My grandmother, Sue Campbell, was the epitome of a southern lady. If she wasn’t wearing something pink, she was decorating something in her house pink, she had a propensity to wear gold lame house slippers, and it was worth calling her just to hear her pick up the phone and say “hello” in her southern accent. She was one of the sweetest ladies to ever walk the planet. She was also an Amalek slayer.
You’ve most likely read the Bible story of how Amalek attacked the Israelites soon after they had escaped Egypt. The Israelites fought back, and as long as Moses had his arms lifted during the battle the Israelites won. After the battle with Amalek, God gave a perpetual command to His people – in every generation kill Amalek. As with all stories in the Bible, besides the literal interpretation, there are deeper meanings. If we dig deeper in this story, via the Hebrew alphabet, we will discover that one of the meanings of the word “Amalek” is doubt. So in other words, God gave the perpetual commandment to kill doubt.
Easier said than done. Doubt usually shows up like an uninvited guest, sometimes not even having the courtesy to knock, but barging in like it owns the place. Doubt is rude. It kicks us when we are already down and tired, like it did to the Israelites just after they left Egypt. They were beginning a new life. They were experiencing their first taste of freedom. They were literally walking in the promises of God - from bondage to freedom. And doubt stopped them in their tracks.
Doubt doesn’t play nice. It preys on our fears. It likes to parade our past failures before us. It likes to highlight our shortcomings and weaknesses. Whether whispering in our ears, or screaming in our faces, it likes to taunt us by saying, “Who do you think you are? You can’t do that. You can’t overcome. You can’t succeed. You. Can’t. Do. Anything. Right.” Sound familiar? And even if we don’t invite doubt to sit down at our table with us, sometimes we don’t feel like we have the strength to kick it out our door. So it stays, following us around, as we try not to listen to its voice. If doubt is anything, it is persisitent. That’s why God said to kill it.
My grandmother had a secret to killing Amalek/doubt. The sweet pink-clad Southerner could instantly morph into a superhero Amalek slayer. All someone had to do to activate this metamorphisis was ask her to pray.
Hundreds of people throughout her lifetime, did just that. They asked her to pray. If someone was experiencing a problem, was going through a hard time, or needed a miracle of some sort, my grandmother was the go-to prayer warrior. She was known as the woman who called upon God and got results.
She always began her prayers the same way. “Now, Father,” she would say in an authoritative tone, and then she would pause. And during that pause one could almost swear a sword could be heard coming out of its sheath. It was about to get good.
“Now, Father . . . Your Word says,” and then she would commence to tell God exactly what He had promised in His word. She was not arrogant in her telling. She was confident. A master at swinging the double-edged sword of the Word of God, she knew how to fight. With each swing of the sword, Amalek/doubt was reduced to nothingness. The giants of fear, doubt, and impossibility were reduced to the mirage they really were. Amalek was literally vaporized as faith took its place. It was truly something to behold.
My children don’t hear the sound of my sword being unsheathed enough. I myself don’t hear it enough. I’m sad to admit that I don’t use the double-edged sword of the Word of God nearly enough when I pray. How could I so often forget the precious, powerful, beautiful weapon that has been passed down to me?
When doubt reduces my faith, confidence, and moxie to almost nothingness, I need to immediately reach for the sword my grandmother used with such skill and accuracy. I need to remember my legacy. Sword yielding should be automatic. When I can't find my own words, I need to remember His Word. When doubt shows up at my door and insists on staying, I need to say, "Fine! But if you stay, you are going to get an earful. And it is going to hurt," and then commence giving a good old-fashioned slaying, just like any proper Southern Bible-yielding woman would do.