Originally written in July, 2016
A few weeks ago my parents finished redecorating my old bedroom with a new bed and furniture (which the family dog seemed to enjoy). In the future this will be used as a bedroom for my Nephew Titus, and perhaps someday become my study (editors note: I’m incredibly thankful my parents were later that year able to move to Richmond VA, and live closer to my brothers family).
My attention was immediately drawn to the phrase “be a warrior” painted on the wall My mother has since put a picture of me crossing the finish line of a marathon under those words, and hung the sign at the top of this post reading “St. Vincent where a warrior lives.”
There is no doubt in my mind that I am a warrior (somebody strongly committed to Christ) because not many people would be willing to leave everything they know and share the Gospel in a foreign culture. By God’s grace I’m able to wake up every morning knowing the Gospel empowers me to be a warrior.
The problem is I don’t always feel that way
There are many things that can discourage us from fulfilling our calling as warriors
- Physical weariness (being run down)
- Frustration over setbacks or failures
- Satan’s temptations and attacks
- Lack of results or fruit that were expected
- and just plain laziness!
In moments like this we must remember our calling to be warriors (those who serve God faithfully) has nothing to do with or circumstances or feelings. Instead it refers to our spiritual standing in Christ. There are many Scripture passages that teach this, but Ephesians 2:4-10 is one of the best.
Eph. 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Ephesians two teaches God takes us from being slaves unable to save ourselves from (Eph.2:1-3) and not only sets us free from that slavery (Eph.2:5) but made us His children (Eph.2:6-7), and given us the responsibility of representing Him (Eph.2:10).
As a children of God we have not only the rights, but motivation to become warriors even on our worst days. Yet its easy on those days to offer a half-hearted commitment instead of the one our Lord deserves.
This lack of commitment is illustrated well in a video created by Eric Ludy called The Gospel. In it he explains how we were freed from the prison of sin and invited to be sons of the king (God) however many people never actually move past freedom in the prison cell.
Here’s the problem: Most of us have stopped with the Good News right there. The Blood of Jesus Christ has been shed. He was killed. That is unbelievable news, but we are still in a prison cell. We are praising God within the cell saying: (thank You for forgiving me; thank You for changing the sign above my cell) and God’s Word says, “Could you check the door because My Blood was shed for more than just forgiveness!”
Forgiveness was the avenue through which He could make the escape for us. He isn’t just interested in dealing with consequences or the penalty of sin. He has also dealt with the problem of sin. Test the door to the prison cell, its unlocked! WALK OUT! Smell the open air of freedom and liberty and the Life of Jesus Christ!
Towards the end of the video Ludy illustrates the calling that we have from God as His children
“I love You“, He says, “and I have a commission for you.” (For me? You want me to work for You?) “I want you to work for Me. I want you to represent Me.” (Absolutely, anything I can do for You, just tell me.) ” I need you to go back to that prison that I took you out of because there’s a whole bunch more that need to know about Me.” ( In a heartbeat. I would gladly serve You; anyway You want; anyway You ask.)“I need to forewarn you. I am going to send you out and you’ll be a sheep among wolves. They will kill you. They’ll destroy you and they’ll hate you. They will persecute you and do whatever they can to harm you.” ( I’m in. I’ll do it God. I don’t care. You shed Your Blood for me; I would gladly shed mine for You. Take my body, take my blood, spend it anyway You want. I belong to You. Take me LORD Jesus, send me.)