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Empty Handed

Sep 25, 2012

The boys had a fight yesterday.

A pretend one. . but even the imaginary ones start looking and sounding like all out war after your kids get to be a certain size. I’m always amazed at how wrestling matches between two youngin’s can be rowdy and, from my perspective, painful. Yet somehow my boys call this “fun”. Is this with all chidren or just boys like mine – ages 5 to.. . well, manhood?It turns out many spiritual lessons can be learned while standing on the side lines refereeing (my preferred positioning). So the other day while two of my bare chested sons flexed their barely-there biceps and slammed their bodies into each others time after time, I noticed that one kept trying to reach for a random ribbon that had been left on the floor underneath the couch. Not sure how it got there but this black piece of fabric caught his eye and he spent a large amount of trying to nab it while simultaneously warding off his attacker.Finally, as the match came to an end, he got to it. Secretly clutching it in his hands, he sat exhausted on the sofa and quickly tucked it down into his shorts for safe keeping while his brother ran off for a glass of water.“I’m going to use this when he comes back, mom! Not sure how, but I know that it’s going to help me win next time!”I giggled at his seriousness but then carefully considered his combat exit strategy: never leave a battle empty handed. This must have been what King David and his elders had in mind when they came out of battle. They’d been commanded by God to take the spoils of war as their own after He gave them victory and then to use it specifically:They dedicated part of the spoil won in battles to repair the house of the Lord. – 1 Chronicles 26:27Obtaining the booty from the battle had been a long and costly process and yet they, like my son, hadn’t spent all that effort and then come back with nothing to show for their hard work. They had emerged from the war with something of value for themselves. 

When we come out of spiritual warfare – a tangle with the enemy that leaves us breathless –  the Lord intends for us to come forth with our arms full of spiritual treasure – maturity, growth, character development and other lessons learned that are our constant companions from that day forward.

Beyond that, like with David’s treasure, we should see enhancements to the Kingdom of God take shape as a result of what we’ve gleaned. His purposes should be served.His Kingdom should be enriched.His people should be edified.His plans should be established.

All because His people walk out of the war a little weary from the wear but not. . .empty handed.What have you brought out of a life battle that has changed you and edified others?