by Rocky Fleming
"All right. They're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us ... They can't get away this time." Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller USMCGeneral Puller shouted these words to his men in WW2, when he and his guys were completely surrounded by the enemy and there seemed to be no hope. What seemed like a sure disaster for them would in fact be the beginning of a victory, as they embraced his courage and made it their own. I love it when men and women of courage refuse to look at defeat as an option, but instead summon an internal fortitude to stand strong and overcome great odds. I especially love this when battling against an overwhelming force of evil that seeks to destroy men and women, husbands and wives, children and families, a church, … and a nation. I love it when God’s family unites, even in small numbers, to stand against the oppression of the enemy. I love it when we refuse to give up, or quake in fear, or accept that any force is more powerful than our God. I love it when Christians finally embrace the name given to us. “More than conquerors.” What I do not love, in fact I look at it with great pity, is that many Christians do not embrace their identity as God’s family, which is to be part of a royal priesthood. They do not embrace their identity, or the privilege and power granted to us to be more than conquerors, and as a result, they embrace a lie that defeats them in their mind and heart before they even try to battle back. They need courage. Courage is connected to passion, and passion is inspired in the heart. The heart of Jesus gives us the greatest courage ever forged on the battlefield of life. It is formed in our life by seeing ourselves through His view of us, rather than how our experiences, our wounds, the world’s values system, and the Evil Man shapes our thinking. I just hate it when Christians buy the lie that they are powerless, or worse that they just don’t want to fight it, and as a result they accept defeat. Why do I bring this subject up? Glad you asked. Lately our leadership team has had an abnormal number of discouraging encounters with personal health issues, family challenges, spiritual fatigue, and trials that the people they minister to encounter. As a discipleship ministry we all know that to do it right we must enter the relationship with people where they hurt and where they have their greatest challenges. Whoever said that discipleship is messy might have understated it? Little wonder few people dedicate their lives to enter such a danger zone with our own personal emotions to help others. As rewarding as it is, it is a battlefield that can wound us greatly. Therefore, I greatly respect our leaders for the way they live their life and ministries out. They would be best described as, “grace under fire.” I also become agitated when I see these courageous saints not being undergirded as they should be by the people they minister to, and who live around them. Rarely do they receive a call or a message that wants to give them encouragement but rather to be encouraged. Rarely do people around these men and women understand the great impact their words and deeds have on these people when they are given a gentle message, or an encouraging word of thanks for a job well done. They need it greatly. Never doubt a warrior needs to be encouraged as well, for inside, we are just ordinary men and women. Let me explain myself more clearly using another person’s thoughts on the matter. Twila Paris wrote a beautiful song some years ago. Her lyrics stopped me in my tracks when I heard them. I hope she is honored by my sharing a few words from her song, “The Warrior is a Child.” Lately I've been winning Battles left and right But even winners can get Wounded in the fight People say that I'm amazing Strong beyond my years But they don't see inside of me I'm hiding all the tears They don't know that I go running home when I fall down They don't know Who picks me Up when no one is around I drop my sword and cry for just a while 'Cause deep inside this armor The warrior is a child The warrior is a child Unafraid because His armor is the best But even soldiers need a quiet place to rest People say that I'm amazing Never face retreat But they don't see the enemies That lay me at His feet Now to my point. My dear fellow followers of Christ. The time has come that we need all hands on deck, and our work is to no longer be delegated only to a few warriors. Every one of you has the potential to be a great warrior for Christ, and to make a big difference to your world around you. It could be in your home, your family, your marriage, your neighborhood, your church, and many of your other relationships that you have. You do not have to be a superman or superwoman to be this person. You simply need to be God’s child, embrace your identity and position, wrap His armor around you, and become the dangerous spiritual warrior God has formed you to be by living in close proximity with Jesus Christ. You might not believe it right now, but Jesus has put Satan and his minions on the run, and it is time that we follow His work up on the cross and the empty tomb by claiming holy ground in our KING’S name. Let’s just do it! HOO-RAH!!