Being a Christian and a warrior are two ideas seldom connected in the modern world. However, if Christians embraced the discipline and ethic of a warrior, we would see an unparalleled resurgence of strength, leadership, sacrifice, courage, and love in our world. In a previous post I listed two characteristics of warriors that should be embraced by Christians: A Warrior is Humble; A Warrior is Accustomed to Great Sacrifice. In this post, I’ll identify a two more areas Christians can embrace the call to be a warrior.
A warrior serves a higher authority.
Warriors serve under a chain of command. A warrior does not choose where they go, they are sent by higher authority to accomplish a mission. Christians are also people who are sent by a higher authority with a mission. Following Jesus means the specific application of His Word in your life and doing what He commands. Jesus is not unspecific in His commands. The heart of Jesus’ instruction could be summarized in the Great Commandment (Matthew 22) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28). Jesus’ Word is not a suggestion. We live to know Jesus and do what He says.
Some view Christianity as a philosophy to toy with, argue, debate, and explore. I’m not against apologetics or defending our faith. These things are vital. However, Christianity is not a “choose-your-own-adventure” faith. Don’t be deceived. Jesus has a real mission that He wants accomplished in the world. His agenda is making disciples for the Kingdom of God. When a church or denomination drifts from the commands of Christ to love God, love others, and make disciples, their impact is weakened.
You serve at the pleasure of a higher authority if you follow Christ. It doesn’t matter who you are. You may be a pastor, plumber, stay-at-home-mom, or a corporate executive. If you follow Jesus, you have a real purpose to live for. God wants you to know Him deeply and do what He says. You serve a higher authority. Start by confessing your allegiance to Christ today. Do what Christ makes clear in His Word, big or small. Love your family, co-workers, church, neighbor. Tell them about Christ. Look for people to encourage to follow Jesus and grow deeper in the faith. Use whatever God has given you to advance His kingdom one step at a time.
A warrior lays down their life.
Warriors want to fight, live, and win. No effective warrior has a death wish. However, a warrior also understands that sacrifice is required in their profession. A warrior is willing to lay down their life in extreme circumstances to protect the life of another. This type of ultimate commitment makes warriors effective and dangerous. They are willing to use all they have to fight, win, live, and if needed, to die.
Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.2 Timothy 2:3 (ESV)
We live in an age where many people associate Christians with weakness and compromise. However, this does not have to be a description of your faith. If you follow Christ, you serve a Savior who laid down His life for you. Jesus gave everything up for you. Through faith in Christ you can have a real, personal, and powerful relationship with the Living God. For every believer, the full price and penalty of sin was dealt with on the cross. A sacrifice like the one Jesus made deserves great honor and sacrifice on our part. He died for you. Are you willing to live for Him? Are you willing to hold fast to His Word? Will you stand boldly in a world and culture that is moving further into darkness?
even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.Matthew 20:28 (ESV)
We need Warriors. We need men and women who are God-focused, not self-focused. You don’t have to go to the other side of the planet to serve God. It begins right where you are. We must die to ourselves in the regular and mundane patterns of life. We have to focus on Jesus when no one else is looking. You only have one life to live…lay it down for Jesus each day.