Raw Reflections from the Journey

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Brutal Assault and Naked Warriors

I found a quote today that I'm really excited about.

The story of your life is the story of a long and brutal assault on your heart by the one who knows what you could be and fears it. ~John Eldredge

It explains a lot, doesn't it?

I don't look for or find demons under every rock, but I don't dispute the Biblical truth that we humans have an archenemy who directs demonic legions to harass humankind, especially God's people, and especially those who know and attempt to live their purpose (calling).

How else do you explain minor relational irritations that devolve into painful silence and hopelessness? Untimely computer crashes, inexplicably lost documents, mysterious physical maladies, etc.

I know, I know. It's easy to over-spiritualize to the point that we absolve ourselves of responsibility to do maintenance on our bodies and office equipment, but it is reality that we're under attack even if we can't see the attacker, isn't it?

Eldredge's words strengthen and encourage me. While I don't like the fact that we are perpetual victims of a brutal assault, I LOVE that it is because the assailant does it because of Who we can BE in for our King and HIS Kingdom! That means my life has purpose, and that living a surrendered, consecrated on purpose life is very dangerous to our enemy!

I was reminded of the tragic suicide of my 36 year old friend (in 1997) the other day. One of the Waterboyz for Jesus, www.waterboyz.org told about a man who began attending a Waterboyz table this Spring after hearing the Annual 100-man choir. He showed up admittedly desperate, and then he disappeared...but only for a little while. Last week he resurfaced at a local Wal-Mart where he reportedly tried to call a few people to ask for help, but no one answered...then he fatally shot himself.

I was horrified. Someone reached out for help, but then effectively disappeared. Did any men from the table call to try to connect with him? I still haven't asked the man's name. In part I don't want to know because I don't want to find out that I was one of the men who dropped the ball...I'd rather think that I did, because I could have. Living apart from the reality of the continual brutal assault by the enemy it is easy to become complacent, self-absorbed, inattentive and numb. No, I want to live on the edge, just as I would if I were a soldier in enemy territory where snipers await an opportune moment to take a head shot.

I not only want to live vigilant, but also well dressed for battle. The same Waterboy who told the tragic suicide story also challenged the leadership group about going out into the battle dressed only in a loin cloth. Can you see it? Sorry. . kind of graphic...but you get the point. Unless we don the full armor of God, (the helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the belt of truth, the sword of the spirt, etc. Ephesians 6) we are naked warriors pretty inept to respond when under assault. You get the point.

No war is won by remaining in fox-holes. Fearful troops hunkered down under cover don't take the enemy's territory. No, just as at Normandy Beach, well-outfitted warriors had to get out of the boats, cross the beach and scale the cliffs to make inroads into the enemy's encampments. And so, as Michael W. Smith sings, "this is our time, this is our dance, live every moment, leave nothing to chance."

I weary of the attacks, but I'm thrilled that Jesus always leads in triumphal procession. His armory is stocked with effective weaponry, if only we'll gird ourselves up. And then to the fight with other warriors, back to back and shoulder to shoulder.

The bad news is that the god of this age continues to attempt to defeat and destroy our King's Kingdom. The good news is that our King will win, and we with him, in the end, but even now as we fight the way he fought.

Warring on, Jeff

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