Walking by Faith Alone

Archive for October 2011

Becoming A Skillful Warrior

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“One man in a field is not a warrior.”  -Russian Proverb

Although we’d like it to be this way…with sword drawn and graceful maneuvers, showing our agility and flexibility to those around as we glide through battles with no opponent…it isn’t. From the increasing cheers of the crowd, our greatness would be legendary – fearless, skilled, full of energy, undeniably unbeatable – but what would we gain from fighting the wind?

King David wrote in Psalm 144:1-15 a prayer to God, acknowledging that life is a battlefield. The only way we learn to fight is in battle. It cannot be practiced, though practicing makes our swords sharper. It cannot be studied, though studying gives us an edge over our opponents. We only know that we are warriors after fighting the battle – when we lose we learn how to win the next time. And when we win, we equip ourselves for an even tougher battle in the future.

My son Bo is an athlete. In high school he divided his time between football and swimming, with a love for both. His work ethic is tremendous –  you will never see him quit on anything. He played Div 1 Football for 2 years on the collegiate level before switching to Div 1 swimming on a collegiate level. I love athletes because they teach us about life. From football games to swim meets, I have watched young men and women put their skills and hard work on the line time and time again in triumphant and defeat but the spirit within them rejoices. There is a will that stands apart from the rest of us to keep pushing, keep going, no matter the pain, in order to gain the prize at the end.

A dear friend of mine battled cancer. Her driving force was her son who is an athlete as well. She would see him fighting to win, to excel, through pain and fatigue. It inspired her to keep pressing forward and not allow the disease to over-take her. As a volunteer at a rape crisis center, I talk with women who confess that the will to survive came during the rape. Something within appeared in their hearts which proclaimed the strength to not only endure but win at all costs. There are greater forces surrounding us then we realize.

Job said it best after losing all that he had when he proclaimed, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” From the battle, Job realized the greatness of God and was rewarded and restored.

The only way we become skilled warriors is in the battlefield, the battlefield of life. It seems cruel in a way that God puts us in tough situations in order for us to learn to pray, to see evil for what it truly is, and to realize His promises are real. Every battle you fight has a reason and purpose behind it. Maybe it is a consequence of something you have done to harm yourself or another… maybe it is a result of actions from other people… maybe you are not responsible at all for what you are living through. The truth behind the difficulties we encounter, the struggles, the obstacles, the heartaches is God will not only get us through it but will use it to better our lives and the lives of others if we let Him.

Psalm 144:1 “Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.”

Your God is training you to be the person He needs you to be. Fight as an athlete with the will of a thousand soldiers. Do not let the enemy of your soul bring doubt of your ability to win. Know that in the end, the victory is of the Lord and He will use it to better your life. Rejoice that the training you are receiving strengthens you for God’s greater purpose in your life. And through it all, remember, praise, honor, and glory be to Him.

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

October 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm