The Soldier in Full Battle Armor…Standing in the Mall

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This is what I feel like I look like to most regular Christians and regular people who look at me or the ministry I run. Standing in a public place, armed to the teeth, suited up to take on Hell. It looks—well, out of place. Abnormal. Off-putting. Unsettling. Intense. Intimidating, at times. And, yea, even foreboding.

If a warrior is present and dressed for battle,that is a good sign that we are at war. And, sorry to say, many Christians don’t recognize the war and wouldn’t know how to enlist or fight if their life depended on it—which it does, I might add.

Flatly, it is difficult to be one of the few Christian soldiers who has seen action and regularly engages in life-shaking spiritual battle.

Few of us, outside deployed military or law enforcement personnel, have actually seen a man that—only minutes before—was in a firefight. This warrior would be noted for his hot-barreled, loaded weapon, the dirt on his boots and pants, possible blood-splatter on his hands or face, grenades hanging from his chest armor, and any number of likely fresh wounds on his body. HE HAS LITERALLY JUST SEEN BATTLE!

This man is breathing hard. His eyes are wide, yet pierced with focus. His hands may be shaking. His questions are demanding and kurt, “Ammo!” “I need water!” “We’ve got two units of the enemy 3 clicks east of here.” “We’ve got to MOVE!”

Please make a special note of his vocal structure…he may yell…he has a commanding tone…he didn’t even say please or thank you. When someone speaks like this, wearing the proper attire and obviously playing the part, we would (as regular people) listen to this man and “hop to!”

Now make the spiritual parallel….

Go try to complain to an 90-pound Chinese Bible smuggler about how that pastor hurt your feelings.

Go try and tell the Indian evangelist that you are sick and tired of getting looked at funny and talked down to at school for being a Christian.

Go ahead and tell the Sundanese chaplain about how hard you are working in ministry and how tired you are…this one nailed me.

If you can find on on-fire, true believer in post-Christian England, tell them how much you struggle with the spiritual state of the American Church. Hey, we still have a chance to save this thing!

And on and on and on.

The point is, Warrior-Christianity, fighting the Good Fight, looks very abnormal. We look at men engaging in a spiritual/cultural war, seeking to defend truth and proclaim it to a lost generation, and say, “those dudes are crazy!” Well yeah, just about as crazy as running behind enemy lines, in a hail of gun fire…to get the job done! Soldiers, in the civilian world, are supposed to stand out. They are a symbol of protection, guardianship, defense, and might. When you travel to another country and see them standing at bus stops or in the airports with an Uzi, you kinda watch what you are doing a little bit. Because they are serious as a heart attack when that gun is loaded and there may be a threat. THEY WOULDN’T BE THERE IF THERE WASN’T A THREAT!

This should make us reevaluate our stance on disciples vs. converts, pew-potatoes vs. harvesters. Those engaged and those decidedly not.

Rise Up people. Rise Up!

Oh, and to all the guys fighting or have fought “real” wars in the flesh…thank you. You probably know what I’m talking about more than I do. But I pray all our soldiers know their true Captain & Commander, and have their eternal armor on as well.

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About Joshua M. Brindle

Child. Father. Husband. Herald. Writer. Messenger. Psalmist. Poet-Prophet. Biker. Beard-wearer. Teacher. Pastor? Follower. Disciple. Disciple-er. Bearer of the Torche. Keeper of the Flame. Waver of the Banner. Running the race. Fighting the fight. Revolutionary...hopefully.
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One Response to The Soldier in Full Battle Armor…Standing in the Mall

  1. Adam VanNice says:

    There is a quote from the movie “Saving Private Ryan” in which the commanding officer played by Tom Hanks tells his subordinates that “Gripes go up, not down” communicating the model of leadership. The mantle of leadership is NOT an easy one. It calls an individual to portray strength and calm in situations that are trying for even the strongest of men.

