Friday, March 7


"Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith." Galatians 6:7-10 (NLT)

Last night, I was honored to be in fellowship with some (well, okay….two to be exact) men that are on the journey of spiritual manhood, to put it simply. Taking up the sword and shield of the Army of God and standing to the battle line in this war for the souls of all mankind (PC-human kind). As is the case in physical warfare, as any solider will tell you, there is the illusion that you are fighting alone in the midst of the clamor of war. But you aren't.

Nor are we in the spiritual warfare that men were designed to fight, nor in the spiritual support that comes from women of faith. We were made for community, relationship, and better things than this world can give us in its current state.

Once again, God impressed upon me that I am not alone. Though the clamor of war barely reaches my ears as I struggle the foes that surround me, there are other warriors standing the line….fighting the only fight that has any meaning in this world. For souls, for faith, and for God.

I was given the opportunity to hold a real Scottish broadsword, like the one that Mel Gibson carries in the movie Braveheart. As the group leader pointed out, the sword doesn't have to be sharp to cause damage, the sheer weight of its blade can do harm and mayhem upon a human body. Just like our words, those immaterial things that we can say that will destroy a human heart in a few beats of breath….not sharp to a point of sheer sharpness maybe, but brutally heavy. I couldn't imagine fighting a prolonged battle with such a weapon in my hands…..but I can remember several times the weapon of my words, and how easily it swung on target with savage perfection.

Submission is a word that carries a weight all its own, and is as misused as the word love or the concept of manly headship in the homes of America today. Mention being submissive to most women and they will respond with anger, frustration, and disconnection. Mention the concept of headship to most men and they run in terror or laugh sarcastically in your face. And yet, mention service and all of us will nod our heads with understanding. But both designed purpose for men and women are couched in service. Men with service in protection, prophecy, priesthood, and promise; women with service in the form of willingly and voluntarily placing themselves under the leadership of another.

Like that Scottish sword that I held for a brief (very brief) moment last night, our ability to harm each other takes effort and deliberate motion (consciously or unconsciously) to do so. And it doesn't have to be sharp to cause damage to the fragility of the human spirit. We plot our revenge against those who have harmed us, cause us pain and sorrow, and see justice from the God we as Christians serve. When it doesn't come, we feel that anger redirected against a God that doesn't seem to have our best in mind. So we justify to ourselves.

And just as sheathing that heavy broadsword took deliberate motion and thought, so does our unnatural (humanistically speaking) ability to not swing it in intentional purpose even when our hearts cry out for the justice of the offended, the misaligned, and the wounded. It takes a deliberate and intentional action to stand amid the battle raging and lower the sword to the ground.

Yet, in that moment of what would seem intentional suicide, we show the strength of our Lord and Savior in the movement towards that which we most fear….the loss of our very lives. God tells us, as Jesus spoke, there is no greater love than someone to lay down their life for another. To give opportunity for wounding and possibly a deadly blow upon our very life.

We have become a society that is honors those who isolate and rip at the very fabric of our design. We proclaim that "it's all good" so long as it promotes the individual over the majority, the crowd over the single person, or the minority over the national heritage. We have redefined God to be someone who is just along for the ride, who doesn't really care how we get there (spiritual freedom) but that we realize that we are the agents in our own destinal desires. We aren't about to lay down that sword and shield, but we will turn as the Scottish Army did when the English brought out their mighty body of warriors. "We didn't come to fight," is one Scottish warrior's cry…….

And William Wallace rode before the Army standing there and talked about how they might not live the day, but they would stand for freedom…….and then went to pick a fight with the English negotiators. History proves what that stand did…and the rewards of the inflamed spirit that Wallace fueled to fighting on that ground that day for a purpose beyond what they could've settled for but lesser than what they were called for; as men, as countrymen, and as a nation.

We can stand with our swords in our hand and the shield riding strapped to our arm. And claim we didn't come to fight. And we might survive the battle that day, going home to our loved ones surrounded by friends and family, to live another day. Negotiating a peace that is as fragile as our human bodies. And as illusional as our control over our lives.

Or, we can do what William Wallace did that day and go pick a fight with the enemy. And instead of swinging our swords against those who stand in that mighty darkness, we can drop them or sheath them and embrace those wounded souls.

There is a season in which we have to raise sword and shield, as one of Wallace's lieutenants said "Well, at least we're not dressed for nothing." There will be times in our battle where the wounding of souls will be necessary and justified. How will we know? Where is the ability that tells us to embrace or pierce?

In the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. We have to be tuned to the will of the Father, implanted with the commandments of His Law, and living in constant communication with the battle leader, Jesus Christ, as we engage in this battle for the souls of all humanity. When we have placed ourselves into submission to the Savior and the Father, our actions become directed by the true King. We become greater than we ourselves ever could be.

Maybe the verse I was directed to today doesn't fit the rest of what I've written. Or maybe it is indeed the stirring speech not unlike what William Wallace was portrayed to have given in that decisive battle on that dreadful day in the history of Scotland.


Or maybe it is the very stirring of our struggle… not give up hope that spring eternal and to remember that sometimes it will be our brothers and sisters that fall in the battle of this war. Or it might be our time to sheath our swords and embrace those who are lost at the cost of our own.

We can chose to turn around and go home; doing nothing more than accepting the salvation given. Or we can stand for something greater; as men, as countrymen, and as the family of God for something greater than we ourselves could ever achieve.

Through love and with the goodness of the Spirit as our guide, we should always remember to………………

Struggle well. And never accept a negotiated settlement that supercedes the promise of our freedom, inspired and promised from the Creator Himself.


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