According to Wikipedia, a battering ram is a siege engine originating in ancient times and is designed to break open the masonry walls of fortifications or splinter their wooden gates ( or doors) These rams proved effective weapons of war because old fashioned wall building materials such as stone and brick were weak in tension and prone to cracking when impacted with sufficient force. With repeated blows, the cracks would grow steadily until a hole was created. Eventually, a breach would appear in the fabric of the wall–enabling armed attackers to force their way through the gap and engage the inhabitants of the citadel.
Notable battering ram usage was seen in historic battles by the Assyrians, later during the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70AD, in various sieges during the Crusades, the fall of Rome and the siege of Constantinople just to name a few.
An interesting note that I came across in my research was about “capped” rams. These were battering rams that were strengthened at the head with steel or iron and sometimes humorously shaped like an actual ovine ram.
A very good friend of mine called me a couple of weeks ago with a “word” she kept hearing, in reference to me: That I was to be a Battering Ram. On the surface this sounded very powerful and spiritual and possibly quite painful! Curious, I began to poke around in scripture for anything that may be applicable. Two verses surfaced:
Ezkekial 26:9 He will direct the blows of his battering rams against your walls and demolish your towers.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh we do not war in the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Casting down ( battering down?) imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
What do we know about Battering Rams? Its a weapon that required repetition. One blow didn’t usually do the job. As a believer involved in pitched battle with the demonic opposition for my family, for my friends, for deliverance or healing to those that are in my sphere of influence day to day, I need to remember that to knock down fortresses will probably require more than one slam at that problem with my spiritual battering ram.
Many of us give up too soon. We live in a society where we don’t even have to get off the sofa to change the channel on the TV. We like 2 minute microwave popcorn and instant tea. GPS lets us arrive without writing down directions or even opening a map! We love quick and painless and often forget that fitness, prowess and strength come from repetitive exercise and constant practice. Athletes won’t get to the Olympics if they never swim a lap or run a race until the games begin. If you want to start flexing the muscles of the gift of healing start praying for people who have headaches and sprained ankles. Do it everyday. It will build your strength and increase your faith exponentially.
Over time, Battering Rams took on fancier, protective design elements to make them more effective. The problem with getting such a contraption up close to the objective was that now you were a target close enough to get arrows fired at you or cauldrons of hot oil poured over the wall. Tricky business being a battering ram. Strength is one thing but armor and protective shielding is important for the follow through in spiritual warfare. Also, the ground has to be clear and smooth enough for the ram to operate effectively:
If your desire is to be a lean, mean, fighting machine you need to get used to fasting. This is a tough one for me, I’ll admit. However, Jesus gave us a great example. When he started his ministry he began with water baptism, immediately followed by Baptism in the Spirit. Note that he went into the wilderness and began a serious period of fasting. It was the critical preparation he needed for a dueling battle with Satan. Also note, that every temptation that was thrown to Jesus was answered with scripture: it is written. To be an effective Battering Ram you need to be “capped” with the word of God. It takes time, it takes some consistency and commitment but the payoff is impressive.
While my friend gave this word to me, and I gladly received it as encouragement for the battle at hand: it is really a well- timed word for every believer. Christianity isn’t a label it is an action word.
It is not just sharing our testimony, being sweet to a sick neighbor or taking our children to Sunday School. We are supposed to be doing stuff. Exciting Early Church power moves are rarely in evidence in our congregations today. By in large, we may have never witnessed the multiplying of food, or healing the sick, or deliverance from the demonic. This is really sad because it is depriving our young people, as well as new Christians of the eyewitness experiences that will build their fledgling faith muscles. Think about it. How did you learn how to scramble eggs or mow the lawn? You watched your folks do it. They talked you through it so you wouldn’t burn yourself or chop your foot off. It’s important to have a regular, personal. good example to reinforce the idea that something should be a regular occurrence, do-able, a piece of cake.
