It is a different path I teach, and like Jesus challenging the rich young ruler to give away his wealth, and inviting people to drink his blood, my words are not always easy to hear, or agree with. I’m realizing this more and more, and today is no exception.
Per last article, where we made a trip to Georgia, performed a baptism, and bought grandson a Samurai sword. I have decided the “Sword of the Spirit” should be the next piece of our Armor of Light we examine. This armor is Christ Himself, whom we walk in.
I find it interesting the order of progression God has led us in our study of the spiritual armor. We began with the “Belt of Truth”, and considered it may be the most important piece because how can anything “not true” even begin to work? Truth is so vital to everything! That which is not true is not even real! But what is true?
From there we were led to the “Helmet of Salvation”, because the helmet covers our head, containing our brain, where we decide what is true and what we believe. We talked about the Matrix of our mind, our brain frame, and if we are living in REALITY, or not? And to this I might add, the “INVISIBLE” is more real than the “VISIBLE”. So says God. This is why God’s Word, our Sword, tells us to look at the INVISIBLE, not the VISIBLE. (II Cor. 4:18) But can we really live that way? Walking in the invisible?
Interesting, huh. This progression we have made. And why might God have us jump to the Sword next?
BECAUSE YOU CANNOT FAKE THE SWORD!
Anyone can put on armor, even hold a sword in their hand, and look like a warrior. However, let the enemy show up, let a real fight show up, and a warrior can no longer be FAKED! The Sword determines our REALNESS, or not! In a world loving virtual reality, the warrior still cannot be faked.
And let me ask this, What is a student who does not shine brighter, even unto the end?
You see, the Sword also demands a “student”. A person teachable. Learning the way of our Kingdom, our fighting style, spiritual warfare is a skill, and requires both a teacher and a student. Are we teachable? Are we creating disciples after Christ? Or are we living in a bunch of smoke and mirrors, a fake matrix of pretend, while seeking earthly things? Are we creating materialistic disciples in the name of Jesus?
“Endure suffering, along with me, as a good soldier (warrior) of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer (Jesus) who enlisted them.” (II Tim. 2:3-4)
Are we tied up in civilian things? Endure hardness? Are we a civilian or warrior? We will not fake it for long. Our daily actions will always give us away. Our prayer life. Our priorities. Our daily study. Our actual skill level. The belt we wear, somewhere between white and black, or still just white? Do we have a blue-light special Jesus? A cheap sword from China? Or are we REAL? Are we TRUE? Have we been the STUDENT? Have we been tempered in fire? Are we TEACHABLE? Have we proven we really want to KNOW and GROW? Do we live as a Priest/ Servant of Christ? What is our discipleship?
They say never take a gun, or knife, unless you’re willing to use it. Do you claim to be a disciple of that Word? Do you find these questions uncomfortable, or hard to answer? What do you really want? Are we materialistic disciples when Jesus challenged the young rich man to give away his wealth? Will the real Jesus please stand up.
I’m not preaching to live in poverty. The Lord’s prayer asks God to give us our “daily” bread. We should have enough. But how much is enough? When is enough enough?
I’m learning more and more every day that part of my mission from God is to preach REALITY in a virtual loving world. This does not gain me friends. I’m well aware of this. I may be considered negative on “money”, but I’m very positive on “simplicity”! My Teepee is to be a place of REALITY. At my Teepee we learn to depend on money less, and God more. Yes, Jesus really did teach such things. Will the real Jesus please stand up.
For example, the other day, and Churches do this all the time, but the other day a church youth group was taken on a great adventure in another state. They went camping, white water rafting, a swimming pool with some inflated pyramid to climb, and were taught biblical spiritual lessons while camping and hiking in the woods. Now I suppose this sounds like a very good thing, and I know how negative this makes me sound, as if simply trying to find fault, or be a party pooper, but does that church realize they are also teaching their youth to love money, because if you have money you can have great adventures? Have a lot of fun? Turn mother nature into a great big play ground? Is that the reality of nature? Or even God? Will the real Jesus please stand up.
Is this the only way to have fun in nature, by spending a lot of money? How many parents had to strain their budget so their child could go, and they were too embarrassed to ask for charity, so they added a little more to the credit card? Am I not supposed to ask such questions?
I did camping trips with youth, and we had a great time, but it was actually very affordable. Almost nothing! We had a lot of poor kids, and not enough rich people to possibly pay for kids to have an expensive outing. And it wasn’t necessary anyway! So the poor kids are left out? No… I’m sure someone came up with the money, (I hope), but here again, it’s back to the money.
That is not what my grandson is learning at the Teepee when he is splitting wood. And we have a good time! A great workout! We don’t even have a wood splitter. I may get one someday, just for when I get behind on the wood, but I want to use axe, sledge, and wedge for as long as I can! It helps keep me strong! So I can endure hardness! Does anyone else see what I’m saying, or am I alone in such a brain frame? Are we all looking for our “Participation Trophy”? Or is God calling us to be true spiritual athletes?
I’m sorry to say this same church, when I was jobless after back surgery, kept taking me out for breakfast after the early morning prayer meeting. Pastor liked to eat out, and not cheap places. So they picked up my ticket, and the pastor’s, often, because if you were to continue the fellowship you just about had to go, or go home. (Which I did sometimes.) But their generosity sounds very Christian, right? Only problem was I did not want to eat out. I always had food. We had plenty of food at home. What I really needed was our main vehicle fixed. It was dead of winter, extreme cold, and my wife was freezing as she drove to work. They knew this, but they kept buying me a breakfast I didn’t need!
I felt God was giving them an opportunity, and if they failed, he would eventually provide another way. Our tax returns finally came in, and I did my own work as I would have done anyway, but it got fixed, I found work, and life went on. But while buying me breakfast, they were missing the real need. How many times I wished I just had the money they spent on my breakfast! Maybe this sounds crazy to you, but when you’re poor, or even just temporarily in a hard spot, you have a different perception. Jesus ALWAYS saw the poor from their perspective.
My simple life style has kept me strong enough to climb one of those “climbing walls”. This last week, my son took us on post to a gym where there was a “military” climbing wall. We had a good time! And this was no sissy wall! This was the military. There was no participation trophy. You could either climb the wall or not. No faking it! Your body either reached the top, or not, and mine did! At age 62! Am I bragging? I don’t know how to praise the benefits of simplicity without telling this story. But a lot of people cannot climb that wall at 62. Maybe that don’t mean much, or maybe it does, but God is good and his pleasures can be found without much money. Are we training materialistic disciples, or those who seek first the Kingdom of God? Can we think outside the money box?
The first thing God spoke to me as I began considering our Sword is that a Sword is meant to be used by a Warrior! And spiritual warriors must live in the REALITY of God’s battlefield, where a love for money is a real danger! They know they must train if they are going to survive. And on a spiritual battlefield you must be strong, strong in the Lord! So what makes us stronger, and what makes us weaker? The Apostle Paul spoke to Timothy about not being “tied up” or entangled in civilian affairs. Think like a Warrior! Again, we link our Sword to our Helmet and Belt. Be ye transformed (into a warrior of Christ), by the renewing of your mind! But a student >“studies”!
Ouch! I heard yelps clear over here. Reality check! Bursting the matrix bubble! I don’t care if you go to a modern church or not, the real question is, are we living as Jesus “DID”? If that modern church is working for you in that way, then keep it up!
What good is a student who does not shine brighter every day, even unto the end? How do we live an ancient way in our modern day? These are all challenges to a warrior, and also a challenge to any false reality. While we look not at that which is seen, but that which is not seen. Your brain will not automatically think in these ways. It must go through training, be born-again. Perhaps that youth outing was great discipleship in Christ, or perhaps it was teaching to love fun and money, but this was the same church that was blasting Micheal Jackson’s “Thriller” in their parking lot for a neighborhood outreach. Whaaat? I know this makes this church sound awful, but by today’s standards, it’s actually one of the better churches! But I’m sorry, I just can’t stay silent about our modern church ways.
My matrix thinks a different way. Those who love money always seem to think in terms of money. It is hard for them to see outside that box. Nature has many lessons to offer, including survival. It also teaches simplicity, how to be content, how to thrive on less. Some people go into nature and die. Some manage to survive. But a few actually thrive! Because they have been a student, and they have proven themself teachable.
If you’re in a real contest with nature, money will mean nothing. You got what you can carry on your back. Beyond that, might as well leave the rest of your money at home. Mother nature does not care. But to be a part of this church outing, someone had to lay down cold hard cash. For these youth to experience that again, they will need more money. What is God’s church about? Will these kids be able to think outside the money box? Who in the church was struggling to pay their rent that week, while the youth went white water rafting?
Again, reality check. Is it our goal to disciple worldly Christians? Most churches would say “NO”. But what do their actions show? What does blasting “Thriller” on loud speakers say? I’m sorry if this sounds like a negative message, but you don’t play with Swords. They are sharp and will cut you. Warriors know this. I wish I could make truth more pleasant, but it’s only pleasant for those really seeking truth. And it’s only unpleasant for those who don’t want to know the truth. They want to stay in a false matrix, a lie. Is this true or not? Have I said anything that is not true according to the teachings of Christ? (Your Bible. Your Sword.)
Here’s another reality check: The Sword of the Spirit is a whole book on absolute truth, in which a true warrior can take such knowledge, train himself, apply it, and “thrive” on the battlefield. But thriving is not how big a pile of money you may have. Not on God’s battlefield. It’s more about the demons who lie defeated at your feet. That’s what a Sword is for. It’s about dispatching the enemy. We are not just the blessed, we are the bloody and blessed, covered in the blood of the Lamb. But will we study? Will we learn and change? Are we teachable?
I know this is warrior talk, and I have probably scared many away. Jesus did the same in his day, when he spoke of his blood. He scared many away with things he said. But we are talking about the Sword. Should I sugar coat a Sword? Will the real Jesus please stand up.
I have a saying of being Samurai for Christ. It’s an analogy, like Paul used the Roman Olympic games as an analogy. He spoke of an athlete training to win! The true Samurai lived for his Lord (Shogun), and by his sword. He lived and died by his sword. So do Christians. Jesus said those who live by the sword shall die by the sword. Was he saying not to have a sword? Or be wise in the Sword you choose to live and die by? (As the example he himself set, and many of our early church brothers and sisters.)
The knowledge contained in our Bible is about learning to thrive in the world we cannot see, a world that does not function according to flesh and blood, a world God says is more true than this physical mortality. We cannot afford to think like the world, because it simply will not work where we are going, nor where we already are. The ways of this world only lead to a wasted life in the Kingdom of God. This is truth. This is God’s reality. Be careful when your ways actually make sense to the world.
This is only the beginning of our look at the Sword, and our continued examination of REALITY. It seems God’s Armor has a whole lot to say about our perceived reality. But if we want to be free…seek truth. God’s Armor of Light is all about living FREE…unchained…untied…in the liberty of Spirit…as the eagle, not the sparrow.
This has been a long one, but there is much here to consider. Are we doing what Jesus did? Somehow, it just doesn’t look the same to me. Perhaps I’m chicken little crying that the sky is falling? Or perhaps not? As I warned at the beginning, my words are not always easy to hear, or agree with; but do they agree with what Jesus did? If so…?