Monday, November 3, 2008

Fight, Flight...or Freeze

Our human nature is wired with natural reactions to what seem to be overwhelming circumstances. We have been told that our bodies have a "fight or flight" circuit within us to protect us. I would add that we have a third reaction as well...freeze. When we encounter an attack, realize we have been ambushed or become overwhelmed with fear we then have a choice. We fight, we run or we freeze.

Society has told us that to turn and fight is the brave thing, to run is cowardly. I would propose that all three reactions have their place and can be used for victory.

At times we need to turn and face the enemy and fight with skill and power. In the Chronicles of Narnia, when Peter was given his sword and shield, he was told the day was approaching when he would need these tools...and that they were tools not toys. We too, as believers, are given a Shield of Faith and a Sword of the Spirit. Jesus continually showed us how to wield both of these as He would turn to Satan and strike him down with The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. (No, we cannot neglect the other pieces of Armor which we have been given which are outlined in Ephesians 6, but we can discuss those at another time.) As we turn and face the attacks of our enemy we will find that we begin to discover who we are in Christ.

To run or to freeze seem weak and dangerous in the heat of battle, when the attacks surprise us and catch us off guard. If we are weak, unprepared or untrained for battle these may be wise choices. For the skilled warrior or the conscience warrior, I propose that there may still be a time to run or to freeze. If we are running to a stronger position for battle...then that is wise. If we are running to rescue another who is wounded...that is noble. If we are running to lead the enemy to a greater battle which has been prepared...then that is well planned. My point is if we are running to hide by ourselves and avoid the battle...we will surely die or will others who we are charged with to protect.

To freeze is much like running...except you are an even easier target for the enemy. The Word tells us that our enemy is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Sure, he will pick off the weak and feeble, but if he can freeze a leader, one of the strong ones, what an enjoyable meal that would be. The lion will freeze his prey with a mighty roar to strike fear in his freeze them in their tracks. When fear overcomes and locks us up we are an easy target. I propose though that there is a time when we need to freeze. When we are suddenly overwhelmed by the circumstances or just found ourselves in the midst of an ambush we may need to freeze and asses the situation. If we react with the circumstances or with the flow of the ambush we may find we have been led into the slaughter. We need to freeze in the safest position possible, fully and accurately asses the situation, gain our footing and then act in power and confidence.

"The Thief has come to steal, kill and destroy...but I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly"

"we have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind"

"He said to me:"It is done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be be his God and he will be My son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile...and all liars-their place will be in the fiery lake"

We are not called to a life of cowardly fear. To my surprise last night I realized that God hates that and names it with others who will be cast into the lake of fire. "The Lord is a Warrior, the Lord is His name." Exodus 15:3

Let me leave this last thought from the Matrix. In the subway as Neo realizes the Agent has found him a fight ensues. Neo is protecting his friends so that they can get out of the Matrix and back to safety. The porthole out is lost and Neo is getting absolutely beat up by the Agent. There is a break and Neo makes a run for the stairs out of the subway. There is light at the top of the stairs, he could get out, but realizes that there will only be another Agent waiting and he will still have to fight the battle. Neo freezes at the base of the stairs and then turns to face the Agent. He faces the battle with a resolve and strength like never before. Those outside the Matrix are watching asking what he is doing because he most likely will get killed. Morpheus calmly says with a grin, "he is beginning to understand who he is." Neo then fights the Agent with a power that he has never experience before and kills the agent. It is a great scene packed with analogy after analogy from the Bible.

When we face the evil and darkness of this world in our own strength, we will get our butt kicked and may very well die. When we fight in the power of His might with the "tools" He has given us, the victory is ours...for the Glory of God!

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