FULLY ALIVE!

Your life will be as bright as the noonday sun. Job 11:17


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Lion Killing, Part 2

Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, performed great exploits. He struck down Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion.  And he struck down an Egyptian who was five cubits tall. Although the Egyptian had a spear like a weaver’s rod in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear.  Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty warriors.  He was held in greater honor than any of the Thirty, but he was not included among the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard. 1 Chronicles 11:22-25 (NASB)

The Scripture says, “He…went…and killed a lion.”

So, the question I left you with was, “How?” “How do you kill a lion in a pit on a snowy day?” “How do you kill your lion?”

You fight.

Sorry. I’m sure you thought I would be sharing a secret.

We know that Benaiah won because the Scriptures tell us. But they do not reveal the details. Sometimes I just hate it when the Scriptures seem to skip over some important detail, but then I stop and think. “God had a reason why.” Proverbs 25:2 tells us, “The glory of God is to conceal a thing, but the glory of kings is to search it out.”

So, while we still do not know all the details, we can be sure that Benaiah fought. He fought his lion. He didn’t simply lie down in the pit, cross his fingers, close his eyes and hope for the best. As a matter of fact, look back at Verse 22 and you will “search out” a clue.

Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, performed great exploits. He struck down Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. It seems that Benaiah wasn’t drug into the pit. He didn’t fall into the pit. Nobody pushed him into the pit. He went down. He went after his lion. He was determined to take it out! Easy? Absolutely not; it was a lion!

Turn the tables on your lion, the Devil, who prowls seeking to devour. He thinks he has you on the run. Like, Benaiah, flip the script and put him on the run. In an old joke, a Sunday School teacher asks her class what to do when Satan knocks at your door. A little girl responded, “I send Jesus to answer the door.” Ahh, out of the mouths of babes!

To defeat Satan we must turn to God (Matthew 6:13). To resist the Devil, we must submit to God (James 4:7). To stand against the Devil, we must put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-11) and arm ourselves with the greatest weapon, the Word of God (Matthew 4:1-11).

Winston Churchill, rallying troops and indeed an entire nation, during World War II said, “You ask, “What is our policy?” I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and all the strength that God can give us…You ask, “What is our aim?” I can answer in one word: Victory…at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be… We shall go on to the end…we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be; we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.  Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in… Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

What enemy is greater than the Devil, our lion? None! We must, therefore, fight – in the fields, in the streets, in the pits on snowy days. Never give in. Never give in!


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What’s In Your Suitcase?

For years my work required me to travel. I remember leaving home once at the end of June and not returning until just a couple days shy of a month later.  Now some would say traveling for 30 days is not that much and, indeed, I have enjoyed vacations longer than that, but this particular trip was actually several trips all combined into one long jaunt.  Over the course of the 30 days I had to attend formal events, casual events, active events, business events, inside events, outside events and everything else you could imagine WITHOUT being able to return home between events.  Now add the fact that I traveled via airplane and train and was thus governed by two sets of travel restrictions and regulations relevant to my luggage not to mention the fact that I was a woman traveling alone.  Who wants to try to navigate with a ton of luggage?  Not me!  Two bags max, preferably one!

Bottom line, I had to really think through packing my suitcases.

When I travel by car, I take a lot of stuff.  I can pack outfits in a variety of colors.  I can pack extra shoes and handbags.  I even sometimes take my own pillows.  When I travel by train or air I have to be cognizant of the luggage size and weight restrictions.  I also have to consider rolling that luggage, monitoring that luggage, lifting that luggage, etc.  You want to keep it simple.  You want to keep it light.  You want to keep it at minimum.

But a girl needs a lot of stuff!  You have to be prepared for the what-ifs.  What if I snag my pantyhose?  Got to have extras.  What if my hair flops?  Got to have a curling iron.  What if my shoe strap breaks?  Better have an extra pair.  What if the hotel catches on fire in the middle of the night? Yes, pack pajamas, a robe and slippers! (Yes, I actually think about the hotel catching fire in the middle of the night.)  What if the meeting space is chilly?  Be safe, pack a jacket.  I might get hungry in the middle of the night.  Room service is expensive and hotels don’t always have snack machines any more.  Hmm.  Pack some Nabs.  (Go here if you don’t know what a Nab is:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lance_Inc.  Smile.)

Through the years I have come to pride myself as somewhat of a packing expert.  I can travel light yet seem to have all that I need.  So once I had the bright idea to “kidnap” my friend for a weekend away.  I picked him up from his office and shared part of my plan with him once he was in the car. “I’ve taken care of everything,” I told him.  “I packed for you.”  He was amazed.  Especially when we got to our destination and he opened that suitcase!

That’s how life is for us.  Our life suitcase is packed each night for the next day.  We go out with a destination in mind carrying a bag with unknown contents.  Sometimes there is tragedy and heartache in that bag.  Other times there might be confusion or anxiety.  And sometimes there’s pure joy.  But we never know.

So as a packing expert I’ve learned to keep certain things ALWAYS packed and at the ready.  My luggage (and I have multiple sets) is never empty.  Certain toiletries, lingerie and first aid items are always packed as is a good book.  Pantyhose, socks and shower shoes are always waiting for me.  When I am ready to go on a trip, I simply add the items unique to the given trip.  That’s a good tip for travelers, and that is a good tip for life.

James 4:14 (NASB) says, “…you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.”  You don’t know what will be in that suitcase when you open it.  Make sure, then, that you have packed and have at the ready your own bag of essentials – prayer, faith, Scripture internalization, songs of praise, self-control, love…

Bon Voyage!