By Dennis Furr – Manassas, Virginia
So often in life, I have found myself involved with what I call “redcoat thinking.” In movies and history books about the Revolutionary War, you see the British Army in their uniforms with bright red coats lined up in strict military formation for battle—two or more rows of soldiers.
The first row kneels, aims, and waits for orders to fire their muskets; then the second row moves to the front. The second row repeats the process and fires their muskets and so forth. In contrast, the patriots of the American Revolution rarely stood in the open field, but used cover by hiding behind trees and rocks. Some carried multiple muskets, so they did not have to wait as long between shots to deliver a second round while the British were waiting for orders to fire.
The patriots were using what I like to call “out-of-the-box thinking.” They did not stand in the open to be shot. They were not in a rigid formation. They were not a “target-rich” environment by being next to each other.
God’s Rules versus Man’s Rules
In the Old Testament, in the book of Judges, we read about Samson and how he lived his life. He was an “out-of-the-box thinker.”
His parents were told he would be a Nazarite from birth. They were given instructions on how to raise him. His mother was told not to drink any wine or strong drink.
In Judges 13:3–5, we read the instructions given Samson’s mother. The rules for a Nazarite are written in Numbers 6.
When Samson was of age, he decided to marry a Philistine woman. Judges 14:4 tells us that his parents “knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.”
Many commentaries miss the “of the Lord” part of this section of God’s Word and think Samson was wrong for doing this, but God’s Word says just the opposite.
Samson wanted to find a way to attack the Philistines, who had the rule over Israel. When reading the record of Samson, we see he violated every rule of a Nazarite as defined in Numbers 6. But each time he violated a rule, God energized him.
We know that the adversary quoted or misquoted God’s Word to Jesus Christ, so I am confident that the adversary was aware of the rules of a Nazarite. The adversary attacked Samson each time he broke the rules (guidelines), and yet God strengthened Samson each time except once. The one time was when Samson shared his heart with an unbeliever who was trying to bring him into captivity.
There’s a lesson there for us. Share the word but don’t be “unequally yoked.”
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God…” 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 NKJV
Change Your Method
In another record in God’s Word, Daniel 2, we read about King Nebuchadnezzar and his dreams.
“Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.” Daniel 2:1 KJV
Nebuchadnezzar decided to be an “out-of-the-box thinker” by telling “the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dream.” (verse 2)
None of this “help me after I tell you the dream” stuff for Nebuchadnezzar. He was going to make sure that the men were authentic in their actions.
The penalty if they couldn’t? They were to be cut in pieces.
Daniel entered the scene and, with his believing, received from God the dream and the meaning. Daniel saved the day for the royal crew. Nebuchadnezzar’s out-of-the-box question and method for getting what seemed like an impossible answer of peace was answered by God through Daniel.
Getting out of our boxes may require prayer, thought, effort and trusting in God to show us the actions we need to take to see success.
We have nine manifestations of the Holy Spirit to utilize. We can leave the status quo and move into new ground at any time.
Getting out of the box could be as simple as traveling a different route on a certain day. Maybe ask God to show us a different way to accomplish a routine task.
Let’s get OUT OF THE BOX and out of our comfort zones into a deeper walk with him.
Ordained into Christian ministry, Dennis Furr serves on the CFF Pastoral Care Team along with his wife Susan. They have been married for more than three decades and have three children: Rebecca, Micah, and Abigail.