us the battle in the end, just like He did with Gideon (Judges 8:12).
The Heart of Samson
One of my favorite heroes in the Bible is Samson. I mean this guy was tough! He had a very special vow before the Lord and we know that his heart was filled with love for a certain Philistine woman. He was fearless. He even beat down a young lion with his bare hands. Of course we know that his love was what led to his downfall and loss of his strength. For he gave up the secret that his strength was in his seven locks.
Even though Samson gave away his secret, He was still a man of powerful faith. He’s even mentioned in the “Faith Hall of Fame” in the Book of Hebrews (Heb 11:32).
The really cool thing about Samson was his death. Yes, that’s right…his death. Samson killed many Philistines throughout his life, but when he was captured and going to be sacrificed in the Temple of Dagon to the pagan Philistine god, Samson said a prayer onto the Lord. God’s glory was in it. Let’s look at what happened…
Judges 16:30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.
Isn’t that amazing? He whooped more Philistines when he pulled down the pillars in the temple than he did in his entire life. Not only defeating the Philistines, but also bringing down the false god. Glory to God.
The Heart of Elijah
What about the heart of Elijah? This cat had some serious courage! I mean he literally stood against four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:22). Of course we know the Lord was with him. However, he sat there and mocked these guys as they prayed to their god trying to get him to send fire. I get the impression that Elijah not only had great faith, but also a good sense of humor.
What’s special about Elijah’s heart is that He always identifies himself with the Lord and His plan. Let’s take a look at a couple scriptures.
1 Kings 18:37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
Later on in 2 Kings we also see Elijah identifying himself directly as a man of God, and in His service. Of course, we see once again the Lord responds to the situation with fire.
2 King 1:12 And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.
This isn’t just faith; it’s relationship. Elijah is identifying himself with his Lord; and God is responding by defending His child. This is the kind of relationship we need to have with God.
The Heart of David
David was declared by God as a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22). Of course we know David made some mistakes, but David’s mistakes made him miserable. The important thing in all this is that David was typically laser focused on his relationship with God and allowed the Lord to lead the way.
Many people think that David fought a giant named Goliath, but the truth of the matter is that day on the battlefield, Goliath fought the giant. That giant was David’s heart. David uttered six powerful words to the Philistine. They were, “the battle belongs to the Lord.” That was it. Game over. Once the battle was in the Lord’s hands it couldn’t be lost. In the end, David dropped Goliath and then took his head with his own sword.
Friends, there are many mighty men and women in the Holy Bible who serve as excellent examples for us. We also have a perfect Savior who set the perfect example for us. The important thing in all this is to not be afraid of the enemy and to fight back when necessary. God will teach you to fight and will also act as your shield, so you really have nothing to fear (Psalm 144:1-2). Keep your heart pure and keep it strong. The battle may be upon us, but we have already won. Thank you for reading and God bless.
What are some ways you can prepare your heart for life’s battles?
Great article Joel. Contrasting the different hearts of these Saints of old is most interesting and yet we find out they all had the same heart; a heart for God. May we all have that same heart! I see we have the same degree and similar work experiences. I have been meaning to point that out. Thanx for all you do and still put out good articles. You do it well! God bless! ron,