The weary, peaceful, Warrior.
The weary, peaceful, Warrior.
This is for all of us who walk with God every day, fighting the never-ending fight, and never giving up.
Earlier this week I received an e-mail from my friend Katie thanking me for The Seed of Hope. I was grateful for her words and humbled by her message. Katie has graciously allowed me to share just a bit of it with you…
“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for your ever present reminder of how faithful God is. I love reading the blog and the message even more.
It appears as though the past few weeks have been tough. I am sorry for your stress and hurt. But God has a perfect plan for a future that He can only see. I hope you have a great week!”
As I sat there reflecting on what Katie had written I came to realize several things:
· Much of what I’ve written about the past few weeks has dealt with the trials and tribulations in my life. I believe that some have been tests from God, that many have been the work of Satan, and the rest of them have been, well, they’ve been what life throws at me from time to time.
· Apparently my writing as of late has failed to reflect the joy that comes with working through the tough spots. Yep, you read it right; I said joy.
· I am weary of the fight. I am a weary, peaceful, warrior.
Yet again I find myself thinking about that day in August that I got my tattoo. The day that I was born again. The day that I declared myself to be a soldier of Christ. The day that I became a warrior for Jesus, vowing to fight His fights and to take His message wherever I could.
How ironic it was that on the day I vowed to be not just any warrior, but His warrior, I was filled with complete peace. At the very moment that I made my declaration, my mind and mind heart were filled with a calmness that, well, that I had never known. I found peace.
Peaceful people don’t want to fight; it’s not in their nature. Warriors must fight; there’s no choice to be made.
And so it has been since that day in August. Every day I recite Ephesians 6:10-20, and in doing so I put on the Armor of God, asking Him to protect me and my wife Jackie against Satan and his dark forces. And every day I go out with the intention of being a shining light for God, carrying His light to whoever lives in darkness. Every day. And I fight the fight. Because that’s what I choose to do.
Look, you don’t have to write a blog page, or declare yourself to be a soldier of Christ, or be bold in your faith every day to be tested. It’s gonna happen anyway. But you already know that, don’t you?
If you’re a good person, you’re gonna be tested every day. Believe in God? That only makes it worse. Striving to be a good Christian, walking in His way? Then you my friend, are being pounded on all the time!
I believe that what matters most is not what we’re dealt in life, but what we do with what we’re dealt.
One of my favorite verses in the NIV Bible is found in James 1:2-4:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Come on! How are we supposed to accept the crap that we have to deal with as being joy?
A couple of weeks ago, when I was having one of those particularly trying days, my good friend Sharon reminded me of James 1, but with a different perspective. Sharon suggested that I check out The MESSAGE version of the same verse:
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
A sheer gift?
YES! That’s exactly what they are! All of ‘em! Sheer gifts!
Even the ones from Satan. You think I’m kidding? I’ve learned a lot from him, especially the lengths to which he will go to get between me and God! I don’t think that he’ll ever give up…but then neither will I. On those days when I’ve just had enough of him, I just bind him up, in the Name of Jesus, and “kick him to the curb!” Laugh if you want to, but believe me, it works.
I’ve said this before, and it bears repeating:
It’s never fun when we have to go through hardships…as a spouse, a parent, a leader, a follower. Who of us likes to stumble and fall? Who doesn’t grow weary of getting back up, over and over again? Well, no one, of course.
We need to remember that every test, every lesson, and every trial that we receive from God serves to make us what He wants us to be. They get us ever closer to what He has planned for us. In every one of life’s challenges lies another piece to the puzzle, another key to His Kingdom!
And we should always look to Him for strength...
but those who hope in the Lord wil renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:30-31 NIV
Pastor Chris Hodges of Church of the Highlands here in Birmingham once said that “Greatness is born in difficulty.” I don’t know if he coined the phrase or heard it from someone else, but I certainly believe it to be true.
That being the case, I believe that, based on our actions and reactions to what life deals us, we can all be destined for greatness.
Yeah, I’m a peaceful warrior. And at times I grow weary from the fight. But I’m in it for the long haul, and I’m havin’ a ball living my life. Thanks for the reminder, Katie!
See you next week!