If you ever come to my house you’ll notice a nest the size of your hand with 5 smooth stones nestled in it.
On each of the stones is engraved a single word.
I get razzed a lot by friends and family for those stones (to protect the integrity of my blog you shall remain nameless, but you know who you are).
There’s a story behind them.
A man named Bruce Van Natta was at my parents’ church sharing his story about how he died after being flattened by the front end of a semi-truck. Yes, you read that right – he died. Very cool and long story cut short, God brought him back and other than a few gnarly scars and the surgeries to match, he is a flesh and blood miracle.
It was this previously flattened Bruce who was sharing about how God began to teach him about 5 weapons that we have as believers in Christ.
Then he referenced the story about David, as he got ready to face Goliath. He pulled 5 stones (even though he only used 1 to defeat Goliath) from the water.
Then David took his shepherd’s staff, selected five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s pack, and with his sling in his hand approached Goliath.
1 Samuel 17:40 (The Message)
He shared that God showed him that those five stones represented 5 different weapons that we possess as believers to fight this unseen war. A war not of people – but a war for people against unseen forces.
For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.
Ephesians 6:12 (Amplified)
So Bruce continues by sharing that God gave him this revelation of what those 5 stones represented, weapons that we need to be effective in our warfare:
1. Faith – trusting God
2. Word – the Bible
3. Praise – thanking God for what he’s done/doing
4. Authority – taking a stand
5. Prayer – talking to God
The giants that we face with our weapons can all be traced back to one of the following categories:
He shared individual stories about each giant/weapon and that we have to rely on God to know which weapon to use when. It may not always be the same weapon to defeat that same giant.
I walked away from that day unable to shake his words. It was like someone slipped me some pretty top secret spiritual weapons, of course I had only a basic idea of how to use them. I was like a cave man with a lighter, eager to try it out and my efforts to explain what I had heard came out like neanderthal grunts.
So since I wasn’t making any sense to anybody. I did what any girl would do.
I went shopping.
Where I had these stones custom made.
I know – I’m a nerd.
But Bruce was right. I began seeing a lot more battles won as I began to understand my God-given “weapons”. The next year was pretty exciting as I had opportunity after opportunity to try my new “weapons” out, especially faith.
God called our family to a season of really trusting and relying on him financially.
This was hardcore stuff for me.
I had wrestled with God for years about being able to trust him and I did not want to go around this stupid scenario of a mountain again. So on this last trip around the mountain, we had a couple of months where we didn’t know where our mortgage payment would come from and it was really tempting for my all-sufficent self to want to figure out things on my own.
What am I supposed to do God?
Faith. If I take care of the birds and flowers, can’t I also take care of you?
Images of wilting flowers and birds zapped by power lines flashed through my mind.
Uh I guess so God. But aren’t I supposed to be doing something? You know, like praying harder?
Faith is a shield.
So I clenched my tiny little mustard seed of faith in my fist, closed my eyes and held my breath that money for our mortgage payment would come through.
It came from my biological mother whom I haven’t seen in over 25 years, who had no idea that we were struggling financially.
The next month, we were short again. And again, God came through – with unexpected random money – enough to see us through for the rest of the month.
I don’t claim to have a perfect understanding of these weapons and I’ve lost my share of battles, but I’ve seen so many more successes than I had in years before applying the idea that God gave us more than just the Bible as a “weapon”. I hope this helps you as much as it’s helped me in understanding that we have a greater arsenal to use against the giants we face.
This story has been brought to you today by the number 5, a man flattened by a semi-truck, and the good people at Etsy.