(Forward:This article is written from a man’s point of view to men. It is not diminishing the role of women. Women are warriors too. But I am a man, writing to men. And men and women are significantly and inherently different. Equal, complimenting, but different. Men and women would relate better, I believe, if we understood, and better lived, these complimenting roles.)
Hey Fellas – ready for something really shocking?! God designed you (and me) to live the life of a warrior, with warrior as our base identity. This would not have been news to many generations past… but it is new ground for many men today. Guys, your heart longings for heroic adventure, epic struggle, and deep meaning were put there by God. In a culture with shifting ideas about masculinity, don’t be confused about who God called you to be. You were born for adventure, conflict, and struggle – you are a warrior.
The universe is birthed of struggle: from the opposing forces of physics, to the reality of right vs wrong, to Satan’s rebellion against God and the war for humanity. Plato said it succinctly – “War is the natural state of man”.
I am not talking about cold-hearted, mean-spirited, evil violence. I am talking about engaging in a struggle FOR something, FOR someone. Engaging forces of evil, opposition, injustice, and cruelty on behalf of a King… for someone and something greater than yourself. Knights. Samurai. Braves. Warriors.
I serve as pastor of NorthStar church. Most people’s idea of pastor is not that of warrior. Pastors are supposed to be meek, mild, and may I say timid? Cause no offense. Never speak words of violence. But that is not scriptural! Pastor comes from the Greek word for shepherd. Shepherds are completely misunderstood. They were the warrior-guardians of the defenseless flock. Fending off predators, breaking the legs of runaway sheep to train them to stay in the fold…they were warriors. As pastor I am to be Warrior-Shepherd. Fighting and engaging through confrontation, battle-prayer, BIG vision, and challenge. (As a note – the enemy is NOT culture, “sinners”, whatever. The warfare terminology of Christianity that puts us at odds with people is flat out WRONG! The enemy was cast out of heaven, and lives to deceive humanity and steal our life. Our job is to rescue the human hostages that he has taken.)
But the warrior identity doesn’t end there… I do most of the speaking/teaching at NorthStar, serving as Warrior-Poet: called to tear down every argument that seeks to de-throne God. The leader is called in the image of the Warrior-King. Father as Warrior-Trainer (or Sergeant Major). Husband as Warrior-Lover (or Queen’s royal guard:)
The scripture is rife with examples: “wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces in high places” (but wrestle!); “Resist the enemy and he will flee”; etc. Again, I am not talking about unmitigated, cruel, violence. I am talking about a noble, selfless service. A willingness to engage and to give your life both in death and as a living sacrifice.
Brother – every time you make a hard decision, the warrior in you is strengthened. Know that struggle is the forge of your identity. Test yourself. Put yourself in a position that only God can deliver you from. Notice those places you are normally passive, and do the opposite. What have you surrendered to these days? Go take it back. Turn your radar on during the day and intentionally don’t take the path of least resistance. Align yourself with the King, and serve those around you in the love, kindness, and strength of Jesus. You have a Father God and Big Brother Jesus who have blazed the trail for you.
Jesus-following-men… our families, our churches, and our world need us now like never before. So many of our brothers have been sold the lie that to be good, to be Christian, we must be passive, timid… not men.
You are like a special forces operator – a warrior at heart, operating in enemy territory, and a projection of your King’s strength; but called to build, counsel, defend, and empower those around you. Selection for the SF is tough, challenging, even brutal. Weeks/moths of pain, deprivation, struggle, and lack. But it is the calling of a Warrior.
Warriors operate differently. Begin to see the world through the eyes of a warrior and a lot more makes sense. Of course its hard; much is at stake. Conflict will happen; be noble and engage. When you begin to see your life through a warrior’s eyes first, your life changes for the better. Your wife, kids, church, employer, and community need you.