Embrace Your New Name
Gideon gets a new name, Jerub-Baal. It’s an honor name, but not a name that honors Baal. It means “Let Baal contend with him.” It means Baal has a fierce opponent in Gideon. It means Baal should think twice before he makes another bid for president. Baal has a challenger and a nemesis in the land now. Baal beware.
James tells us to resist the devil and he will flee. That’s impressive, because Peter says the devil’s like a lion, seeking someone to devour. Our impulse with lions is to flee them, useless as that may be. It seems harebrained, and futile, to resist a lion, defy a lion, put a lion to the chase. But it’s what James says. Neither the devil nor Baal is as powerful as they make themselves out to be. They’re more shadow than substance., more growl and scowl than tooth and claw. Both Baal and the devil are easier to rout than they’d have you think, just as their minions– the Midianites, the townsfolk,the hosts of hell, whoever– are not half as menacing as they look.
It just takes one man, one woman, maybe with a few companions, to test the theory. It turns out that Baal is a poor God and a weak opponent. But he makes for good kindling.
We often scare ourselves with the talk of the devil– that if we take the devil on, go plundering in his realm, he’ll come back at us with everything he’s got. Well, let him. Mostly, we are just believing propaganda straight from Beelzebub himself. We fearmonger ourselves into inertia. That’s a scandal. We should be out raiding his lair, like Jesus did, and His disciples after Him. Be Jerub-Baals, demon hunters. Let Baal contend with us if he wants. Let him roar and growl and bare his teeth.
We’re not going to do his bidding anymore.
Tune-In 16 [What Is Your Name?]
In the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail–an outrageous spoof on the legend of King Author– there’s a scene in which Author and his knights have to cross a rickety bridge, all ropes and sticks, spanning a fiery gorge. An old man, blind, toothless, crackling, grizzled, stands at the entrance to the bridge and demands that each person seeking passage first answer three questions. If they answer all three correctly, they cross. If they get one wrong, they are hurled into the gorge.
Brave Sir Lancelot steps up first. “Ask me three questions, old man. I’m not afraid.”
“What,” the old man asks, “is your name?”
“I am Sir Lancelot of the Round Table.”
“What is your quest?”
“I seek the Holy Grail.”
“What is your favorite color?”
“Well that is easy–blue.”
“All right, then,” the old man says, suddenly amiable, “go across.”
And on it goes, the joke turning on the old man’s variations on the last question.
Silly movie. Silly scene.
What is your name? Who are you, really, beyond all pretense, all posturing, all self effacement, all self-pity? Who is the person that God knows and sees and calls forth? It’s an identity question.
What is your quest? What is the desire in your heart that no diversion or disappointment has ever quenched? The thing that you dreamed of being when you first came into the light? The vision of what God had for you to do and to be? It’s a destiny question.
What is your favorite color? What makes you you? What are the quirks and intricacies of your personality, distinct as your fingerprint? What makes your heart leap? It’s a passion question.
If you keep a journal, this is a good exercise to write down. God designed us to live out our true identities, to accomplish our truest quests, to do it in our own unique personalities, fueled by our hearts Godly passions.
Crossing the bridge, getting from here to there, requires you to answer all three correctly.
~ Darren’s comments ~
After reading this particular section, I was confused. Not because what was said by Mark Buchanan in Spiritual Rhythm is not true, but I had the same type of experience as described in this section of the book only to be robbed of my dream to fulfill being a youth pastor.
See, if you haven’t read/listen to the previous sections of this book and Darren’s Comments, then I am going to summarize what happened in my life previous to my eighteenth birthday. My grandfather was in the U.S. Navy fighting in World War 2 spaning from 1939-1945. He was a proud military man, and after going to Ma (grandmother) and Pa’s (grandfather) house throughout my childhood, he made the basement his own– which included a bar, a fully renovated living room, mini-figureheads high above the floor hanging on the wall — you know, the things that happened in his life which he was most proud of. That included his military service in the war. That left an indelible impression on me, but as I was contemplating in my head for two to three years, I thought I would like to be an air force pilot because I wanted to be different. This was about 10 years of age.
Shortly after I developed a need for eyeglasses, and it wasn’t too long after that I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus. In addition, my mom and dad went through hard times relationally which made it tough, but now I realize my brother and I weren’t the only ones suffering through this as family dysfunction effects all of us at that time. However, just like most children who were on the cusp of adolescence, we are beginning to understand the world and what it requires from us..
I began to read the KJV version of the Bible since I heard in multiple services that the Bible contained the key to life and everlasting life. Until then, I only read the Bible occasionally and not religiously.
Then, upon reading, I was confused again since my secret mentor was going off to college after he finished his senior year, and I was in the 5th grade at school. I felt devastated until I got home and found this verse after much scouring through the Bible. I landed upon Proverbs 18:24 which says in the KJV:
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
It was undeniable that the Holy Spirit showed me this in the time of greatest need that Jesus sticks closer than a brother. Despite my sadness of losing my mentor to college, I had an even better Holy Mentor, Jesus Christ. From this time on, however, my Holy Mentor would not let me down as long as I stuck with Him (John 6:60-70). And with my new Holy Mentor, I knew I was prepared for anything, for shortly after my 18th birthday God would allow me to undergo the most horrific of trials.
Throughout my high school years, I dedicated myself in pursuit of what I thought was my God-given dream. I began with preaching in front of my youth group. Then in front of my church, in front of local churches, in front of regional churches, I took every opportunity to preach to youth as I did winter retreats and summer camps. The top brass of the Northern New England Assemblies of God came down to check on how I and the rest of the preaching teens were doing. That is occasion for pride to set in, so I gave all the glory to God as I took first place in the preaching competition in an Assembly of God summer camp.
It all fell in line with what Spiritual Rhythm had to say, especially this portion of the book. But then came the dream/nightmare which I couldn’t wake out of. This happened about 2 weeks before I graduated from high school. And my dream came to real life just 3 weeks later after my high school graduation and 2 weeks after my 18th birthday. In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, like Sir Lancelot, I decided to answer all 3 questions. However, I didn’t answer one of them correctly. …
~ Darren L. Beattie, The Soul Blogger ~