Friday, March 10, 2017

Hit Me With Your Best Shot (feat. Mali Music's "Ready Aim")

After a month-long hiatus, I'm back to blogging. I took a break to block the enemy's punches. In mid-February, I had to have unexpected minor surgery, and after a six-day hospital stay, I came home and found out a few days later that one of my cousins suddenly passed away. The last week and a half has been a whirlwind, and honestly, part of me is still in disbelief. As I went through the motions of surgery recovery followed by the stages of grief, I kept this blog in the back of my mind and found myself struggling to figure out what to write and how. I thought about taking another week to gather my thoughts, but I knew if I did that, a week would turn into a month, and before I knew it, I'd just stop writing altogether...and I couldn't let that happen. Writing is my gift, my assignment. The enemy packed a powerful punch, but I couldn't just let him win, so I wracked my brain to find songs about how to fight back when the Devil does everything in his power to knock you down...and God gave me Mali Music's "Ready Aim," a rock/soul hybrid from his 2014 album Mali Is..., about how to keep a winning attitude when it seems like Satan is giving us everything he's got.

Mali Is... cover art / Amazon 

Verse 1:

I’m on an airplane

And the destination of this flight is to the

other side

Guess I have to go there

Guess I have to come here, yeah

I know where I’m from but now

I’m headed where I’m going right

"Ready Aim" is essentially one giant extended metaphor. The "flight" is the Christian walk, and the "other side" is the place/person/thing that may cause us to doubt God and/or lose faith. In this life, there will always be an "other side," unfamiliar territory, new stresses we haven't dealt with before, and sometimes even unbelievers who will try to convince us that God's not real. God exposes us to certain people, places, and things in the world to allow us to grow in Him; sometimes to be a light in darkness, and other times to see how strong our faith is. When Mali says, "I know where I'm from but now / I'm headed where I'm going right," he means that as followers of Christ, we are IN the world but not OF the world. In an excerpt from John 15:19, Jesus says, "You do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you" (NIV).

It's not just the physical world that hates us, though. There are evil spiritual forces working against us too. Mali references these forces in the song's hook, "But there are powers, in the air, you can’t see them / And they have rockets and machine guns / And they’re firing on my plane." Ephesians 6:12-13 reads:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

The "rockets and machine guns" Mali mentions are a metaphor for the spiritual weapons that evil principalities use against us (our weaknesses, shortcomings, negative feelings, etc.) to keep us from becoming who God has called us to be.

Since Mali is equipped with the full armor of God, he challenges the enemy, basically telling him 'Hit me with your best shot!':

But I say fire, fire oh

Ready, aim, fire,

You can’t shoot me down, no

Fffff fire! Fire

Ready, aim, fire, you can’t stop me now, no

In spite of Satan's efforts to keep him down, he says he's on a mission:

Tryna make it straight cause it’s sideways

Tryna take water to a dry place

Tryna take hope where it ain’t none

Tryna take low to a high place

Wanna make the shooter put the gun down

So a mother gets to hold her son now

Wanna make the lame man run again

Make the blind man see the sun again

But all I hear is bang bang, gat, gat

I don’t think the powers really want that

Breathing down my neck

Always on my back

Got the guns out

The Devil is threatened by who we are in Christ. He sees the good we try to do in the world and does everything he can to stop us because he doesn't want other people to board the flight we're on, the airplane whose destination is eternal life. The enemy will always be on attack, always awaiting our downfall. It's up to us to fight back. Our lives, and the lives of almost everyone we're connected to, depend on it.

Ephesians 6:14-16 (NIV) says:

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,

and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Satan can throw all the arrows he wants. As long as God is on my side, none of them will ever hit my bullseye. No weapon formed against me shall prosper. Victory is mine (and yours)! In Jesus' name, amen.

Check out the acoustic version of "Ready Aim" below:

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