When I started thinking about “Warrior”-the theme for the Declare Conference this year, my approach was more about thinking how that related to my life and the lives of other Christians. However, as I continued to think, to mull it over, to write my impressions, I’ve become more aware of what being a warrior means to the world. After all, the world can pick a warrior out of a crowd very easily, a police officer, a firefighter, a doctor or nurse in a hospital, a member of the armed forces among others.
I’ve made a list and limited it to ten items. Perhaps you have other items to add. Please share.
- A warrior is a single entity, complete in one person.
- A warrior is a member of team, an organized group of people who each have a specific role and who work together in concert to accomplish the goals set before them.
- A warrior is easily identifiable.
- A warrior stands out in the crowd.
- A warrior, even though alone physically, is never alone mentally.
- A warrior keeps weapons and armor in good working order.
- A warrior is prepared for battle by practicing his craft daily with other warriors.
- A warrior knows the risk and the price that may be asked.
- A warrior stands ready to defend and is prepared for the order to advance to meet the enemy because the warrior trusts the leader.
- A warrior engages the enemy without regard for self and exhibits bravery and courage in the midst of battle.
The world also sees us every day.
I wonder, can it see the warrior in us?
We don’t wear identifiable clothing. For the most part, in the day to day, we blend in with the crowd and we are not visibly part of an organized group. Yet, who we are, and Whose we are, is easily recognizable by others who see us. It’s ‘in our aspect and in our eyes’– to borrow a line from the poet. It’s in our attitude, our behavior, our speech, our generosity, our gratitude, our charity, our humility, our service to others.
Whether we are prepared or not is also detectible in many, sometimes subtle ways:
- When we come along side of others to pray, to help, to feed spiritually and physically, to rejoice and to grieve together.
- When we stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
- When we live by Scripture and submit to the Will of God.
- When we tell others who we are and Who we believe in and how that’s changed our lives.
- When we realize that we, individuals, are a part of The Whole.
- When we share that we follow The Way, The Truth and The Life embodied in Jesus Christ.
- When we understand we are the branches and He is the Vine and apart from Him we can do nothing.
- When we understand that the Unlimited Power of the Holy Spirit within us is always available to us to fight the battles in His Strength- not ours.
In this world we live in, God instructs us to arm ourselves. Both to protect ourselves and to take up the one and only weapon we need pick up- His Word. He offers what is needed to prepare us for battle, to make us warriors.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 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. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:10-17