“But I shall sing of Your power. Yes, I shall sing aloud of Your loving kindness in the morning, for You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.” Psalm 59:17 in One New Man Bible
**Warning: This blog contains spoilers about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey so if you have not seen it, go watch it right now and then come back and read this. And if you read it anyway, without having seen it, you might be confused because I’m going to write assuming that my readers know what I’m talking about.
My best friend Ariel came to stay with me last week for a while (Yay!!), and two nights ago we rewatched (which, according to Microsoft Word, is not a real word) the first Hobbit, preparing ourselves for the release of the third one, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, TODAY! Well really last night, but you get the picture.
After the movie, as with all of J.R. Tolkien’s works, we discussed the incredible spiritual implications and teachings the Lord showed each of us. So in addition to myself, this blog post comes to you from Ariel and my mother. You’re welcome.
My mom spoke about the constant battling throughout. The orcs, the trolls, the disgustingly fat goblin king and his creepy army. It exhausted her, mainly because she feels that exact same way. We have been in our own battle the past couple months with finances, health, relationships, peace of mind. The enemy doesn’t like to give us breaks, but the Lord continues to teach us about spiritual warfare, equipping and preparing us.
What stuck out about the battling to my mom was the vigor with which they fought. She said, “I haven’t been fighting nearly as hard as they did. No matter what came, they fought with everything they had. I’ve just been kind of laying down, tired, saying, ‘Ok God, come and do it.’”
Defeat should never be our attitude, even when we feel like there’s nothing left in us to give. I know I’ve already written about this before, but it’s something that I sometimes have to remind myself daily. I need to rise above my feelings and stand on the word of God. Stand in worship to Him. Through different pastors and my own personal time with Him, God has shown me that those are our weapons. When we don’t have anything “practical” to do, we worship, and we speak out loud his promises. Don’t just read the Bible in your head. Read it out loud. Morning, noon, and night. Literally. Out loud.
Psalm 13 is one of my favorite Psalms because I so related to it in junior high and high school. In the first verses, David asks God how long God is going to forget about him. “How long will You hide Your face from me?” he asks. I can’t even tell you how many times I have asked God that exact same thing.
But in the last verses of that Psalm, David says, “But I have trusted in Your loving kindness. My heart will rejoice exuberantly in Your salvation! I shall sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me.” Even with everything he just said, David declares his praises to the Lord. Whether being chased by Saul or his own son, David stood on the Lord. His life was literally on the line, and still he declared the goodness of the Lord.
Just this last Sunday, I heard a message by a woman talking about spiritual warfare. She pointed out David, saying that David was a giant slayer. And he was a giant slayer because he was a worshiper, because he fell on his face before God. Our weapons are not iron swords and guns but the sword of the Spirit, which is the word. Our weapon is to worship God. He showed Ariel and me a while ago that when we worship God, we engage in spiritual warfare.
It doesn’t matter how well you sing or what instruments you play or don’t play. It doesn’t matter if you’re not even close to being musical. Worship is a necessary part of our victory in reclaiming, through the blood of Jesus, what satan has tried to steal from us.
Another part of that victory, as I mentioned, is reading out the promises of God. I randomly flipped open the Bible after telling God I needed help and found my thumb on Joel 2:23 through 27, a section titled “Seven Blessings” in the One New Man Bible translation. This passage lists seven blessings: double blessing, abundance, restoration, never a lack, miracles, respect, and divine presence. (And it’s not listed this way in any other translation so if you can’t find those exact words, that’s why.)
Since the Lord has shown me that passage, I have read it out loud right after I wake up in the morning, before I even get out of bed, and right before I turn out my light and fall asleep at night. That’s how we war. That’s how we use our sword. It seems so simple, and maybe even like it’s not doing anything, but that is exactly what satan wants you to think. I’m not going to stop. I’m not going to give up just because I don’t see the results I think I need. I’m going to shove the word of God in satan’s face every time he tries to get in mine. It’s time for me to fight like a hobbit.
Which brings me to the other thing my mother noticed. Near the end of the film, Thorin is drawn towards the pale orc, Azog I think, locked in this intense gaze full of intimidation and hatred. Thorin is thrown down, and it looks like the end. Then out of nowhere, Bilbo flies in and takes down an orc, beginning a charge from the other dwarves. Bilbo, though remarkably smaller and probably weaker than Thorin, succeeds. My mother remarked that Bilbo was drawn in by love, by loyalty, by honor and respect.
Revenge and hatred weaken us, despite their lies that we grow stronger the more we wallow in them. When drawn by these things, we will fail, often alone in our endeavors. But being drawn by love brings a strength that we could never have just on our own. Being drawn by love ignites something in others that will spark them to join you. Bilbo and Thorin essentially did the same thing – attacked an orc, but they were motivated by two completely different things that produced completely different results. No matter how cheesy this sounds, love always wins. Always. Love truly is the most powerful weapon in the world. Because love is God. God is love.
So these are the musings from my mother, with some embellishment from me, about the first Hobbit movie. As usual, I wrote much more than I intended so Ariel’s incredible revelations will have to come in next week’s blog. Unless I decide to write it later this week. We shall see. But for now, take what you want from this blog. Allow the Lord to reveal to you what He wants. Give Him the freedom and time to speak to you in whatever way He chooses. Ask Him to show you what verses He wants you to stand on. And go watch The Hobbit.