I can make a good guesstimate that, at one point in your life, you have chanced upon bullying. I hope that you were not the bully. Psychologists tell us that bullies may have serious underlying psychological problems predisposing them to that kind of behaviour. Never mind if you were the one, it is just a mound, and we are not here to make mountains out of mounds. Rather we are here to move mountains out of our way so that we can arrive at the refreshing wells of wealth and quench our thirsty souls. We all face our low moments, and we also have times when we are in our elements.
I dredge up the times when I would meet one local bully boy almost on a daily basis, and would quickly punch my face unprovoked. These punches went on unabated save for scattered days I would duck behind the hedges and keep calm till the bully passes.
Then as I grew up, it dawned on me that I was as tall and as heavily built as he was. This new reality caused unwarranted pushes and shove to subside and finally stop. And with more time I became taller and heavier than him. I met the bully boy severally during school holidays and he would just look the other way. Deep inside my frame, a war song was being composed, ‘Let him try this time around, Let him dare lift his arm, and I will break it to small pieces’.
The war songs and drumbeats would be rehearsed in my heart until he passes and fades into the horizon, or a winding path. It then occurred to me that the threat of being bullied had been eradicated. This does not mean I no longer face other threats in life. Nada! I face them albeit different kind of threats. I fight them and overcome. I strike them early in the morning. I hit them in the evening. I carry out multiple strikes to free the way to my destiny. I ravage everything standing against the empires I am supposed to occupy.
Outgrowing your dread
When you visit the Aberdare Forest, one of the most outstanding animal you are likely to notice is the Elephant. You won’t move farther before you witness her calf bestriding along. The calf is an easy target for lions. But as the calf grows into an adult elephant, the threats of being preyed on fade away. It would be foolhardy for a lion to dare attack a full-grown elephant. It is a suicidal. So lions will always exercise restraint and utmost care before attacking the big herbivores, leave alone the giant elephant. This does not imply that the elephant is now safe. Nope! New threats emerge in the form of poachers.
Can you see how the rules of the jungle change in favour of the grown elephant? What if the calf didn’t grow? Let’s say it got stunted! What do you think will happen to it?
Grow in the grace and knowledge
It is the same case with our Christian walk. Our bullies flinch and vanish as we grow in faith. The things that used to make you edgy five years ago, should not be the same things still vexing your world. The butterflies in your stomach are supposed to be digested by the enzymes of faith and then absorbed into your body for growth. Feed on your enemies! Digest your fears! Flourish in fear! Multiply in morass!
As you scale the ladder, you are guaranteed to run into new challenges. As you ascend the corporate ladder, as you trudge on your way to glory, you are likely to bump into more different challenges.
At every stage of life, we must conquer something. It does not matter how big or small it is. It does not matter if it is psychological, spiritual or behavioural. There is always something that we must knockdown. At some occasion, we have to send something down under the huge impact of our relentless force. Along the journey to our destiny, we must cause some opposing empires and kingdoms to fall. We have to ambush the dream killers and destroy them. We must rout evil ambitions and eclipse hopelessness that keep pulling us back into the gutter.
That is why Paul spends time writing about it; the spiritual warfare. This can be found in Ephesians 6:11-17 that talks about the whole armour of God; 2 Timothy 2:3 that talks about enduring as a soldier and 2 Timothy 2:4 that spells out the substance of a good soldier.
Knock down the enemy
A great deal of the Old Testament is virtually warfare. The Book of Joshua is the almanac of warfare. I am not in any way talking about physical war. I am not implying a supercharged duel between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada. To be categorical, I am talking about a high octane spiritual action.
We are waging a war against something. It takes the internal struggle to break free, land into deep waters and swim towards the territories that the Lord has apportioned you. The opposing forces are always there and every so often they are internal. Occasionally the conflicts arise from the external environment. However, it is easy to dispel external forces than the internal ones. Roman Empire was brought to her knees not by external but by internal enemies.
Sleeper cells are evermore within. They have been established to destroy us at an apt time. They manifest in the form of anger, jealousy, envy, strife, unbelief, malice and many more.
It is now evident that we are in the business of delivering an enemy technical knockout. Let us hear what Sun Tzu, an ancient Chinese military strategist, said about this,
“The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.”
Sun Tzu was speaking about the substance of a good soldier, the material of a fighting man and woman. A distinguished soldier must be manufactured from materials that are capable of supporting him or her to the top, without capitulating to beckoning beacons on the way.
It is the same substance Paul the Apostle is talking about in the Epistles. A soldier of substance knows the strategy, the tactics and the operations to use in achieving his or her ends.
When talking about Strategy, Tactics and Operations in military parlance, the name of Hannibal keeps resurfacing. Hannibal was a supreme tactician whose crushing victories taught the Romans that the flexible attack tactics of their legions needed to be supplemented by unity of command and an improved cavalry. Their command and control structure had to be overhauled. The Romans eventually replaced their citizen-soldiers with a paid professional army whose training, equipment, skill at fortification, road building, and siege warfare became legendary.
As a soldier in the Kingdom, we need to be well and all-rounded like the Roman soldiers. We should remain fit. We should strive to be skilled in making fortifications and taking territories that belong to us – by violence, for since the days of John the Baptist the Kingdom of Heaven has suffered violence. It requires deliberate, purposeful and determined action to burst through enemy ranks and possess the promised lands. We must always be ready to build networks of roads that will take us to the next level.
Get the substance and you will cruise through the rough terrain to your destiny. Get the substance and you will hand the internal and external enemies an external technical knockout. Get the substance and hand the enemy a combination of right hook body and right uppercut head. Won’t you?