"Braveheart Leadership"
"There's a difference between us. You think the people of this country exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom. And I go to make sure that they have it." -William Wallace, "Braveheart." (Mel Gibson)“Promotion- a Cup of Water.” The “Mighty Men” were King David's personal top 30 fighters, the special forces of Israel. Their name in Hebrew is “ghib-ore,” meaning “champion, chief, powerful," and they were Israel's super heroes! Each warrior had done many acts of bravery, but the “top three” were the greatest of all. There's a fascinating reason why they received the greatest promotion, but first here's a little back story:
1)Adino (whose name means “spear”) killed 800 men at one time with his spear.
2) Eleazar (meaning, “helper”) fought so hard in battle that his hand literally stuck to his sword.
3) Shammah was part of a group who was attacked by the Philistines. When everyone else fled, he stood in the middle of a field and defended it alone, and the Lord brought victory.


These deeds qualified them as Mighty Men, but the moment that set them apart as the “Top 3” was a matter of both fearless heroism and heart. During a time of war, David's home town of Bethlehem was controlled by the enemy Philistines and they had amassed their armies to attack Israel. On the brink of war and longing for a taste of home, the king remembered the well of his home town that was now on enemy-occupied soil. In the midst of this stressful moment, King David lamented,
“Oh that someone would give me a drink from the well of Bethlehem which is by the gate!”
Overhearing this wish from their king, these three warriors broke through the ranks and risked their lives to perform his simple desire-- they drew water from the well and brought their king a drink.


Overcome with emotion, King David refused to drink the water they brought. Instead, he poured it out on the ground, saying,
“Is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives?” Then he promoted them to his top three “special forces!”
Many other men did great acts of heroism, but these three stood apart. Those who risked their lives simply to please their king received the greatest respect. (2 Samuel 23:8-17) When we are first learning to hear the voice of God, He may have to speak to us a number of times in order to get our attention. We might have to wrestle with whether to obey Him or go our own way. However, this should change the more we grow in Him. It bothers me when I hear people who have been Christians for years tell me that they're “not sure” whether to obey God in certain areas or need a dozen confirmations before stepping out to obey, because it often means that they're not really taking Him seriously. Growth doesn't mean we won't struggle, but we should be growing in clarity and the ability to follow the Lord. This is why Christians are called “followers” of Christ!


Even further than simple obedience, I find this story fascinating because it reveals that the greatest warriors do not even need orders-- they simply “overhear” the heart of their king and go after it. “Your wish is my command” is the cry of their heart!


Sometimes we might think that big exploits impress God a lot. And they do! However, even the simple things mean so much to God. Jesus Himself said, “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is My disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” Matthew 10:42
So I challenge you to be quick to obey the prompting of the Lord, and sensitive to the thoughts of His heart even in the simple things. He sees it all. This is the way of swift promotion in His army, so that we can accomplish even more of His Kingdom on earth!

“Fall Upon the Sword.”
This saying normally describes an act of self-destruction, but there is one sword that is best wielded only after it pierces your heart. I created this picture based on scriptures that call the Word of God the “sword of the spirit” to help us understand how to use it.
I love when God speaks something that "hits home" and goes straight to the heart to bring clarity, comfort, correction, and truth. Sometimes His word is painful, because it reveals things we'd rather not look at and sometimes calls us to repent, but instead of leaving our heart crushed, it brings life and healing if we embrace it. In fact, our “old man" of pride, selfish ambition, and ego must die in order to walk in our calling. Some things we can't fully slay with any amount of “self talk”... because our words are not powerful enough. Christ's words bring us face-to-face with truth AND give us power to change. They make us warriors.
When the Apostle John saw Jesus in heaven, he related, “... and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and his countenance was like the sun shining in his strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at his feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me,
'Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last: I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys to Death and Hell.
'Write the things which you have seen...'” Revelation 1:16-19
The magnificent sight of Christ caused John to fall flat on his face like a dead man, but something life-changing happened after that. Jesus removed his fear, asserted His resurrection power and authority over death, and imparted the calling for John to write to the churches. Sometimes we need to “die” in order to receive our calling.
So I say, “Lord, let Your Sword fall and drive it deep into my heart. Do Your heart surgery that I may fully live and fulfill Your call. I will 'fall upon Your sword!'”

 

“Promotion- a Cup of Water.”

The “Mighty Men” were King David's personal top 30 fighters, the special forces of Israel. Their name in Hebrew is “ghib-ore,” meaning “champion, chief, powerful," and they were Israel's super heroes! Each warrior had done many acts of bravery, but the “top three” were the greatest of all. There's a fascinating reason why they received the greatest promotion, but first here's a little back story:

1)Adino (whose name means “spear”) killed 800 men at one time with his spear.

2) Eleazar (meaning, “helper”) fought so hard in battle that his hand literally stuck to his sword.

3) Shammah was part of a group who was attacked by the Philistines. When everyone else fled, he stood in the middle of a field and defended it alone, and the Lord brought victory.

