-200025361950Thoughts About The Battle Field: On Socoh Azekah and Ephes Damin My attention is drawn today to the beautiful wisdom in 1 Sam 17: 1 and from it I learnt about the battle field within which we fight: Now the Philistines gathered …; they encamped between Sochoh and Azekah, in Ephes Dammim. If we were to retranslate that passage in modern English, we will have the following sentence: The Philistines gathered…; they camped between the “bushy place” and the dug over, land full of military fox hole;, in the boundary of the blood. Why did the Philistines gathered to battle Israel in this particular spot and what is the significance of their challenge to us today? On Socoh, the Bushy Place: Socoh was Judah’s allotted portion. By David’s time, it was overgrown with weed and became known as the “bushy land.” In the book of Judges 1:19, 21, 27 – 36 we see the foundation for this bushy circumstances. The Fathers did not follow through on God’s instruction to posses the land. We must watch over the land which the Lord has given us, we must do this with passion. We must not allow our allotted portions to overgrow with weed! We must hear afresh God’s injunction to “Break up our Fallow grounds…” Jer 4:3; Hos 10:12. On Azekah , the Foxhole: On the other side of the land was Azekah which means “Dug Over.” The picture painted by this is that of a Fox – Hole where a soldier hides in the midst of enemy fire. Sometimes the enemy tricks God’s people into turning a fox – hole into a home land. We must not be caught in this circumstance. We must break free of every Fortress Mentality. We must learn to deal with the Fox Hole Paradigm and there are a few ways that I see in the scriptures with which we can do this:
We Must Learn to Move: One older servant of the gospel said to me many years ago, Sayo, the Lord told us to “Go Ye…” He did not tell us to “Stay Ye…” In the Christian empowered by the spirit, there must always be an ability to “GO!” Ask yourself today, where has the Lord sent me and MOVE to the place
We Must Drive Ourselves to Seek Out The Higher Ground: Residence in the Fox Hole for any length of time can make the Higher Ground look unattainable. We must however do what David did after he became King: serve a notice to every Jebusite that might be occupying our higher grounds. Aim at what may be the equivalent of Zion in your life… Seek to take the most important spot in your environment. The question immediately arise: how do we define importance? I think we should define importance by the depth of linkage with God’s eternal purpose, the depth of linkage with the Blessing and the Covenant! Seek out such things and aspire to posses them.
We must Drive Ourselves to Move under Fire: 2 Samuel 5: 17 gives us an insight into a man who has taken his higher ground and yet came under Fire. He did not dig in, rather he MOVED under Fire. Moving under Fire requires a very keen sense of LISTENING TO WHAT THE SPIRIT IS SAYING. Next time you are under Fire, do not panic, ask yourself, what is the Spirit saying now and follow the flow of HIS WORD to YOUR HEART.
On Ephes Damin, the Boundary of the Blood: Many live their lives at the edge of righteousness, they stay just close enough to be able to say they are covered with the blood. Such people have their sight on the “other side.” They see what is happening across the border, they know the custom of the strangers, they are aware of their songs, they sometimes cross the border and visit with the children of the strange land. God wants his people to understand that dwellers at the “boundary” will be the first victim of “the War”. DO NOT STAY AT THE BOUNDARY… Take yourselves and move to the Center! Seek to dwell in the City of the Great King… Seek to be at the place of His rest… The defenses of our Lord are sure, His bulwarks are strong. Find yourself at the center of His Will, locate your life in the middle of the Flow of His Blood. May the Lord Bless you and your work this week. Pastor Sayo Ajiboye Bellevue WA