This month, I am trying some changes to my blog. Cross Training will post on Mondays. The format will be a devotional or short Bible study with an eye towards adults. I’m including a series of questions you may use for introspection or to spur discussion with your children over the coming week. I plan to drop the book reviews to focus on Cross Training. I will post an occasional Gayle’s Gable and Zuno’s Pick to let you know what Zuno and I are reading and to let you share your favorites. Any feedback regarding the new format would be appreciated.
Leverage. I’m hooked.
I don’t watch a lot of TV, but Nate Ford, a modern-day Robin Hood, and his merry men (and women) captivate me. Nate Ford and his crew help the little guy, someone who has been picked on or taken advantage of by someone with power, position, and money. Ford and his team of former thieves, hackers, and con-men methodically study their bad guy to find a weak spot. The Leverage team uses their unique “gifts” and “skills” to develop a con that exploits his weakness. We get to watch the little guy get justice and the bad guy’s empire topple.
When I read this verse in my quiet time, I thought of Leverage:
“A wise man attacks the city of the mighty and pulls down the stronghold in which they trust.” (Proverbs 21:22 NIV)
Watch TV for five minutes and count the number of “strongholds” flashing across the screen: beauty, popularity, power, money, position, intellect, athletic skill. While these things look impregnable, on closer inspection, they are only fake fronts and they topple easily.
The thought crossed my mind, “What if your stronghold can’t be pulled down?”
Let’s look at the one, true Stronghold:
“The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1 NIV)
“If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.” (Psalm 37:23, 24 NIV)
“He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.” (Psalm 144:2 NIV)
When God is your stronghold, you stand secure.
Discussion Questions for the Week:
Day 1: In what are you tempted to place your trust or security?
(For kids and teens, their trust may be in parents and other adults. How can we honor that yet help them to eventually look to God for all things?)
Day 2: Look at the verses above. List the things you gain when God is your stronghold.
What fears do you face? How does God help you face them?
Day 3: Where are you weak and vulnerable in your character?
How can making God your stronghold protect you against your personal weaknesses?
Day 4: Who might seek to pull you down? Do you believe in a force of evil?
When God is our stronghold, how do we work this out practically when faced with a choice? Temptation? Trial?
Day 5: How do you maintain a sense of peace and security even when things are tough?