God is Training a Holy Remnant
Updated: Feb 13
As I pray for the church, I see sweat breaking across beaten brows. I hear tears of anguish cracking through white-knuckled grit. I smell the fragrance of worship, like perfume from shattered vessels, rising to God's throne on the praises of the saints who are suffering, laboring, or grieving. I lament,
"When, Lord, will you release your people from these painful contortions?"
“Kashta,” I hear, in reply.
I look it up. It’s a Syriac word – the ancient form of Aramaic that the early Christians spoke.
It means, “Archer”. It was a name for elite Hebrew warriors.
As I write this down, I look up (I'm standing in the middle of the sidewalk) and behold a rainbow:
The Lord directs my attention towards the bending and stretching of a bow in his hand, like he is fashioning it for war. He draws my attention to the fact that it's a composite bow. I later read that a composite bow is what Kashta warriors were trained to use, once they mastered a regular bow.
It ain't exactly a "fun time", this training. It's described as strenuous. But, when the enemy is coming to enslave, steal and kill, fun isn't really relevant. Focus, attention, trust, courage and faith are up.
I read one ancient description of a composite bow that likens it to the tendons and bones of a human skeleton.
When God molds and forms us for his purposes, it hurts.
The composite bow is kept in a beautiful case, with ornate, and attentive detail. Do we not have a protector and cover in the Lord, who is far more beautiful?
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Psalms 91:4
For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a blessing. Psalm 5:12
Kashta archers undergo strenuous training. They are taught to use their weapons by an up-close-and-personal master who will wrap his arms around the trainee, making adjustments for precision. This is an image of the Holy Spirit, who fights for us, strengthens us and helps us to obey him when we are suffering.
Holding still in Abba's arms is how we learn him. And how, we learn from him.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and will bring to your remembrance all things that I have said to you. John 14:23
An archer watches for the enemy or the target at a distance. They monitor and identify danger. They have discernment. They are offensive, in their tactic. But, archers aren’t trigger happy. They breathe, settle and stabilize themselves while taking aim.
This distance requires time spent in solitude -- even if it's in the bathroom in the middle of the night. The secret place with the Lord is essential.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8
Because of the time spent in stillness and quiet, they are also discerning of the atmosphere. They can identify breezes and crossdrafts and factor for them, while taking aim. They are intensely focused. They don’t look to the left or to the right. They are precise, accurate, and deadly.
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Matthew 10:16
The pinpoint of the arrow of the warrior is the word of God, the Sword of the Spirit. It's forged into us through hammering trials and sharpened by intimacy and obedience.
For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, and piercing as-far-as the division of soul and spirit, and joints and marrows, and able-to-judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Humility sharpens our vision so that we can aim our prayers with precision.
The composite bow is made with bending and tension. Bowing in humility. If we were left without any of the incredibly humbling trials that God has designated for us, we’d be only as useful for warfare as a slack bow.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. James 1:2-8
Trials behind and trials ahead are meant to teach us that the only reliable and steadfast thing is God's word. It's the only sure and unchanging thing we have. Tribulation is the curriculum that God often uses to teach us obedience to his word (Hebrews 5:8).
We hit the enemy target by focusing on Jesus, with faces set like a flint on him (Isa. 50:7). If we aim with our eyes on the darkness, we will fumble. But, if we aim with our eyes on Jesus, the joy set before us, God will see to it that the stone hits the giant square in the eye. Behold the Lamb and behold his grace on display for you as you obey him!
No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
2 Timothy 2:4
Because the Lord fashions us as arrows, bows, archers, watchmen, warriors, and soldiers, we must take our positions. Archery isn’t just defensive or reactive. It’s offensive. The Lord of Armies (the Lord of Hosts is his name!) is calling his army to intercede and spread His WORD with fervency against the darkness. He’s calling us to shake the sleep and lethargy from our eyes and beat back the enemy from our families and the church by wielding the sword of the Spirit. He’s calling us to set captives free by praying in the Spirit and by proclaiming his Word. We have to pick up his word and and use it with force, from a place of faith -- the rooted identity that develops when we spend time with God.
You have One who is fighting for you, with you, and training you up, if you've put your faith in Jesus who died and was raised again. The Lord of Hosts - The Lord of Armies cries for his bride to rise to his side, by the power made available through the blood of Jesus. Shed for her. That she may take her seat of victory beside him. Are you the bride of Christ? You have a humble king to comes to you, and calls you beloved.
Bow, biblically, means “victory.” His rainbow was his promise -- the covenant of his faithfulness. It is finished. There's no earning our place in his kingdom. There's only following the Savior into certain, written, victory.
This is a call to load the bow, saints! I know it's hard, but this is a call to disentangle our attention from the affairs of this world, so that we can commune with God, read and obey his word and pray like there's no tomorrow. Hateful armies of death are galloping over the horizon. Can you hear them? They are coming to apply pressure by depriving and oppressing the church with more fear and deception. We need the power of Christ in order to resist their ungodly demands and to resist becoming spellbound by the atrocies that God is going to allow to unfold as judgement.
We must brace and settle our minds on the Word of God, now. We must pray his promises without ceasing, now. We must sing the truth out-loud, now. We must not neglect to gather, now. We must choose this day whom we will serve.
When we fear the Lord alone, his courage and boldness will rise up in us.
He pours out his thoughts to us when we are repentant, humble and I obedient.
Blessed be the LORD, my Rock,
who trains my hands for war,
my fingers for battle.
He is my steadfast love and my fortress,
my stronghold and my deliverer.
He is my shield, in whom I take refuge,
who subdues peoples under me.
After encouraging my heart and settling my resolve in the warrior commission of a disciple, I began to write and the Lord gave me these words:
Do not fear man. Remember always: If you are in Me, you are not of this world. You are an ambassador of the King of Kings to declare the day of the Lord, repentance and forgiveness from sin and healing to the broken and weary.
I am storming the gates of man's castles of sand, who have built empires off of sin. They are wicked tormentors who line their pockets with other people's fear, shame and illness, and thereby will increase their own debt. Those who are not with me, are against me. Those who straddle fences will find themselves falling in thin air. Repent, now.
Speak love and mercy and healing to those who are bound. Proclaim my Son! Proclaim my Love and proclaim my wrath from which I have made a way of escape and I will ignite the sin-expelling power of a new affection for my Son.
Do not fear reproach. The fire from my mouth will destroy the curses of those who will hate you, because they hated me first. They do not know me. Ignore them. I will deal with the proud. Go to the broken and outcast. Eat your daily bread. Ask me, and I will give you tongues of fire that will strike hearts with astonishing precision that will cause every false idol to fall and my name to be glorified (Matthew 10:19).
You are the head and not the tail. You are above and not beneath. Blessed are those who are hated for my namesake.
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
Kashta Archers and Bows in the Bible:
Join me with my friend to pray for your healing, lost family members, grief, anxiety, the spirit of heaviness, the church, your walk and more: