This is the third post in a series of blog posts from Nelson Roberts. (Read Part One here, and Part Two here) Nelson is a member at Brookstone Church and has recently sensed a calling into full-time vocational ministry. We are encouraged by how God is at work in his life and see clear evidence of this calling. Be encouraged that God has a calling on everyone's life. First He calls us into relationship with Jesus, and beyond that He calls us to a specific purpose in life. All vocations whether it be full-time ministry, working in the business world, or stay at home mom's, are valuable and loaded with purpose in God's design. May these blog posts be an encouragement to you as you read. - Pastor Scott
We can now begin to unpack our verse line by line. Again, here it is. Let’s take it from the top.
Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.
Therefore, lift your drooping hands. Drooping hands remind me of the long slender fingers of the Creeper from Scooby Doo. If you don’t want to be a Creeper then let’s work on those drooping hands. Drooping hands sound more like soggy, limp noodles than they do useful appendages. I believe it is implied therefore that drooping hands are weak and not set to task. Muscle weakness is not a diagnosis of a lack of potential strength. This is not a decree of absolute weakness. Muscles atrophy when they are not used. Strength is regained when muscles are used for their purpose. Weak hands need to be put to work. There is a scene in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers that illustrates this poignantly.
Théoden, King of Rohan, has fallen ill due to the bewitching counsel of Wormtongue, who has poisoned his mind and left him open the control of the evil Saruman. In quick order Gandalf rebukes Wormtongue, reminds the king who he is, and cast’s Saruman from the king’s mind. King Théoden is released from Saruman’s possession and his countenance begins to change. The broken old man dissolves into a younger clear-eyed king who struggles to remember his own identity. “Dark have been my dreams of late,” he laments. He barely makes it to his feet as he directs his gaze to his drooping hands. In bewilderment, he begins to move his fingers as if grasping for something unseen. Now is the moment I’ve spent two paragraphs preparing you for. Take a look!
Gandalf speaks! “Your fingers would remember their own strength better if they grasped your sword.” This is not only a call to remembrance of former strength but also a call to arms. Evil is building its army and the fate of the world is at stake. It is time to fight! The king’s sword is brought forth, as his grip tightens and he takes on the full weight of his proven weapon. What a poignant representation of how we should accept the weight and the responsibility of knowing and using the Word of God. Théoden remembers himself and his former strength. He sets his brow and turns his might toward Wormtongue, his enemy.
Do you realize you too are in a battle? You have been given a task just like the “Fellowship of the Ring.” Therefore lift your drooping hands! Pick up your sword and remember where your strength comes from. Your sword is the Word of God, your Bible. Read it, learn it, know it, and use it in battle. In Ephesians 6: 10-18, the “sword of the spirit” is the final piece of armor. It is the offensive weapon, the Word of God.
In Matthew 4:1-11 Jesus is tempted for 40 days in the desert. Every time Jesus is tempted the devil accuses Him of not being the Son of God. Every time the devil brings forth an accusation Jesus responds with the truth of Scripture. While Jesus has the power, the authority, and the creativity to rebuke the devil, He doesn’t do it immediately. Jesus takes the sword of the spirit, the Word of God, and goes on the offensive. If the One who conquered sin and death quoted Scripture in response to the devil’s accusations how much more important is it for us to respond in this way.
You cannot fight a battle without a weapon and you cannot use a weapon you are not skilled with. In verse 5 Jesus is tempted for the second time and this time the devil quotes Scripture to Jesus as part of his accusation. The “Father of Lies” knows, quotes, and twists Scripture. “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
The devil eventually changes his tactics and offers Jesus “all the kingdoms of the world” if He will just fall down and worship him. Now comes the rebuke, verse 10: “Then Jesus said to him ‘Be gone Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Do you realize you have an enemy that is against you? Do you know the meaning of Scripture well enough to do battle? If you put in the time to become an expert with your sword, your hands will never again droop without purpose. We battle temptation with the Word of God!
We should take practical steps to move forward into deepening faith. Let’s go. The time is now! As in The Lord of the Rings, evil has an army and it is on the move. It’s almost like Tolkien was writing about this very thing.
Read your Bible like your life depends on it! (Because it does!)
Pray that God would convict you of weaknesses in your walk you need to address. What are the things you struggle with on a daily basis? Is it your identity, habitual sin, addiction, or is it disbelief?
Become acquainted with your sword. Search for scriptures you can use to address your weaknesses and struggles.
Practice using your sword. Preach these scriptures to yourself. Speak into the struggles of your own life and you will be prepared to do battle alongside your brothers and sisters in Christ. Help others define and address their struggles by using Scripture.
Remember we are at war. Souls hang in the balance. Lift your drooping hands. Pick up your sword and prepare for battle.
Please join us for the next post where we will learn the importance of “strengthening your weak knees.”
Please stay tuned for Part 4 of this series on calling.