Memo 1022: Fight LIke a Deer
The last two weeks, we have looked at several references to deer in the Old Testament, and looked at their characteristics that were to be part of any believer's faith repertoire. The first reference was about speed and agility as we carry out our God-assigned purpose. The second was about thirsting for the Lord as a deer would thirst for water, requiring a drink regularly to replenish due to an active faith lifestyle. This week, we will look at our third reference found in both 2 Samuel 22 and Psalm 18, and that reference is to the deer as a fighter. You didn't know that deer fight? Well, then consider yourself about to be educated on the subject.
TRAINED FOR WAR
Psalm 18 is actually first found in its entirety in 2 Samuel 22, where this introduction is included: "David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul" (2 Samuel 22:1). The same heading in the Psalm 18 heading. The context for the deer reference in this psalm is found in verses 32 to 36:
It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way.
I exaggerated a bit in my opening paragraph, for deer are not especially known for their fighting. David used the simile of a deer to describe his sure-footed ways in battle, a situation in which you do not want to stumble and fall so your enemy can take advantage of your vulnerable position. Just like David, God wants us to battle, but our battle takes place first and foremost in our minds. Paul wrote,
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
A MIND WAR
When you have a thought, you can dwell on that thought until it becomes so embedded that it becomes a way of life for you, something from which you will not deviate or even consider something that seems to contradict it. Let's use a common saying that isn't quite true, but sounds true: "God helps those who help themselves." When people believe that, it can become such a stronghold that they refuse to allow or wait for God to do anything for them, choosing instead to do it for themselves. Another stronghold can be "I must wait on the Lord," which then becomes an excuse for having no self-initiative since it is God's responsibility to direct a believer in all things. Once those ideas take hold in a mind, they can become strongholds that must be forcibly removed.
You have some thoughts that are holding you back in pursuing your purpose and being creative. You may have a stronghold that you don't travel well, and as a result, you don't travel at all. You may have a stronghold that you are too old to learn or too young to be used by God, and as a result you don't take steps to try and fulfill your purpose. The point of all this is that you are to be as active and energetic as a deer in fighting the thoughts that are holding you back, and replacing them with thoughts that will serve to further God's purpose in your life.
Your mind is the battleground where the outcome will either empower or hinder you from effectively serving the Lord. It's time that you stopped accepting your business-as-usual thinking, and challenged your thoughts to see if they are consistent with God's standards and conducive to action. If they are not, then God expects you to fight with the strength, grace, and speed of a deer. Then and only then will you be able to achieve the great things God has in mind for you that your own mind can either advance or oppose. Have a blessed week!