ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIER
I decided to take a vacation during spring break this year to give my wife a hand with the kids and to finish some chores around the house. During this vacation, my wife rented an excellent movie called "Braveheart," a movie in which Mel Gibson directs and plays the title character, Walter Wallace. Although the movie was quite violent, and did have some explicit sexual scenes, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I enjoyed it because of the message it expressed. In simplistic terms, what it said to me was, having a cause to die for, gives one a purpose to live. We, in America, unfortunately, have lost that capacity. We have become so middle-of-the-road that nothing seems to matter much.
Walter Wallace, after returning from an uncle’s home wished only to marry, have children, farm the land and live in peace. The execution of his newly married wife by an English commander allowed Walter to focus his life on a much loftier goal; that being the independence of Scotland from a tyrannical English King.
While the nobility of Scotland waffled, Walter organized an army of dedicated soldiers and started down the road towards freedom. If the nobility could only see the higher purpose, stop bickering on who would be the king, and join the fight, the outcome could have been brought about in a quicker timetable. Nevertheless, they continued under false pretenses, pretending to worry about the common man, while they only worried about keeping the status quo and increasing their wealth.
Finally, the nobility plays the part of Judas Iscariot handing Walter over to a dying king. Walter is asked to pledge allegiance to that king so that he may receive a merciful death. Walter chooses the hard way and is tortured before he dies, not once crying out over the pain from the torture, but crying out with the cause of that pain, freedom!
After watching that riveting show, I spoke with my wife and said, "this might sound crazy, but I believe that is the way every man wishes to die." She said, "you’re right, you are crazy." "No", I said, "I mean it." "To look evil in the eye and not be defeated." "To not take the easy way out." "To standup for a cause, and die for that belief." Kind-of -like what Jesus did for us!
During my lifetime, I have seen very few truly brave people. Someone who believed in a cause, so much, that he or she was willing to die for it. Only one person comes to mind, that being Martin Luther King. Unfortunately, the time line we have walked during history hasn’t been much different from that of any other peoples, or their time line. There have been very few truly brave men. There have been very few true leaders. There have been very few truly committed souls.
David, back in Old Testament, was one of those truly brave, truly committed, leaders. We see that David was able to do great things for his people, because he allowed God to work in and through him. In 1 Samuel, 17:45, we see David’s courage as he prepared to do battle with Goliath. ".... But I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the Armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands."
Dudes, these were some powerful fighting words.
Goliath was definitely a heavy weight bruiser. He was a nine-feet tall, a champion warrior who ate people like David for lunch. Goliath was a man who coined the phrase "Be all that you can be." He was a man who had been fighting since his youth. A man who had all the physical attributes that made him a well-designed killing machine.
What did David have? He was just a boy as Saul so aptly put. In the world’s eye David had nothing in comparison with Goliath. In the world’s eye David had little to no chance of beating Goliath on that battleground; and yet David won. He slung his stone killing that mighty champion Goliath and then cut off his head using Goliath’s own sword. In seeing such a thing, the Philistine Army, on that day, was routed, and God won an important battle.
How and where do you stand as a soldier of the Lord? Are you a leader, or are you one of the rank and file? Do you feel secure out in front, or do you find safety in numbers? Are you willing to die for a cause, in order to have a more productive life, or are you walking down the middle of the road as we talked about in a preceding chapter? If you’re not a member of God’s Army, do you want to be? Are you willing to wear the chevron of Christ, those being the stripe on His back! Are you willing to walk out into this world’s battlefield dressed only in the armor of God? That being the belt of truth; the breastplate of righteousness; the shield of faith; the helmet of salvation; and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.
Taking into account the armor and the weapons God would have us use, this world believes they are the winner, but we, like David, have the belief that the battle is the Lord’s. We act solely as an instrument that God uses. You see courage is nothing more than the conquest of fear; and leadership is nothing more than a stepping out in faith; and dying for a cause is nothing more than a living with a purpose!
So, come on and register for the draft. You see God developed the true selective service. For He choose us, and not the other way around.
Now march onward Christian Soldier, its time to march off to war! With nothing but the cross of Jesus to follow, we shall not suffer loss. Our victory is guaranteed for the battle has already been fought. Just pick up your cross, and follow me, and together, that being God, you, and me we shall write our names into the annals of history as people of purpose, or better yet, as brave hearted men and women of the Lord.
The Lone Sentinel
He is the Lone Sentinel.
His watch, the world;
His relief, none;
His post a wooden tower called a cross.
He was the one I sought, each time that I felt frightened, each time that I felt lost.
I’ve always heard footsteps behind me, as I trudged across this lonely, barren land.
But when turning around found nothing was there, except an extra set of footprints in the sand.
Then, one day along the road He stopped me and sat me down.
It seemed that the world stood still for a moment and His was the only sound.
I saw tears roll down His cheeks as He said, "I love you My son."
Although my life was half over, I realized it had just begun.
Now I am a soldier in His War of Peace, with love as my only shield.
And I know He is with me as I go off into the battlefield.
No history books shall tell of the battles that I have won.
But that matters not, for He knows what I have done.
Yes, He is still the Lone Sentinel, but with one more set of hands to lift Him higher on the cross.
Yes, He is still the Lone Sentinel, Guardian of the frightened, Shepard of the lost.