This is is my friend Chance. Chance is one if the 6 male students on our trip and I’ve had the privilege of getting to know him more these last few days as we set up for church every Sunday and went cliff exploring. He’s an amazing writer and graciously gave me permission to post one if his most recent pieces to my blog. I heard this yesterday when he read it to the group during celebration/worship night and thought it was really inspirational.
Ever watch a movie and wish you were in it? That you could slay gladiators, or wage war against robots? Maybe its just a guy thing, but I found myself with this desire since I was a little kid. The other night we watched Gladiator and Terminator Salvation and as I watched I made some odd discoveries.
We Christians arent so far off from those fictional stories. Think about it, what happened to Adam and Eve after their time in the Garden of Eden? Judgement Day. Sin attacked and we have been on the defensive ever since. The earth we cultivated and animals we trusted turned on us because we got to cocky, to ahead of ourselves, too busy trying to play God. Now what do we wait for? Salvation. Following me yet?
Gladiator tells the tale of disgraced Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius. He is betrayed and sold into slavery after the Emperor’s son kills his father and takes his throne. Maximus loses his wife, his son and is sold as a gladiator. He fights with honor and courage to the top of the Gladiator ladder, and finally he meets the Emperors son. Maximus refuses to take off his helmet, walking away from the man (Commodus) who had him made a slave and his family killed. Commodus demands he take off his helmet and give him his name. Here is what he has to say.
Maximus: [removes helmet and turns around to face Commodus] My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the TRUE emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.
You might be wondering what I’m getting at here. WE are ALL in a great battle against a POWERFUL and REAL evil. So often Christians meander about ignoring the facet of spiritual warfare that is all around them. Day and night there wages a fight for our souls. For the glory of God and the darkness of Satan.
Judgement day came as Adam and Eve ate the fruit. We then became a resistance against an enemy who comes at us with real Terminators: Lies. The lie of comparison, the lie of contentment, the lie of not good enough, the lie of abandonment. Satan uses these against us every day and we have to wage war against it.
We were like Maximus once. We controlled angel armies, and had families. Then a great uprising sent everything spiraling out of control. We were tricked, betrayed, and made slaves to sin. Since then we’ve lost friends, family members, brothers and sisters in Chirst, to the lies of the enemy. I know more than 7 people who committed suicide because they couldn’t escape the darkness. Satan won the battle. Doesn’t that stir something in you?
We have such power in prayer, and in the name of Jesus Christ, that we can drive out demons, we can break chains, we can destroy lies and thoroughly undercut the enemy advance that has so devastated this world.
God even gave us armor. Ephesians tells us to put on the full armor of God so that we may extinguish the arrows of the enemy. We defend ourselves with the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Shoes of Readiness, the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation, and to attack with the Sword of the Spirit. WHY DO WE VIEW THIS AS A FUNNY METAPHOR?! God calls us to fight! Too often do we view Jesus as a push-over, “turn the other cheek”, and “just kill em with kindness” kind of God. The God of the Old Testament slayed thousands for his people. He brought down the walls of Jericho. He armed a shepherd boy to kill a giant. The list goes on and on. Even Jesus drove out gamblers from the Temple with righteous fury. Yes, Jesus says to love your enemy. But you miss the point if you think you aren’t supposed to fight.
If my friend is under spiritual attack, and committing sin in the form of lust or aggression or whatever, I am going to love on him and go to battle for his soul. I will pray in the name of Jesus that battalions of angels combat the enemy clouding his judgment and trapping him with lies.
Lies took more than 7 people I knew, but I refuse to cower in the corner with a “WWJD” bracelet on and say “well everything happens for a reason.”
I want to remove my helmet, look the Devil straight in the eye and say, “My name is Chance Chaffin, commander of the Armies of Heaven, General of Angels and loyal servant to the TRUE king, Jesus Christ. Brother to a murdered friend, former slave to a fallen world. And I will have my victory, in this life and the next.”