There’s something about being competent and dangerous that makes enemies cringe. I love it, and you will, too.
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Jordan Peterson is Canadian author, clinical psychologist, and professor emeritus at the University of Toronto. He recently said that it is very helpful for people to hear that they should make themselves competent and dangerous and take their proper place in the world. It’s a radical thought. When he was asked why it was important to be “dangerous” his reply was doubly insightful. He simply said, “Because it is the alternative to being weak.” Being dangerous makes you formidable.
To be clear, he was not advocating cruelty. In fact, quite the opposite. Peterson quoted the New Testament verse that says, “The meek shall inherit the earth” and went on to unpack the meaning of the word “meek” in the original language of Greek. He said, “The word ‘meek’ isn’t well translated in the English. It means something more like, “Those who have swords and know how to use them, but keep them sheathed, will inherit the world.'” While I’m not totally certain about his reference to swords, he’s spot on with his observation that the word “meek” absolutely refers to power under control. Meek and weak are polar opposites.
Today’s verse says BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS. DO NOT BE AFRAID OR TERRIFIED BECAUSE OF THEM, FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD GOES WITH YOU; HE WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU.
Make no mistake about it, we who know and follow Jesus are in a life and death battle for the souls of those who do not. We have an enemy. A very real, very evil enemy. He intends to steal, kill and destroy like any marauding invader does; and he’ll spare no effort to do it. He wants to steal the hope, the future and the potential impact of all who have been made in the image of God, and stop them from becoming who God created them to be. He wants to kill them. REALLY kill them by keeping them from the only one who can actually give them life. Then he intends to destroy everything he can lay his hands upon. We have an enemy.
Against that enemy stands the Church. That’s “Church” with a capital “C” because I’m referring to the entire group of Jesus followers on the planet and not a particular denomination or communion. We are called to be His army in the battle of life against death and good against evil. The image of a soldier is used over and over again when describing our task. We are told that no soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. In other words, we need to focus on our mission. The scriptures tell us that we do not wage battle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. But make no mistake, we DO wage battle against them.
And THAT my friends is why we are called to BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS. We need to identify, develop and deploy the gifts that God has placed within us. In other words, we need to be competent and dangerous.
Do you know what happens when a man, woman, boy or girl who is committed to serving God develops the tools He has placed within them and then goes out to face the enemy? Do you know what happens when the competent and dangerous move to attack the enemy with all their heart, soul, mind and strength? I’ll tell you what happens. He flees! When we resist the enemy in the power of God’s mighty strength the enemy always loses.
We conquer him by the blood of Jesus Christ shed for us and by the word of our testimony as we speak and act fearlessly. We win because, like Christ, we love not our lives even unto death; because we know Him who holds the power over death. We know who goes with us and leads us.
Be competent. Develop the gifts and skills that God has placed within you. Press on and take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of you.
Be dangerous. Step into the battle and engage the enemy with everything Christ has placed at your disposal. Conquer and overcome the enemy.
BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS. DO NOT BE AFRAID OR TERRIFIED BECAUSE OF THEM, FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD GOES WITH YOU; HE WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU.