On Being Warriors.

By: Jacklyn Vanderpool, LiveBeyond Evangelism & Discipleship Training Director

By: Jacklyn Vanderpool, LiveBeyond Evangelism & Discipleship Training Director

 

Over the last several weeks we have had three American soldiers staying at the LiveBeyond base. Every time they tell a story I can’t help but marvel at their lack of fear and their obvious strength. They exude confidence in their skills and just by their stature you know not to mess with these guys. It has been an honor to work along side of these men because just as iron sharpens iron, they are influencing the LiveBeyond staff and security to become fearless warriors. For those of you who have been to LiveBeyond over the last several months you have probably heard my dad’s morning devotional on how we are called to be warriors. I have heard this talk numerous times and every time without fail, he rallies the troops and prepares us for our daily spiritual battle. Every week day, I teach a class training Christians on how to make disciples. I was particularly excited about the study on Ephesians because after five incredible chapters, the final chapter focuses on how God prepares and equips us for battle. 

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” Ephesians 6:10-18

The first thing that strikes me about this passage is that it is not our strength that we are called to rely on. God does not throw us into the fray and then abandon us, instead, we are called to be strong in His strength and His might. What I may be able to accomplish through my own strength pales in comparison to the mountain moving, bread multiplying, life giving power found in God. As Paul continues he makes it clear that our battle is not against flesh and blood but the spiritual realm. There are battles that we face every day, cancer, relationships, and jobs, but these are not the battles Paul references. Instead, it is the battle between the enemy and God. As Christians, we have been enlisted into this battle but we do not walk into the fighting without proper preparations. We are given a belt, breastplate, shoes, shield, a helmet, and a sword. The belt is the truth that we live and speak. Our breastplate is the righteousness that we walk in daily. In order to share the gospel we must go, therefore our shoes are the gospel of peace. Our shield is our faith in Jesus who is our firm foundation and protector against the tactics of the enemy. Our salvation is the gift of the blood of Jesus that was freely given to us. The sword of the Spirit is Jesus. Revelation 19:13 says that Jesus is the Word of God, meaning that when we wield our sword, we are wielding Jesus. 

If it is not our strength that we rely on, instead the strength of the Lord God Almighty and we are given the armor of God, then I ask, what do we have to fear? God is a warrior, He has called us to join into the fight but instead we cower and limit ourselves to our fears and weaknesses. He has called us to be champions for the oppressed, widowed, orphaned, and lost but we run in the opposite direction. We have been given all the necessary training and equipment to run into battle and take ground for the Kingdom of God. We cannot stand by and leave the dirty work to a select few. We have to be willing to step up into our full God-given potential to realize that we have the same Spirit that Jesus has. We have been given the strength, the armor, and the Spirit, it’s time that we put it on and charge into battle. 

No longer will we cower behind lies, excuses, and fear. No more will we let the children of God be destroyed by the enemy. Never again will we stand by while the enemy steals, kills, and destroys. From this day forth we stand in the strength that the Lord has promised us. Starting now we put on the armor that God has presented to us. We run head first into the battle cutting down evil and crying out the name of Jesus in victory. We have a job to do. We are called to be like Jesus and it’s time that we step into that role. 

Dig deep, find that passion, ignite that warrior spirit, and plunder hell and populate Heaven.