When I was six I got mad at my mother. I walked out the front door as I said to her, “I’m leaving and I’m never coming back.”
I’m not quite sure where I thought I was going, how I would take care of myself or what I would eat. But I certainly wanted to make a point. Funny thing was she let me go. I even remember her saying, “Good bye.”
At first I walked down the sidewalk and around the corner stomping my feet with my arms folded, pouting and mumbling my disgust. However, by the time I got to the other side of the block I guess I had cooled down a bit because I didn’t cross the street and keep going. Apparently by then I had mentally reinserted myself back under my mother’s authority because I told myself, “If I cross the street I’ll be punished.” So I kept walking around the block.
By the time I had reached my block’s three quarter mark I was skipping, playing with sticks and kicking stones. When I arrived back home I walked in the front door of our house and with a light heart said, “Hi Mom,” as I passed her in the living room and scampered up the stairs to my bedroom. We never spoke of it again.
There are a lot of good reasons to leave and a lot of things to run away from. We can run away from spouses, jobs, kids, work, callings, friends, responsibilities, God, commitments and promises. And people do.
Jesus had the most difficult responsibility before Him the world has ever seen and had better reasons than any of us for quitting. And He too was tempted to run as we are.
He said, “O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Never-the-less not as I will but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39) But as you know He stayed the course.
You may say…But Jesus’ mission was to save the world. The little things I run from don’t matter nearly as much.
Shammah was a soldier in King David’s army. One day in a battle, he found himself in the middle of a field of lentils. The enemy was pressing down on him when something came over him. He became indignant and determined in His heart that the enemy was not going to take even one more square inch of territory from the Lord. He looked around the field of beans he was standing in and said, perhaps right out loud, “No! You can’t have even this field of beans. This is the Lord’s property.”
The Spirit of God came upon him and he fought back the enemy. Other soldiers saw him, and inspired by his spirit and courage, joined the fight and together they won a great victory over the enemy that day.
When David saw the spirit of this man he gave Shammah the distinction of being one of the top three soldiers in his entire army and was called One of David’s Three Mighty Men. (I Chronicles 11:12-14) It was like being awarded the Medal of Honor.
You may think your areas of life aren’t of great importance…that to not follow through with a responsibility or a promise, or a spouse, or a job, or a friend, or your kids, will be OK. There will always be another time, another friend, another chance, another job.
But whatever is yours is God’s territory. He has probably placed this thing or person in your life for a reason. He wants us to defend it as though it was the most important piece of property in the world. And it is…because it is the Lord’s. If we resist the temptation to run away, and stay to fight, God is poised to give us victory, and with that victory proclaim us as one of His Mighty Warriors.