Being a warrior for God

Being a Christian and a warrior are two ideas seldom connected in the modern world. If Christians embraced the ethic and discipline of warriors, our world would see radical change in Christian leadership.

Have you ever met a real warrior? I’m not talking about Hollywood’s ridiculous version of the steroid-laced macho-man. I’m talking about a true warrior. They are a different breed. Warriors carry themselves differently than most people. They speak with purpose. They are not people who usually stand out in the crowd. However, others will look to them in times of great difficulty. You won’t hear a true warrior bragging about how awesome they are or about the things they have done. A warrior may have a sense of humor, but they never play the fool.  Warriors usually have a quiet confidence that comes from another source. When you meet a true warrior, you will know it. Simply put, warriors operate differently than most people. 

If Christians embraced the ethic and discipline of warriors, our world would see radical change in love, leadership, and sacrifice.

Being a Christian and a warrior are two ideas seldom connected in the modern world. Many people associate Christianity more with weakness than strength. Some prefer to think of Christians as soft, pliable, and accommodating. Others have far worse opinions of Christians. Sadly, I can think of more than one example that reinforces a bad stereotype. However, I’m convinced Christians should be warriors. Let me explain. I’ll start with a qualification: I’m not remotely suggesting that Christian ideals or spiritual change should be enacted through physical violence, making bombs, or any other crazy and unbiblical idea. I am referring to the embrace of a warrior’s ethic and mindset. If Christians embraced the ethic and discipline of warriors, our world would see radical change. I believe this shift would cause an unparalleled resurgence of strength, leadership, sacrifice, courage, and love in our world. Below are a few observations on embracing a warrior’s ethic as a Christian. 

A warrior is humble.

Warriors do not feel the need to brag about their own abilities or accomplishments. In fact, pride and arrogance are often viewed as liabilities by many communities of warriors. A warrior doesn’t seek validation from the crowd. Nor do they care about impressing a stranger. The true warrior knows who they are and what they are capable of. They are not trying to prove themselves, they are already engaged in constant self-examination and refinement.

The Bible has a lot to say about the value of humility and the danger of pride. James 4:6b says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Plus, humility is a virtue we see clearly in the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus is God’s only begotten Son. He existed with God the Father in eternity past. Yet, this heavenly Prince was born in a barn, raised by two teenage parents, and likely learned to work with his hands as a young man. Jesus has incomprehensible power, yet He humbly endured difficulty, pain, and shame for others. Jesus is our ultimate example of humility. Check out Philippians 2:5-8 and you will see Jesus’ example of humility in high definition.  

True humility means that you think of yourself LESS. A humble person is not self-focused. 

Are Christians known for their humility? Not always. Yet, humility should be at the core of our call as Christ-followers. By the way, true humility is not having a low opinion of yourself. Humility does not mean you speak about yourself in depreciating language. Furthermore, humility is not a weird case of low self-esteem. True humility means that you think of yourself LESS. A humble person is not self-focused.  A humble Christian is a God-oriented person whose ultimate confidence is found in the power of their God. They rest in the confidence that the Lord they serve is great. A Christian warrior fights against pride and embraces humility. They do this by focusing on God and others, instead of personal preferences and foolish wants. Humility enables a Christian to be a true learner of the ways of Jesus and a real friend to others. 

A warrior is accustomed to great sacrifice.

 One of the things that seperates warriors from others is the price they are willing to pay. Warriors train long hours. They endure great difficulties and pain. They are willing to sacrifice their own personal comfort, preferences, and selfish desires. Every sacrifice is made in the service of a greater cause.  Few people become warriors because they are unwilling to pay the real price. Most people are unwilling to make significant and long-term sacrifices.  The price is high to be a true warrior. Plus, the costs are ongoing. Sacrifice goes well beyond some initial period of training. Warriors make sacrifice a lifestyle. 

Great sacrifice is required to be a Christian. Jesus spoke clearly about what it takes to follow him.  Luke 9:23 says: “And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’” Being a Christian is awesome. The price for my sin is paid in full by Christ. I cannot earn salvation, nor am I paying it out on an installment plan. With that said, we have to recognize that following Jesus is costly business. Sacrifice will be required. A person cannot follow Jesus and remain where they are…they are going to have to move forward. Movement involves sacrifice. Don’t kid yourself: following Jesus is wonderful, but very costly. Following Jesus is a radical lifestyle change. If you see no change, you are not following Jesus. A Christianity without sacrifice is not the faith I read about in the Bible. It costs you something to be a Christian. Jesus tells us to count the cost before we make this all-important decision (see Luke 14:27-33). 

A Christian warrior wages an ongoing battle against every form of pride in their life.

The Christian call to be a warrior means that we shred pride in our lives. This is a daily battle.  Humble men learn. Prideful men are a liability. The call to be a warrior is the call to embrace long-term sacrifice. What are you willing to give up so that you can faithfully follow Jesus? Would you give up a job? A financial goal? Your own personal safety? Are you willing to let go of your ideal future and trust God to take you along a fierce and unknown path? 

The above list is far from complete. In the next post, I’ll share a few more observations on embracing a warrior’s ethic and mindset as a Christian.

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