As we set out on the journey of 2019, it is inevitable that there will be distractions, detractors and betrayals, among other things that exist just to derail us, sap our energy and ensure they make it difficult for us to continue the journey of purpose. One of such is that brute, Nabal. (1 Sam.25:25)
Nabal’s purpose is to cause trouble. To ignite anger and malice that will cause us to lose sight of what is important and start chasing fleshly battles that lead nowhere.
We must envisage such distractions and build up strength to combat and win them. You see, the truth is that Nabal’s armoury is well honed and customized. It has been used successfully over and over in previous years. So it has a powerful arsenal. It knows its target well. It knows how and when to hit to achieve the desired result. It acts like the devil in Luke 4:13, leaving for an opportune time. So what do we do? The most important thing to do is to accept the potency of the poison Nabal wields. We do not underestimate the harm that Nabal can do. However, we don’t stop there. After accepting that Nabal can do us harm, we muster up our strength and resolve to declare boldly, ‘You may have got me that last time, but this is 2019. In 2019, I have power in God to overcome you. I have grace. I have strength. In 2019, I run through troops and leap over walls. This is my year of favour. God is with me to overcome. I already overcame you Nabal. This year, by God, I have a different response to your antics, by the special grace of God and by reason of the anointing. I have overcome!’
After the declaration, we can then follow our words with action. Positive action like what Abigail did. Pouring cold water on a fiery heart, appealing to the gracious side of David, finding favour where previously there was none! Put on love, the more excellent way. Ignoring the shame and reproach, running as one who wants to win, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. So, we will not repay evil with evil, but rather repay evil with good. Suppressing the urge to fight back, swallowing the unthinkable words that rush to our mouths, honouring God with our silence. ‘Like a sheep before its shearers is dumb’. Isaiah 53:7
What do we reap?
Proverbs 15:1 says a soft answer turns away wrath. We are able to prevent an outburst or an angry attack. After all. We must not forget we are dealing with Nabal, who the Bible describes as a brute.
Who is a ‘brute’? Various dictionaries define brute as ‘a violent, savage person’, ‘a rough and sometimes violent man’, ‘a crude or insensitive person’.
What are the other benefits we reap?
We heap coals of fire on Nabal’s head by our response (Prov. 25:21-22). You see, Nabal always assumes that he knows your expected response. When you respond any other way, he is intrigued and caught unawares. Even if there’s a comeback, it won’t be immediate. You have room to escape!
Fighting Nabal is a battle of wills. Nobody said it is an easy task. But the good news is that you can win. As you practice this more and more, you get the hang of it and you get better at it. As time passes, you will realise that your warfare of prayer and action is achieving better results, such that Nabal’s attacks are less. Also, you can better manage them when they occur.
A note of caution, though. We must not forget that we are always expected to be on alert. Nabal attacks most of the time, when you are at your weakest. That is the good setting for a win against you; so you must always be prepared. Pray always, whether there are issues or not. Keep your fire burning. Keep your relationship with God open and up to date. Don’t be caught naked and powerless! Pray without ceasing. Praying always with all prayer and supplication.
So, you don’t have a Nabal in your life? But do you have a Judas or Demas, or a Saul or Absalom? Don’t mind the name. The evils that they perpetrate come from the same source. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood. Our warfare is against principalities and powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. That is why the Bible says we should put on the whole armour of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11-13). We have power by God to overcome, to stand. And stand we will, after we have girded our waist with truth, put on the breastplate of righteousness, slipped on the sandals of the gospel of peace, taken up the shield of faith, put on the helmet of salvation and taken up the sword of the Spirit. As the Bible says, ‘we will tread upon serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt us’ Luke 10:19.
Having done all, we stand.