Dear Readers ~ Hinds’ Feet With Hands Trained for Battle comes after five years and five months of the run I was set to go on in the gift of hinds’ feet.
When Holy Spirit used that December 2016 dream to shoe my spiritual feet for the next season, I had no idea how long that part of the ‘race’ would turn out to be. I certainly never expected a one-year sabbatical with my husband, from which we emerged this Spring of 2022. God knew we were beyond weary and used a broken leg to prompt us to set the stage for rest.
Once 2017 dawned, I couldn’t know what would transpire or what natural and spiritual milestones would be passed as I ‘ran’ those years. At times the run was constant, followed by a breather and putting ‘the run’ in writing.
Like ‘the spirit of the Lord’s answer’ to the prophet Habakkuk (2:2) – “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it…”
I was aware that He’d called me to both scribe and herald, for it has been a continual cycle of spiritual sprints followed by writing spurts. That directive is recorded in the same little prophetic book from which Habakkuk 3:19 had been engraved on my heart many years ago before the promise of hinds’ feet became a spiritual reality.
He Trains My Hands for Battle
One April morning after extending our year’s sabbatical1 another six weeks for post-sabbatical details, I read a blog post written about Psalm 18:34 – “He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.”
Where I used to dig in my heels, Holy Spirit for years has taken seeming delight in setting me back on them. He did it again as I read verse 33, Psalm 18’s counterpart of Habakkuk’s 3:19, “He will make my feet like hinds’ feet….”
Once again, here I was, in a timing not sought by me. But like the gift of hinds’ feet, ‘the next thing I needed’, given. And I knew, for I had just spent a full year undergoing more ‘being made ready’ for the emerging season.
A very long time ago, the Lord began working in me that I did not have to make my way like a snowplow. Some call it ‘striving’. Choosing to trust, learning to trust, and trusting His guidance-in-love has become a way of life. What isn’t eliminated is my needful cooperation with Him as He leads, followed by engaging what He leads me to. That’s a principle that fits all sizes and varieties of calls to yield not only to His voice, but His heart behind His words.
After sitting with verse 34 awhile, I shared with my husband that much of what the Lord had been revealing to me throughout sabbatical was to be written about. Not unlike past times of spiritual growth spurts, it has felt like Fire and Water – a marriage of Jeremiah’s fire in his bones2 with this wellspring’s being-filled-up-again reservoir3.
I understood my laptop is where Holy Spirit is going to train my hands for battle. Which is in keeping with the preparation of the message and the messenger that the Lord has been about for years and these past months.
When the Lord’s word of Truth goes out, it does not know the meaning of returning void. It rings with His fullness, sent forth to prevail. Faith holds it fast in hope, for faith in His Word is the evidence of things not seen.4
Old Testament scripture entreats us not to judge by what our natural eyes see or what our natural ears hear. The majority of the Lord’s children (of Israel) did just that, with eyes and ears trained on all but the Lord God. Some did listen and heed His word as Truth. It was for this they were commended. His children since then to the present day undergo the same entreating test: see Me, listen to Me. Like them, it is a battle that He desires we overcome.
Though flesh and blood are front and center, the battle we followers of Christ engage is not against them.5 How often we all need to remind ourselves of this truth! Every battle we face is always over the Word of God and ultimately, whether we build upon His faithful character and integrity – or upon the enemy’s lies and arms of flesh, through whomever they come.
Coming off the latest school mass shooting, we dare not religiously ignore the Lord’s own word of Truth, nor the cries of terror, grief, and loss of those caught in the crossfire of the spirit of death prowling among us. Those who will be trained (taught) to watch and listen intently to Him above all others, will not be easily deceived, swayed, or crippled by what emits growing spiritual darkness. His light reveals, exposes, heals in and overcomes the darkness.
When I looked at Psalm 18:34 in the Hebrew, it confirmed the compelling sense I had about writing going forward. The literal reads, “Teaching my hands for battle, and a bow of brass was brought down by my arms.”
That version paints a far different word picture than someone of physical human strength bending a bow of bronze, as some translations read. Indeed, the Hebraic meaning is rendered:
“teaching (training) my hands for fighting the battle (engagement), so that my arms (stretched out; with help, power, mighty, shoulder, strength of the Lord) can sink, press down, lead down, cause to be broken and brought down, a bow (of strength, shooting) of bronze (coppery (hard) as from the red throat of a serpent hissing)
Does it get any clearer who our battle is against? But, the Lord wants how and what we engage governed by Him.
My internal writing posture upon emergence from sabbatical is one of being further taught by the One who gave me the gift of hinds’ feet with hands trained for battle. Sometimes those hands may be found gripping the seat of my chair, but I will yet pick up the bow out of love for and trust in our Victorious One, the King of Glory.
~ Gracefully Free
1 Sabbatical year was April 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022
2 Jeremiah 20:9 – But if I say, “I will not mention Him or speak any more in His name,” His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.”
4 Hebrews 11:1-2
5 Ephesians 6:12 – For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
©2022 Nancy C. Bentz – Author’s permission granted to forward this devotional piece in its entirety, including this copyright line. For more devotionals, to leave a comment, or to subscribe to this blog, visit Wellspring of Life