The story of God using Ehud to deliver the Israelites (see Judges 3) instructs us on a solid biblical response to our spiritual enemies and ongoing struggles with sin.
1) Be aggressive.
Take aggressive and active stance, participating with the work of Christ in our life. In Colossians 3:1-9 Paul tells us to “Put off things”, removing things of the enemy from our lives that keep us from the race God has for us (Heb. 12:1ff). Plunge the knife into the belly and leave it there.
What is it in your list of areas in your life that you want to plunge the knife into? First clearly identify it (immorality, impurity, evil desire, greed, anger, wrath, malice, slander, abusive speech, telling lies, etc.). These things rob us of the life of God.
Don't be passive. If you become passive, consequences will run right over you. Passivity causes death.
2) Regain your perspective.
In Colossians 3: 1-4, Paul is saying, “This is who you are! This is your destiny.” Set your mind on this.
3) Be Courageous
Over and over God calls men to be courageous. Courage means to be battle-ready in spirit, to be vigorous. It's an active, not passive, word. It means to be vigilant, alert, poised to spring into action.
The word courage comes from the French word for "heart," and it means "to have heart." Courage is having the heart to obey God in the face of fear and self-preservation.
A person of courage
Years ago a man named Jay Rathman went hunting. He climbed the ledge on the slope of a rocky gorge and as he raised his head to look over the ledge above, he sensed something to the right of his face. A coiled rattlesnake struck with lightning speed just missing Rathman's ear. The 4-foot snake’s fangs got snagged in the neck of Rathman’s wool turtleneck sweater and the force of the strike caused it to land on his left shoulder. It then coiled around his neck. He grabbed it behind the head with his left hand and could feel the venom running down the skin of his neck. The rattles were making a furious racket.
He fell backward and slid head first down the steep slope, through brush and lava rocks, his rifle and binoculars bouncing beside him. As luck would have it, he said in describing this, "I ended up wedged between some rocks with my feet caught uphill from my head. I could barely move."
He got his right hand on the rifle and used it to disengage the fangs from his sweater, but the snake had enough leverage to strike again. "He made about eight attempts and managed to hit me with his nose just below my eye four times. I kept my face turned so that he couldn't get a good angle with his fangs, but it was very close. This chap and I were eyeball to eyeball and I found out that snakes don't blink. He had fangs like darning needles. I had to choke him to death. It was the only way out. I was afraid that with all the blood rushing to my head that I would pass out."
He tried to toss the dead snake aside, but couldn't let go. He had to pry his fingers from its neck. Rathman, 45 years old at the time, estimated the encounter with the snake took about 20 minutes. The game warden who met Rathman said, "Rathman walked toward me holding this string of rattles and said, with a sort of a grin on his face, I'd like to register a complaint about your wildlife program."
Get on the Offensive
Your enemy is overcome when you get on the offensive. We are to “put on” some things in our life (see Colossians 3:10-17).
Some things to put on (vs.10-14):
- heart of compassion
- bearing with one another
Some things to let happen; (vs.14-16):
- Let Christ peace rule your heart
- Let the word dwell in you
- Be with responsible community (v.16)
- Worship (v.16)
Like that rattlesnake, we are eyeball to eyeball with a spiritual enemy. Be offensive and ruthless in dealing with it. When I was 8 years old, three boys would beat me up and told me I couldn't fight back because my dad was a pastor. My dad told me to fight. To go on the offensive took courage; courage just to start and then something took over. Ehud was offensive. He had had enough.
Charles Barkley, who played basketball for the Philadelphia 76'ers, once said, "I'd wake up in Philadelphia, snow on the ground and I'd be ticked off all day long. I'd go into the game angry enough to win."
Are you angry over your sin, problems, addictions, & your stagnant spiritual life? Have you had enough of passivity? Have you had enough of not following through with commitments? Let’s plunge the knife into it.
What are you fighting? What is your enemy? Will you first release it to God? Would you partner with God in personal responsibility and see your enemies defeated? We are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us (Rom. 8:37)!