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Heart of a Warrior – 2017-11-20

Some aspects of Life remind me of a video game, you can’t advance to the next level, until you successfully complete the challenges and obstacles on this level.

… if you think of life from that perspective… our friends who have been through a lot of “stuff”… are our level 20+ warriors.

…and, unfortunately, life is not just a video game. Some people fall and do not get back up. Many fall, get back up, fall again, and again, but are still standing… The very word “standing” implies that you must get off the couch… that you must get into the game…

– Grab your belt – (God’s truth) – that will stand out because the other belts might have flecks of truth, but little of substance.
– Put on your flak vest of righteousness, Yes, there will be a bunch of flak…
– Put on your hiking boots – you know, the ones that are broke in and allow you to go the distance without blisters and foot damage, pay attention to your socks as well – you must prepare your feet well if you are going to go the distance, and your mission is to carry the gospel of peace behind enemy lines;
– Clean up your shield of faith and hang on tight, it will serve you well both offensively and defensively when those fiery darts start flying. We LIVE in a fire zone, that shield is crucial!
– Put on that helmet of salvation – your orders are from a commander you can trust with your life – with your eternity. Your commander has already gone the distance and came back for you to lead you through to victory over sin and death!
– Firmly grasp the sword of the Spirit of God – the Holy Spirit will guide you in the midst of the battle and keep your feet from stumbling… pray, pray, pray mighty warrior! And your eyes will be enlightened by the Holy Spirit, The Holy
Spirit will go before, Jesus will sustain you, and God will be your rear guard. When we are fully clad with the armor of God, our strength, our wisdom, our insight our courage is not ours, but the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit who works in us.

Look to your right and to your left. This is not a single player game, this is a team effort. Play your part, persevere, fight the good fight. When your fellow warriors see strength, see battlefield advantage…. what they see is not us, but our amazing God who sent His son Jesus, and His Spirit to provide that which we are lacking… it begins and ends with prayer… and I pray that my last breath here on earth is the middle of a prayer that is completed with my first breath in Heaven.

When (not if) you are weary, remember for whom and for what you fight – I was reminded last week of a time I was praying for a friend with terminal cancer – fervently praying… God gently reminded me… “why do you pray as though going to Heaven is a punishment? If you had one glimpse of Heaven, you would not be able to stand another minute here on earth…” I cried those mixed tears – sorrow at my loss and joy at her gain… and at that time, God gave me a song, “Heart of a Warrior…”

Remember, that when we fight in position, we are far less vulnerable. The enemy wants to isolate us so that we are easier to capture and conquer. You CAN stand, for a time, and fight alone; but a far more effective force is one that is united. Church is not a proving ground, life is. Church is a hospital for the weary and wounded, it is a training ground to enhance your life skills… it is a place where you look around and see who has your back… it is a place where God can breathe new life into weary bones.

Other Christians are not the enemy, other churches are not the enemy: check their belts – if they wear the belt of God’s truth, even if they wear it a bit differently, they are NOT the enemy, they just might be in a different unit.

We are called to be fruit inspectors, not judges. If someone’s life bears fruit, the Spirit of God is in them, or maybe they are not yet mature? In any event, you do not try to pick and apple from an oak tree… Or maybe the task at hand requires a different fruit… I won’t be putting apples in my lemon pie tomorrow. Know your purpose, know your trees, check the fruit, and you know the level of “I’ve got your back” that you can expect from them or if they are the right ones to come alongside your for your specific task. It is not a question of judging a person, but knowing what the fruit is and/or if it is the right fruit for the purpose at hand.

Deeper Still (NKJV)
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[c] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 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.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6

11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12-13

12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3

28 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40