One-a-Day...for the Heart: Dread Champions
But the Lord is with me like a dread champion; therefore, my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will be utterly ashamed because they have failed, with an everlasting disgrace that will not be forgotten (Jeremiah 20:11 NASB). Each of us needs to know that we have Someone fighting for and defending us when trouble comes near and our world begins to shake beneath our feet.
In ages past, kings would choose one warrior from among their military ranks who superseded all other warriors in might, loyalty, bravery, and skill. That warrior was named the Dread Champion of the King. He consistently won battle after battle and was dreaded by the king's enemies. Opposing dread champions would face-off, one-on-one, and the battle winner would take all for the nation and king he represented.
David was the Dread Champion of Saul and the Lord, as he faced off with Goliath the Dread Champion of the Philistines. We know how well that battle turned out, for as David proclaimed to Goliath, "You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven's Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the battle, and He will give you to us!" (1 Samuel 17:45-47 NLT).
What courage and confidence! David knew his ability to win the battle rested in the Lord's strength and ability to conquer the enemy. He didn't want Saul's heavy, oversized armor or weapons to kill Goliath. He was confident in having his trusty little slingshot and a stone, for he knew the REAL weapon of destruction he possessed was the Name of the Lord of Heaven's Armies!
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, Philippians 4:13 reminds us. The Lord is our Dread Champion, and when we stand up to the Goliaths that attempt to bring turmoil and defeat in our lives, He will give us the courage, wisdom, and strength to confront our enemies. Our part is to remain in Christ and declare His authority over our enemies. Remember, our enemies are not people, as Ephesians 6:12 (NLT) points out: For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
David most likely wrote Psalm 118, and in verses 7-8 (MSG), he declared, God's my strong champion; I flick off my enemies like flies. Far better to take refuge in God than trust in people. When the power of God lives within us, we have the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, empowering us to defeat the devil and his demons and schemes. The Lord not only calls us, but He enables us to be dread champions in our sphere of influence today! Like David, we, too, possess the Name of the Lord of Heaven's Armies and can speak it strongly over situations in our lives.
As the world gets darker, the Lord is challenging and encouraging us to stand tall in the face of Goliath and become champions of the faith, feared and dreaded by the devil. Dread champions are warriors who walk in the fear of the Lord, understanding and using the authority given them by Jesus in Luke 10:19, "Behold, I have given you authority to walk on snakes and scorpions, and authority over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you." Dread champions effect deliverance, healings, signs, and miracles as they humbly allow the authority and power of God to flow through them.
On this day, God is assembling an Army of Dread Champions—mighty warriors who walk in the courage and confidence afforded them by the Name of the Lord of Heaven's Armies. Will you enlist?
© 2021, Chris Werre