I have been reading this week in 2 Samuel about David, his mighty men, and the exploits that God accomplished through them. In chapter 23 the phrase ‘and the LORD brought about a great victory’ is repeated numerous times indicating that these men found themselves in the midst of a daily battle and God delivered them often. As I read through these chapters, I was reminded of a conversation that I actually had just a few hours earlier over a tasty Cracker Barrel breakfast. My friend and I were talking about how frequently we talk about pastors and their ministry, but neglect the fact that every follower of Christ has a ministry whether that is to their home, school, office, or neighborhood.
David’s mighty men are unsung heroes, rarely grapping the headlines but often faithfully serving and participating in God’s amazing victories. The same is not always true today. The ‘mighty men’ grapping the lion share of headlines in Christian circles in 2009 are preachers, pastors and others in ‘ministry’ positions. Some of us almost unconsciously default to these roles when talking about God’s kingdom impact, but this has more to do with our experience than it does the story of Scripture. In seeking to prove my point, I casually flipped through books of the Bible and chapters within those books and here are some of the positions held by heroes of the Bible: mother, warrior, politician, writer, servant, artist, and many, many more.
The fact is being a ‘mighty man’ or woman of God has little to do with position and everything to do with obedience, little to do with our ability and everything to do with the power of God. What would our cities look like, what would our neighbors think, what would happen in our churches…if the ‘mighty people of God’ were the coaches, the teachers, the politicians, entertainers, students, and stay at home moms… What if we saw a generation rise up living in such a way that ‘the LORD brought about a great victory’ day after day, in our communities, in our schools, and in our churches.
We are engaged in warfare and if the only front we engage is Sunday morning ministry then we will continue to lose battles. Every man and woman, boy and girl who is saved has been drafted into service, and in the words of Patty Smith, needs to wake up singing ‘I am the warrior’.
I pray that these words from Joab would fill us with courage and spur us on to lay a smackdown for God’s glory…
2 Samuel 10:12 Be strong and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The LORD will do what is good in is sight.