Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook, Or snare his tongue with a line which you lower? Can you put a reed through his nose, Or pierce his jaw with a hook? Will he make many supplications to you? Will he speak softly to you? Will he make a covenant with you? Will you take him as a servant forever? Will you play with him as with a bird, Or will you leash him for your maidens? Will your companions make a banquet of him? Will they apportion him among the merchants? Can you fill his skin with harpoons, Or his head with fishing spears? Lay your hand on him; Remember the battle – Do no more. Job 41:1-8
There are lovers, and there are fighters. As a firstborn, I came out swinging, so fighter was already decreed. This is my mantle.
When you’re marked as a warrior, you contend whether you feel like it or not. You engage combat no matter what the odds. It’s just in your DNA. Over time, not only skill with weaponry and the strategy of warfare, but the wisdom of when, and how, to engage the campaign is something learned. It’s a long and arduous tutorship, full of bashing and bruising, and occasionally even a fatal, agonizing piercing. There are plenty of critics in the wings, pointing out to you your inadequacies, rubbing your nose in your defeats. The only hope is to keep your eye on Adonai, Captain of the Host, or you’ll give up and hide with the baggage long before its all over.
When you pick up the sword of faith, you enter the ancient conflict against the scorners, the haters, the contemptuous, and the downright vicious. Ol’ Sloe Foot has plenty of minions. Treachery of unbelief, deceit and deception is always underfoot. Family and clan are not the valiant supporters you might hope for. Even friends can be dubious fellow-soldiers in the thick of the fray. Watch out for the hidden, but perilous, dangers masquerading under religious mantles: prejudice, tradition, chauvinism, jealousy, lust for power and control. But if you’re a warrior you simply contend, and keep on contending.
Being a woman anointed for ministry in the Church exposes you to mortal combat, no matter how pacifist your heart is. God help you if you’ve no protection of a husband, to boot. You scrap for every inch of ground you take, especially if your giftings are front line for worship or teaching. Barely had I mastered that Behemoth campaign when the Lord bumped me up to the big leagues.
For five long and gruelling years, I have contended with the Leviathan of Publishing. Through authorship, my website, blogging and recording I have duelled fiercely with this stronghold of intimidation and exclusivity, to no apparent breakthrough. Apparently these days, you have to be a social media mogul to conquer the high places. It doesn’t seem to matter what you have to say, only followers to listen. I tell you frankly that it has taxed all of my strength, creativity, resolve and obedience.
It’s utterly perplexing why the Lord calls you into certain campaigns that seem not only destined for failure, but costly defeat; embarrassment, humiliation, even the death of something precious. It’s just one of those Lazarus conundrums you have to survive all the way through to witness victory emerge from the tomb. It’s brutal, but true, that sometimes, the warrior is sacrificed that the greater good might advance. Your only armor is faithful and tenacious obedience.
Yesterday, this passage from Job 41 leapt off the page at me. In the past, it has been the shorthand for the Lord informing me that my engagement in a particular warfare was complete. Those three words “Do no more” hold a world of release. He has now taken my conflict up Himself, and my rest has come.
My publishing campaign is closing rapidly. To that end, I will not be continuing my blogging on a regular basis. As inspiration strikes, I may post, but very sporadically. Please stand in prayer with me, that I will have wisdom to know whether to continue the website, or shut it down, when it comes up for renewal in June.
To those of you who have warred faithfully beside me, I thank you. Beyond words, I am grateful. When I was ready to throw in the towel, somehow, your encouragement reached me in the nick of time. I pray this warfare of wisdom has not been in vain, and you have been blessed.
Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins. Isaiah 40:2
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