When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. Deuteronomy 20:1
The fitness world has coined a new phrase, maybe you’ve heard it? Strong is the new skinny.
Blech… I say LOVE IS THE NEW STRONG!
Today our advent countdown, reflecting on the names Isaiah prophesies the Messiah to be, continues!
Today- “Might Warrior”
If I say the name Brian Shaw what comes to mind? If you know the name, probably lots of iron and chalk to start. Brian Shaw is the world’s strongest man for 2013. You’ve seen those crazy, strong-man contests. Brian Shaw’s deadlift was 975 lbs in the 2013 World’s Strongest Man Competition. That’s freaky-strong. The word “dead” in the same sentence with 975 lbs is about right.
If I say the name Jesus, what comes to mind? A warrior who rides donkeys. A freedom-fighter who tells us to put away our swords. And a man who will flip tables for the things that really matter.
So I ask you; who’s stronger?
Although the word strong evokes images of popping muscles, barrel-tossing and car-lifting like Superman, strength is summed up in the ability to get something done.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. – Psalm 20:7
Our God, Emanuel, is the Mighty Warrior. He is the one who is able to provide and protect us far beyond our best human efforts.
Over the years I have come to recognize that spiritually blind people (which I can still be, given my rebellious, stubborn heart) are naked, ashamed, and afraid. They crave protection, provision, and acquisition. They put their hope in the strength (ability) of the following 3 things, of which none are fireproof.
· THE BODY: The ability to get faster, stronger, and leaner through discipline and focus. Unfortunately, that is like building something on sand. It’s failing. Slipping away. Brian Shaw will be older tomorrow than he is today. Then what?
· THE MIND: Intelligence and knowledge-gaining. A study reported by The New Yorker in 2012 titled “Why Smart People Are Stupid” found that the more a person knows, the less they actually know. Intelligent people form biases based on what they know, and as a result, form quick assumptions about things. When people who have put their hope in their intelligence do make mistakes, they asses their bad choices with elaborate introspection, searching for reasons why. In short…they get stuck on themselves. When the knowledge they stand on turns to quicksand, they start grasping. Blaming and lashing out at others or falling into personal despair are the go-to’s for when intelligence fails to protect us. When the stock market crashes, or 401k’s get suddenly drained by poor business decisions, the nakedness, shame and fear of the intelligent shows up. People fall into deep depressions and/or have suicidal tendencies and God forbid, take the bait and jump.
· THE STUFF: The things we think we have, have no ability to protect us. Below is a picture of King Tut’s throne.
He’s dead. Nuff said.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Brian Shaw has nothing on Jesus, mighty God, our mighty warrior. Brian Shaw, on his best day, would be crushed to dust under the weight of a thimble-sized amount God’s glory.
So shout the Good News! God, the mighty, awesome, One and only God, is with us!
His body was beaten so mine could be healed. He now lives inside me, in hot pursuit of the things that threaten to kill my abundant life.
His beautiful mind that contains all knowledge and wisdom are given to me through the power of the Holy Spirit.
All that I possess, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can never be stolen from me. I WILL take it with me when I die.
Our Strong Man wins!