2 Samuel 10:12
“Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.”
The battle seemed to be unsurmountable. The odds were against them. Joab and his troops went to battle against the Ammonites and the Syrians. These armies had surrounded the Israelite troops. The only thing that Joab could do was to divide the army into two and take one troop and give the other troop to Abishai his brother. Joab’s charge to the troops was to help each other if this army was too strong for one of the Israelite troops. His last words before they went to battle were, “Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people…”
The word “play” means to act the part. When Joab said to “play the men for our people,” he was saying that they were to act the part of courageous. Joab was saying that when they didn’t feel courageous, they were to act as if they were courageous. If they were scared, they were to act as if they were bold. He was saying that the battle was too important to act upon their true feelings. These men followed his advice and God rewarded them by giving them the victory.
The key to the Christian life is to act the part of what you are supposed to be when you know that you are not the part. There will be many times in the Christian walk when you don’t feel like doing right, but you must act the part and do right. Let me give you some thoughts about this truth.
First, you cannot become the part you are playing until you first act the part. In other words, you will never become bold for Christ until you first act like you are bold. What I am saying is, when you first start doing right, you won’t feel like what you are trying to be, but you must act the part of what you want to become before you can ever become it.
Second, when facing overwhelming circumstances, act the part. When the battle is too strong for you, act the part as if it is not too strong for you. Part of winning in the Christian walk is to out-bluff Satan that you are not afraid of his onslaught against you. You may not be stronger, but you can act the part as if you are stronger.
Third, when you are too weak to do something, act the part. So, you know that you are too weak to overcome your temptation; act the part that you are strong enough to overcome it and don’t yield to the temptation. Part of the formula for winning is getting yourself to believe you can do it. It will take every fiber of your being to get yourself to believe that you can overcome your temptation. Instead of surrendering to your weakness, act the part out of overcoming your weakness, and you will overcome it.
Fourth, when trusting God is scary, act the part and trust God. If trusting God were easy, it would not be trust. Trusting God is scary, but you must play the part of trust and act for your trust to become belief. You will never trust God in the dark days until you first act the part of trusting God.
Fifth, when people are looking for you to help them, act the part. People are watching you, and they want to believe that you are confident that you know what you are doing and are not afraid to do it. The greatest advice I can give you when people are looking to you for confidence is to act the part that you know what you are doing, and you will find that your act will encourage them, and together you can win.