I wrote three teachings originally for the men that I am disciplining. I will put them on this blog over the course of the next 5 weeks. I made a decision to place them on our website realizing that men and women would read them. Ladies, thank you for your patience and understanding.
One of my favorite characters from the movie Braveheart is the Irish guy who joins William Wallace in his crusade. Remember him? The crazy guy who talks to God? Appropriately, his name is Stephen, and to me his most memorable line takes place right before a huge battle. He says: “The Almighty says this must be a fashionable fight. It draws the finest people.”
Of course any, civilized Christian knows why he’s crazy. Every devout believer—in fact, any person of faith from any religious persuasion, whether Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or whatever—believes in prayer, but we all know prayer is supposed to be talking to God. We get a little nervous when someone starts hearing from God!
However, the writer of Hebrews says that we can and we ought to hear from God!
“7 He again fixes a certain day, ‘Today, saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, ‘TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS.'” – Hebrews 4:7 NASB (emphasis added)
So an appropriate question that I ask myself periodically is: What is God saying to me? I would ask you a similar question and add two more questions to it:
➢ What has the Almighty been saying to me lately?
➢ When was the last time He called me to participate in a fashionable fight? What was this like?
➢ What spiritual battle are you currently engaged in?
When we do hear God’s voice, usually through a thought, an impression, a comment someone speaks to you, a sermon etc., we are always to weigh this with the Word of God. But the point is when we live in God’s Sabbath Rest we WILL hear the voice of the Lord God!
I don’t know about you, but at first glance the notion of fighting as Christ-Followers takes me aback a little. Really? Am I called to fight?
The answer is a resounding YES! Each of us was born into a cosmic battle, and so we are wise to recognize this and engage appropriately. We also know that God is not calling us to be touchy, feisty, or prone to anger when we do fight for what is right. In God’s Kingdom we are all exhorted to train and engage intelligently in the war for Truth, our families, righteousness in our lives, our churches, our ministries, our country, our schools, our businesses, our work or any other kingdom endeavor.
Isn’t it interesting that Paul talks to young Timothy about the “good fight?”
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;” – 2 Timothy 4:7 NASB
The fighting motif, clearly seen in the whole of Scripture, is just about extinct in Christian teaching across America. Yet the Bible has no problem describing us as “soldiers.” In the context of 2 Timothy, even pastors ought to be men who see themselves as military personnel taking orders from the King.
“Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs–he wants to please his commanding officer.” – 2 Timothy 2:3-4 NIV
I agree with Erwin McManus when he says:
“Christianity over the past two thousand years has moved from a tribe of renegades to a religion of conformists. Those who choose to follow Jesus become participants in an insurrection. To claim we believe is simply not enough. Perhaps the tragedy of our time is that such an overwhelming number of us who declare Jesus as Lord have become domesticated—or, if you will, civilized. We have lost the simplicity of our early faith. Beyond that, we have lost the passion and power of that raw, untamed, and primal faith.”
Would you please thoughtfully answer the three questions I proposed above? Write down what the Spirit of God has been saying to you. What fight are you engaged in, or where does God desire you to do battle as His soldier in the power of His Spirit?
Don’t move away from this teaching until you spend a few minutes to contemplate how you would answer these questions.
I will send you part 2 of this teaching in a week and a half.
Engaged in the righteous “good fight” with you,