Mel Gibson portrays Col Hal Moore, in the film, We Were Soldiers. As he moves into his digs on camp, one of the soldiers talking to his mate calls Moore a ‘Harvard man!’ His sentiment is that his new Colonel is a book worm and a desk dweller. One of the most compelling parts of the film for me, was the preparation this new Colonel put in, before he engaged his enemy. Gibson is seen pouring over books about previous battles, including the massacre of the French forces, eleven years previously by the enemy, this new Colonel is about to face.
I remember, as I watched this character develop, how many aspects of his world related to principles found in Scripture. Colonel Hal Moore understood leadership and the tactics of war, and that all began with knowing your enemy.
In Ephesians 6:11 – Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
An event-minded believer will believe that just putting on the full armour of God is enough to stand successfully against the devil’s schemes. However, it’s also important to know his schemes. How he operates, so we can effectively and efficiently use our armour and defeat his advances.
The word schemes, literally translated means ‘with a road,’ which makes no sense grammatically but the picture behind this, is that of a traveller on a road, heading towards a decided upon destination. The Greek word for schemes is methodos, from which we get our word method. Just as the enemy that Mel Gibson’s character was facing had methods of engagement, strategy and tactics which Gibson needed to know and understand. So too, do we as sons of our father. Who incidentally, is described as “a man of war!” Ex 15:3
In fact, we are commanded not to be ignorant of his schemes, 2 Co2:11. And this verse gives us an important truth about the devil’s strategy – that Satan would gain an advantage over us. Eph 4:27 builds us a clearer picture of what the scheme of the devil is – give no place to the devil. The word place, is topos and is about giving space or room to another. Interestingly, topos is also relegated to maps or areas i.e. topography! Eph 6:13 commands us to stand your ground which again speaks of an area we have dominion and authority over.
This ground, this area he is after, is our HQ and the Bible calls it our mind or intellect.
This truth is gleaned from the use of the word for schemes in 2 Cor 2:11 is noemata which is s form of the word nous which describes the mind or intellect. The devil’s destination is our minds, our HQ in this war we face and he has a threefold purpose, which Jesus revealed –
the thief comes to rob, steal and destroy. Jn 10:9 In a word destruction!
Whoever captures our HQ, will preside over our imaginations, thoughts and emotions and these will fill our hearts and begin to overflow and flood our lives! He cannot do this just to anyone he likes because he is like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Pet 5:8. Interestingly, the context of this verse is about strong negative emotions and attitudes of mind and the word for devour, speaks of the devil’s desire to so frighten a person in mind and emotion, that he can simply lick them up, as a lion would do after the kill.
There is a war on and we do have a HQ, that we need to defend and protect and the how of this, is the content of my next blog.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last for ever. 1 Cor 9:25
Don’t you just hate the word ‘everyone!’
Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. v 27
I want to be the champion!
No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
A walker as he entered a new village asked a question of an old man leaning on the village sign: “Any great people been born here? Nope, said the old man. Only babies!!!
‘Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. Acts 20:32
What I am saying is that as long as an heir is under age, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. Gal 4:1
You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:2a-3
For Abraham is was over twenty yearsFor Joseph around seventeenFor David over twentyFor Mary around sixteenEven Jesus had around thirty years!
Daniel outshone all the ministers and satraps because an extraordinary spirit was in him, and the king considered setting him over the entire kingdom. Dan 6:3 NASB
He outshone the competition!
Is grace dormant in us?Is grace buried under the soil of our wrong motives?what’s our attitude to road work and rituals?
It’s not rituals vs rewards but ritual equals rewards!
“There is always a blessing to be had from the word therefore in the Bible. It makes us stop and look back to the preceding cause before we move on to the ensuing effect!” Moyter on Philippians
How many times have you had to go back before you can proceed and tick the box that says ” I have read the terms and conditions?”
I love it when I understand the T&C’s, start them and the withdrawal is immediately and literally deposited into my account!
“we do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience [endurance] inherit what has been promised.” NIV
Between, I believe and I receive, and there it is, there is always a gap! Even a nano second is a gap!
He gave them capacity that matched the command!
a ‘sufficiency to meet any deficit,’ we are experiencing.
through faith and endurance will shall inherit what has been promised!
- Is the season here?
- Is now the time?
The calendar provides us with both the time and the season we are in but it cannot inform us of what season and time we are in as ‘intentional growers!’
Eccl 3:1 tell us – There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
I wonder if it is the season and the time; for a Shammah spirit to rise up within us?
There are not many verses given to this character Father used; nevertheless, there are two verses that reveal his character and spirit, which in turn, may help us, who have decided to become intentional growers.
Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them. 12 But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory. 2 Sam 23:11-12
Although not directly mentioned; season and time are within these verses.
- Harvest season – field full of lentils
- Raiding season – Philistines banded together
- Fleeing season – Israel ran away
This narrative as the feel of the magnificent seven about it, I’m humming the tune in my head as I write. I don’t know if Shammah looked liked Yul Brynner but these two characters had the same spirit –
It’s the time and the season to make a stand.
- What have we been putting up with?
- What do we keep fleeing from?
- Who keeps raiding what’s being cultivated?
These questions, if honestly answered, will reveal the season we are in and what it is time for!
I entitled this blog ‘Agri-gression’ because agriculture is about growing stuff and sometimes when we are growing stuff, there are times we need to be aggressive against those who seek to steal the potential within the field!
We are His field. 1 Cor 3:9
These two verses in second Samuel twenty three, give us a glimpse of Satan’s strategy: the thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. Jn 10:10
- The crop within the field was for the benefit of others
- The potential within us is also for the benefit of others
It does not belong to the thief but he will keep taking it, season upon season, time after time, until someone takes a stand and gets aggressive about the loss of potential!
Seasonal and generational Groundhog Day will continue until the ‘Shammah’s show up!
The Father wanted to break this seasonal and potentially generational habit within His people, all He needed was someone who was fed up with the status quo and had the courage to make a stand. These were on Shammah’s CV, he offered them and Father did the rest: and the Lord brought about a great victory.
There is a time for ‘Agri-gression, a time to go on the offensive regarding the potential we have been given by our Father but if we still need to be persuaded; then think about these amazing words from Dr Miles Munroe * –
The destruction of a seed is in essence the termination of a forest!
- Satan fears the potential Father has given us
- He knows the results that come from a life that yields itself to Father’s power
All stories have a villain who continues in his ways, until someone puts him in his place and therein changes the plot and storyline. Shammah had come to the place of saying enough is enough and he made a stand.
Are we there?
My Father speaks to me through many things and recently it was through a familiar track from the 1979 Mod revival. I took part in this revival even buying a demob suit (green) from Flittermans for a few quid. (At the time thought I looked cool!!)
The track was ‘Time for Action, the band Secret Affair, it became an anthem.
- It was great song
- It contained a great thought
- I knew what Father was saying – It’s time for action!
Is it time for us to act against anything that is trying to take what we are growing and cultivating?
Our potential IS a battleground as well as a producing field
Is it time for aggression, forceful action but not against people, for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. Eph 6:12 but against mindsets, attitudes, strongholds, generational passivity etc…
Passivity is an ineffective pest control. See Proverbs 24:30-34
The expression on Lego Shammah’s face says it all –
- The season is here!
- It’s now time for action!
*Page five Maximising Your Potential