Our rock teaches the art of warfare – Part 8
David was acclaimed all over Israel as a warrior. When the whole army of Israel could not stand up against Goliath, he heroically took down the giant without any sword, cutting off the giant’s neck with his sword. Immediately, women composed and sang praises about his prowess. He defeated the Philistines at various battles. In Psalm 144: 1, DAVID ascribes his expertise in warfare to the Rock. He says, “Blessed be the LORD my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle—” (Psalms 144:1 NKJV). Also see Psalm 18:34,39.
When did God train DAVID in the art of warfare? He was trained in the wilderness, while taking care of his father’s flock. Each battle with the Philistines was a training ground, which improved his dexterity in warfare. Those days, there were no formal military schools. Warriors are made out of the rigours of warfare. The day-to-day struggles the Christian faces are the training ground that equips him for the higher battles of life. We must never underestimate our life experiences. Our daily experiences are training ground for the skills we acquire in warfare.
Paul commands us to fight the fight of faith. “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (I Timothy 6:12 NKJV).
But he also reminds us that our warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against unseen powers of darkness. To fight in this battle successfully, he says we should put on the whole armour of God. “Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11 NKJV).
David testified that he fought many battles. Those were his training grounds. He stated in Psalm 55: 18, “He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, For there were many against me.” He also admitted that God was his covering during the numerous battles he fought. “O Sovereign Lord, the strong one who rescued me, you protected me on the day of battle” (Psalms 140:7 NKJV).
Those who complain and deliberately shun the daily challenges of life indirectly miss out on God’s training meant for them. Our daily engagements are the crucible, where we acquire the skills of warfare. As the Scriptures say, tribulations produce perseverance, which in turn, produces character and hope. A soldier of Christ must have the steely qualities of endurance, ruggedness and perseverance. These qualities are developed with time in tested conditions of warfare. “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10 NKJV).
Every child of God has the privilege of mentorship, when God ingrains into him the art of spiritual warfare. Often, God does this through the experiences He allows us to pass through in life. Those experiences are not accidental, but divine appointments meant for our training. The art of grooming is a life-long experience and those who patiently and successfully go through the tutelage imbibe the likeness of Christ. They can, at the end of it, say with David, “Blessed be the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle—” (Psalms 144:1 NKLV)
Those who want to learn the art of warfare must submit themselves to the disciplines of the Holy Spirit. Only God can teach His soldiers the art of spiritual warfare.
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