    “The true test of a leader is whether his followers will adhere to his cause from their own volition, enduring the most arduous hardships without being forced to do so, and remaining steadfast in the moments of greatest peril.” -Xenophon

    I have never been an advocate for minimizing the struggles that we face on a day to day basis simply because someone else currently has/has had it worse. We do not refrain from food and drink because there is another human being starving in Africa. We do not refrain from having children because another family lives with the risk of having their children taken to populate the fighting force of some twisted tyrant. We do not make the choice to not work because there are men and women that are jobless. We do not sleep in the streets because homelessness exists. We are all called according to God’s purpose. We are all called to live and dwell with Honor no matter what our current circumstances may be. We are all designed and molded by our heavenly father. It is given us the ability to speak, challenge, question, and make decisions based upon the heart, mind, and spirit that God has placed in us.

    Years ago, at a men’s retreat, a guy named Bob Magruder stood in front of the room and stated “You may witness to hundreds of people every day, and once in a great while you actually get a chance to talk to one”. Our lives and how we manage our homes, our marriages, our children, our friendships, our workplaces, our or other people’s belongings etc. are where our witness comes from 99% of the time verses the 1% of the time that we get to talk to someone at an event that we spend time creating or being able to share a testimony experience. I find that the more things in my life like these that I do not maintain, the harder it is for me to be viewed as a man of God that other people need to see me be.

    This same retreat, we were given an outline to prayer to start with each day, and I hope it will benefit anyone who starts their day praying this way:

    Good morning Lord. Thank you for assuring me of victory today if I will but follow Your battle plan. So by faith, I claim victory over_____________________(list some things you know you will face today).

    To prepare myself for the battle ahead, by faith I put on the belt of truth. The truth about You Lord—that You are a sovereign God who knows everything about me, both my strengths, and my weaknesses. Lord, You know my breaking point and have promised not to allow me to be tempted beyond what I am able to bear. The truth about me Lord, is that I am a new creature in Christ and have been set free from the power of sin. I am indwelt with the Holy Spirit who will guide me and warn me when danger is near. I am Your child, and nothing can separate me from Your love. The truth is that You have a purpose for me this day—someone to encourage, someone to share with, someone to love.

    Next Lord, I want to put on the breastplate of righteousness. Through this I guard my heart and my emotions. I will not allow my heart to attach itself to anything that is impure. I will not allow my emotions to rule in my decisions. I will set them on what is right and good and just. I will live today by what is true, not by what I feel.

    Lord, this morning I put on the sandals of the gospel of peace. I am available to You, Lord. Send me where You will. Guide me to those who need encouragement or physical help of some kind. Use me to solve conflicts wherever they may arise. Make me a calming presence in every circumstance in which you place me. I will not be hurried or rushed, for my schedule is in Your hands. I will not leave a trail of tension and apprehension. I will leave tracks of peace and stability everywhere I go.

    I now take up the shield of faith, Lord. My faith is in You and You alone. Apart from You, I can do nothing. With You, I can do all things. No temptation that comes my way can penetrate Your protecting hand. I will not be afraid, for You are going with me throughout this day. When I am tempted, I will claim my victory out loud ahead of time, for You have promised victory even now because I know there are fiery darts headed my way even as I pray. Lord, You already know what they are and have already provided the way of escape.

    Lord, by faith I am putting on the helmet of salvation. You know how Satan bombards my mind day and night with evil thoughts, doubt and fear. I put on this helmet that will protect my mind. I may feel the impact of his attacks, but nothing can penetrate this helmet. I choose to stop every impure and negative thought at the door of my mind. With the helmet of salvation, those thoughts will get no further. I elect to take every thought captive. I will dwell on nothing but what is good and right and pleasing to You.

    Last, I take up the sword of the Spirit, which is Your Word. Thank You for the precious gift of Your Word. It is strong and powerful and able to defeat even the strongest of Satan’s onslaughts. Your Word says that I am not under obligation to the flesh to obey it’s lusts. Your Word says that He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world. So by faith, I take up the strong and powerful sword of the Spirit, which is able to defend me in time of attack, comfort me in time of sorrow, teach me in time of meditation, and prevail against the power of the enemy on behalf of others who need the truth to set them free.

    So Lord, I go now rejoicing that You have chosen me to represent You to this lost and dying world. May others see Jesus in me, and may Satan and his hosts shudder as Your power is made manifest in me.

    In Jesus’ name I pray… AMEN.

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