by Steve Carpenter
Dauntless is an adjective which means: showing fearlessness and determination.
Here are a few synonyms of dauntless straight from the thesaurus: fearless, determined, resolute, indomitable, intrepid, spirited, undaunted, undismayed, unflinching, unshrinking, bold, audacious, valiant, brave, courageous, stout-hearted, lionhearted, daring, gutsy, spunky and feisty. I love these words.
In our prayer and worship set here in Jerusalem, this phrase, “dauntless in the face of darkness” came forth as a prophetic proclamation over all of God’s children living and serving here in the Middle East. There was such a corporate sense of fervency and intensity as we prayed together over the fathers, mothers, sons and daughters of the Isaiah 19 highway.
If you remotely keep up with the headlines from this part of the world, you know that darkness continues to raise its ugly head in renewed forms of evil, murder and twisted acts of barbarism. With such waves of violent aggression, intimidation and oppression coming from the bowels of darkness, how are we, as God’s people to respond?
Do we take the same passive position as the Obama Administration when asked about their plan to deal with ISIS and the Commander and Chief simply said: We have no strategy? Do we dismiss these horrors as isolated regional events and somehow hope that we won’t have to deal with it in our own quasi-secure and insulated lives? Or worse yet, do we turn a deaf ear to the cries of our believing brothers and sisters who are being raped, tortured, displaced and martyred as Islamic radicalism advances its way throughout the Middle East?
As I think about all of this, I can’t help but think of David and his epic fight against Goliath in 1 Samuel 17.
David carried a dauntless spirit when he came to the battle to bring his brothers some bread and their captains some cheese on that unforgettable day. There, in the Valley of Elah, David heard the Philistine champion, Goliath, defying the armies of the living God leaving Saul and all Israel in a state of being “dismayed and greatly afraid” and young David had quite the response.
Ready, set, stuck.
The bible says that Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and they encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in battle array against the Philistines. The Philistines stood on a mountain on one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. And the Philistine said, "I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together." When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.
The warriors of Israel were all dressed up for battle but the intimidations of the enemy paralyzed their hearts and left them stuck on the side of the hill. Pretty sad sight. This is not the position, place, or posture for the warriors of Zion. Thank God, the story doesn't end there. A dauntless spirit came into the camp that day and changed everything.
He will deliver me.
David said, "The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." You gotta love this about David. A dauntless spirit just sees things differently, says things differently and ultimately, does things differently.
The warriors of Israel were focusing on Goliath saying, "Have you seen this man who has come up?" David, on the other hand, put his focus and confidence in his covenant relationship with God and simply said, "He delivered me before, He will deliver me again".
This dauntless spirit is not about being cocky or presumptuous. Showing fearlessness is really a matter of focus - not on us, but on God. Fear is eclipsed when we focus on the person, the nature and the promises of God. Being dauntless is simply a by-product of the revelation and relationship we have with the One whom we know, love and worship. Fearlessness ignites a determination in us to rise up, fulfill our calling and accomplish great exploits in the name of the Lord.
Dauntless in the face of darkness.
David wrote Psalm 149. In these nine dauntless verses, we find both the spirit and strategy to confront the intimidating darkness that is rising in this hour.
1. Sing a new song of praise. "Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise in the assembly of saints."
2. Focus on your Maker and your King. "Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the children of Zion be joyful in their King."
3. Get active in your worship. "Let them praise His name with the dance; let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp."
4. Be secure in the Father’s love. "For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation."
5. Practice His presence. "Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud on their beds."
6. Proclaim both the person and promise of God. "Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand,"
7. Declare, “Your kingdom come and Your will be done”. "To execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples;"
8. Let the word of God accomplish the work of God. "To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute on them the written judgment--"
9. Stand as sons and daughters of the King. "This honor have all His saints. Praise the Lord!"