These deeds qualified them as Mighty Men, but the moment that set them apart as the “Top 3” was a matter of both fearless heroism and heart. During a time of war, David's home town of Bethlehem was controlled by the enemy Philistines and they had amassed their armies to attack Israel. On the brink of war and longing for a taste of home, the king remembered the well of his home town that was now on enemy-occupied soil. In the midst of this stressful moment, King David lamented,
“Oh that someone would give me a drink from the well of Bethlehem which is by the gate!”
Overhearing this wish from their king, these three warriors broke through the ranks and risked their lives to perform his simple desire-- they drew water from the well and brought their king a drink.
Overcome with emotion, King David refused to drink the water they brought. Instead, he poured it out on the ground, saying,
“Is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives?” Then he promoted them to his top three “special forces!”
Many other men did great acts of heroism, but these three stood apart. Those who risked their lives simply to please their king received the greatest respect. (2 Samuel 23:8-17)

When we are first learning to hear the voice of God, He may have to speak to us a number of times in order to get our attention. We might have to wrestle with whether to obey Him or go our own way. However, this should change the more we grow in Him. It bothers me when I hear people who have been Christians for years tell me that they're “not sure” whether to obey God in certain areas or need a dozen confirmations before stepping out to obey, because it often means that they're not really taking Him seriously. Growth doesn't mean we won't struggle, but we should be growing in clarity and the ability to follow the Lord. This is why Christians are called “followers” of Christ!
Even further than simple obedience, I find this story fascinating because it reveals that the greatest warriors do not even need orders-- they simply “overhear” the heart of their king and go after it. “Your wish is my command” is the cry of their heart!

Sometimes we might think that big exploits impress God a lot. And they do! However, even the simple things mean so much to God. Jesus Himself said, “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is My disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” Matthew 10:42

So I challenge you to be quick to obey the prompting of the Lord, and sensitive to the thoughts of His heart even in the simple things. He sees it all. This is the way of swift promotion in His army, so that we can accomplish even more of His Kingdom on earth!

"Never leave an open wound."
In a battle, the enemy often looks for a vulnerable place to attack. Our emotional wounds become open targets as the enemy of our soul attempts to cripple and hinder God's plan for our lives. Being wounded and offended is an open door for the enemy- this is why forgiveness is so crucial!
In this picture, one soldier bandages another's wound. Sometime we ask God to heal us, and He chooses the human hands of a fellow soldier to help bind our wounds. The wounded soldier has her shield to the side, just as we need to let down our defenses long enough for people to actually help us.
"“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed." James 5:16a
Whether it was our fault or someone else's that cause the wound, it's still up to us to decide how to deal with it. Sin is dirty, and wounds of the heart still bleed, though unseen. White and clean, the bandage covers the wound and stops the bleeding to it can heal, just like Christ's mercy wraps around our wounds when we turn things over to Him.
The title of this piece is taken from a line in my film, "Spiritual Warfare 101." More at: www.RebeccaFriedlander.com/101



At the risk of looking like an action figure, I created this pic to talk about "Defending the Valley."
There are things that God has given to you, and He will show us how to accurately use the Word and defend that ground.
It's time to tell the devil we mean business-- and back it up by learning how to use our sword!



I was pondering about the Asian nations and how many people long for a copy of God's Word...
they may own a single page and find it of great worth...
memorizing it and treasuring the Book we take for granted in the western world.


I was also thinking about how a worn Bible becomes a treasure-
like a sword you use to fight many battles- and it's deeply meaningful.



"Gossip"

"The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly."  Proverbs 26:22



"Stabbed"

Forgiveness is what pulls the daggers from our backs and allows wounds to close,
which is crucial to our spiritual health.  



"300 Chosen."
"The first truth for special operations is that quality is more important than quantity." -General Hugh Shelton, 82nd Airborne Division.
I created this first picture in the "Warrior Series" patterned after Gideon's army in Judges 7:4. Against invincible odds, God called a trembling young man to throw down the village idol and assemble an army to defy the Midianites. After somehow gathering 32,000 men, God spoke again and told Gideon that his army was "too big," and to tell everyone to go home who was afraid. 22,000 men left, leaving the perplexed general trembling even more. Then God said,
"The people are still too many. Bring them to the water and I will test them for you there."
Most of the men got down on their knees, probably dropping their weapons, and drank from the stream, while some remained watchful and scooped up the water with their hand. The watchful ones, only 300 men, were the ones God chose as His army. The result was a miraculous victory- and only God got the credit!
I read a great article by a "spiritual general," Derek Prince, who unpacks this for us.
"In the light of this account, we each need to make a personal assessment. If God should gather an army today like that of Gideon, would I be one of the few who qualify? Or would I be like the first 22,000 who gave way to fear? Or like the second 10,000 who laid down their weapons and buried their faces in the water to drink?
"It is easy—and often normal—to bury our faces in the business of daily living; to be absorbed in all the practical needs that confront us every day; to forget that we are in a spiritual conflict with unseen forces of darkness who are continually watching for an opportunity to catch us unprepared.
"To maintain unceasing vigilance in every situation demands conscious, personal discipline. It goes beyond all our normal concepts of Christian conduct and morality. Yet the New Testament clearly warns us: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). If we ignore this warning, we become vulnerable to subtle, unpredictable assaults of Satan."
Good reminder! Be on the alert, and ready for breakthrough!

"Mantle"

Gold dust descending from the royal authority being released over the warrior.  

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