So, Miss Sally, you say, ” Why are we not seeing folks getting healed or delivered or raised from the dead in our congregations these days?” First let me say that in some congregations we ARE. That being said, let me expand a little on why the American Church is where it is:
Because we have no expectation for/ or real desire to encounter the Person of the Holy Spirit then we ought not be shocked when He doesn’t put in an appearance. By relegating powerful miracle working Bible stories to a category reserved for a singular special time performed by a special few Christian luminaries, we have simultaneously rendered a goodly portion of the body of Christ nothing more than a wimpy, powerless remnant having no bearing nor relevance for folks looking for light in a dark, dark world.
I will remind you that Jesus was pretty specific in Matthew 10 ( and other places) as he launched disciples on their way to individual ministry. He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Why would Jesus give them this power if he didn’t expect unclean spirits had been, still were, and would continue to be an issue to be dealt with? Please note the ALL manner of sickness and disease. All means all. The power and authority of Jesus was not issued with an expiration date and Romans 11:29 tells us that His gifts and calling are without repentance which is just an old fashioned way of saying that God is not an Indian Giver. If he gives you something He won’t take it back.
I would also like to submit the story of Blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46. We aren’t told a lot about him other than he was sitting by the side of the road when he hears a huge crowd coming by with lots of commotion. Jesus had not been operating in a vacuum: He was BIG news. His miracles and teachings were so amazing that I can imagine that is all the folks were talking about. When this totally blind fellow finally deduced that it was this Jesus creating such a kerfuffle in the road, he wasted no time. His opportunity was passing him by…literally! He began to yell at the top of his voice,” Jesus! Son of David! Have Mercy on Me!!!”
A casual reading of this passage may not really catch your attention, other than to think that his enthusiasm refreshing. But look closely at what is happening here; by Bartimaeus linking the name of Jesus with ‘Son of David’ he was boldly, explicitly loudly acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah, the anointed and long awaited One. He is saying in so many words that I know who you are, I believe in you and I KNOW that you can heal me. If you did it for others in other parts of the country you can do it for me here, now! Acknowledging His kingship, Identity and Power is Worship. He responds to worship.
The crowd tried to shush him up, quiet him down. I’m sure they were annoyed or perhaps embarrassed by the fuss he was making. Blind Bartimaeus wasn’t having any of that! He kicked it up a notch. He knew that the crowd and Jesus were moving on down the road. He was Seeking the Kingdom of Heaven. Time was critical: “Jesus, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!” Jesus heard him and stopped. Bartimaeus was called to come over to Jesus. Watch this, it is really important: Bartimaeus jumps up, throws off his beggars cloak. King James says that he cast it away. Bartimaeus KNEW that he wasn’t going to need his state authorized “license” to beg cloak anymore. That was faith! Jesus then asks him what he could do for him and Bart says Lord,” I want my sight restored.” Jesus said: ” Go your way, your faith has made you whole.” Never forget that the wholeness of what Jesus brings to each one of us includes much more than our salvation!
Immediately the former beggar man received his sight….and followed Jesus in the way. This doesn’t mean that he followed him down the street, although I expect that he did. Blind- NO- more- Bartimaeus decided that he would FOLLOW Jesus…in The Way.
* quick author’s note: Unlike Bartimaeus yelling out for his miracle, every instance I can think of in the Bible of children receiving deliverance, healing or being raised from the dead came specifically at their parents request. They have authority over the precious ones in their care. The parents acknowledged that they believed in Jesus and could get the job done for their children ( or servants).
So battering rams don’t give up. They keep slamming against sin, hard- heartedness, doctrinal errors, all the foolish excuses,procrastination and misinformation that needs tearing down. They have the faith to keep going.
They are capped with the word of God which keeps them fueled up and strong. Like our friend Bart, they acknowledge the Lordship of the One they represent. Battering Rams are strong and useful,available to be used. They, like you, were designed to worship and be used of the King. A battering ram serves at His pleasure and is a capable tool of the Commander in Chief. As we see in that verse in 2 Corinthians I quoted above: A battering Ram pounds down strongholds. With the power of the Holy Spirit we are not only, available and able to share the story of Jesus but we operate in His Authority to release those tormented by the demonic, break the chains of bondage, heal all manner of sickness and disease. It’s part of His plan and it works. The salvation was free. To successfully walk in the way requires action. Never give up until the battle is done. Ram on! Ram on! Ram on!