What does it mean to be a Man of God ? How does a Man of God show valor, bravery and decisiveness even in the toughest situations ? These are questions that I've asked myself since becoming a Christian. Most people know the old testament for it's big battles, family feuds and stories of otherworldly creatures; but the old testament is also an invaluable resource on gaining wisdom for everyday life as well as a stunning and vivid inside look at who Jesus is and why he is so needed.
In the books First Kings, Second Samuel and First Chronicles we learn of a very important man who would go on to become body guard to Israel's first king, David. Benaiah's story shows us the characteristics that set him apart from the rest of the men and what it takes to have lion killing courage.
David had a group of around 400 Mighty Men. Each of them, born in an era where warfare was common for the youth, causing these men to be fearless and valiant warriors. 1 Chronicles would tell us that “their faces were like the faces of lions”, brave and always ready for battle. However, there was only one other warrior that we know of - other than King David himself - who had slayed a giant and killed a lion with his bare hands. To no one’s surprise, this man was appointed and trusted with the safety of the King as his Chief bodyguard. This man was Benaiah son of Jehoiada. Benaiah was one of the thirty commanders of various divisions in King David’s army.
What’s your lion today? What’s the worst situation to be in, the thing you dread? Is it unemployment, lack of money, abuse from a boss, a broken or breaking marriage, failure, abused trust from one you love, temptation, addiction, loss, loneliness, or ill-health? Maybe you can instantly identify something in your life. Perhaps you feel as if you’re already stuck in a pit with no way out, finding it difficult to keep standing, and it’s so hard to see a way out. If so, take heart!
Jehoiada (his father) means ‘God knows’. Benaiah means ‘God builds’. The secret of Benaiah was that God knew him and God built him. God also built you, child of God. In Christ we’re to be men and women of valor. At times we need to stand firm and face our enemy. Other times we need to confront our enemy and attack! We need to bring the battle to the enemy, just as young David did to Goliath (he ran at him – the last thing Goliath expected).
Say to your lion, the situation you’ve dreaded, “You’re going down! You won’t wreck my life, my family, my home, my future! I’ll succeed because God knows my situation, and God builds me and God will defeat you through me!” Instead of worrying about the lion, the snow and the pit, face it head on, and don’t tiptoe past it anymore. Go into that snowy pit and face your worst fears.
Don’t slink past the enemy again, hoping he won’t spot you and turn on you! Take the fight to him! You’re his worst fears, not the other way around. He’s trapped in the pit with you! The slippery ground and difficult visibility hinders him! He’s the one at the disadvantage – that’s what Benaiah saw. Can you see it? Today, rise up and realize that, in Christ, you’re well able to overcome your lion. You’re a Benaiah – a man or woman of valor that God’s building and strengthening. Focus on your victory, not on the possibility of defeat. When you aim at a target – what do you aim at? The outer circle, vaguely hoping to hit the target? No! You aim at the bullseye! Focus on the victory you’re going to have in Christ, and defeat your lion, pit or no pit, snow or no snow!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know I’m weary. For so long I’ve focused on being trapped by the enemy. I’ve been allowing him, through others or that situation I’m now facing, to harass me. Today I choose to say “No more!” I’ll take the battle to the enemy, and, in Christ, I’ll overcome, because ‘greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world’. In and through Your mighty Name, Lord Jesus! Amen.