Defenders

Warriors, Fear, and How Resistance Reveals God's Mission for Your Life

As a follower of Jesus, you have a mission and a purpose. 

You have a land to protect; relationships to defend; an enemy to fight; people to save.

Like Adam in the Garden of Eden, you have something to fight for and something to fight against. 

Adam was created to keep the garden; to fight for his wife and his relationship with God and all the inhabitants of the garden.

Adam was also charged to fight against the world’s enemy and his mission to steal, kill, and destroy. 

Your fight is the same. 

There is a battle raging all around us – in our homes, our streets, our churches, and our workplaces. People are hungry, oppressed, hurting, and lost. Our culture is confused, and the lines of truth have been blurred. 

God is seeking warriors to stand in the gap and free the oppressed. We are to stand and fight against the evil that divides, oppresses, and destroys.

“…our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Ephesians 6:12

We are called to run toward the battle rather than away from it.

We must fight the powers of darkness on behalf of others just as Jesus did for us. It is our duty to raise our shields and swords and do great violence to the enemy. 

Understand, though, that the enemy will fight back, and his favorite weapon is fear.  

·     “What if that person doesn’t want my help?”

·     “Do I have what it takes to fight against government-gone-wrong?”

·     “What if I don’t make enough money because I left work early to spend time with my wife and kids?”

Satan knows that we possess a light that will overcome great darkness. 

Satan uses fear to create doubt, which causes strong Christians to settle for complacency, timidity, surrender, confusion, and neglect. He effectively removes us from the battlefield.

But consider Steven Pressfield’s theory in his book, Do The Work. 

“The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”

The places where our internal struggle is strongest are the battles that are most important in our lives and in the world. 

·     Am I standing and fighting for those in need?

·     Am I protecting my family and fathering my children?

·     Am I defending my community against evil and working to bring God’s culture into my community?

Join the men of Junto Tribe as we seek to overcome our own fear and realize that even Jesus felt fear. 

Jesus overcame it by choosing love instead of fear. He loved His people so much that He sacrificed His own security to ensure theirs. 

We must do the same. We must choose love instead of fear. We must stand and defend. We must run toward the battle, even when fear prompts us to hide.

If you accepted God’s mission today, whose life would immediately be changed? 

Photo by Henry Hustava on Unsplash

Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs, and the Choice Men Must Make

It’s easy to armchair-quarterback Adam’s failure in the Garden of Eden.

Why did he allow the enemy to deceive his wife? Why didn’t he anticipate the danger? Why was he so passive in the face of the enemy?

 Each of us imagines we would have operated differently. We would have recognized the danger immediately, right?

Before we treat Adam too critically, we should consider the danger in our own environment. How are we responding to the attacks on our land, our families, and our relationships?

Psychology professor Dave Grossman studies human aggression and the psychology of humans in combat, and he suggests that people fall into one of three personality types.

“If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen: a sheep.  If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath – a wolf.  But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens?  Then you are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path.”

Adam approached the situation in the garden as a sheep. He failed to protect and defend against the threat, and he invited sin into the world.

Later, his son Cain would become the first wolf, killing his brother Abel out of jealousy.

Although Grossman’s work addresses our military and law enforcement, I believe it applies to Christian men as well. True followers of Jesus have no place being passive, powerless sheep or sociopathic wolves when Satan is working around us to get a foothold in our lives.

Consider Jesus.

He lived His life in sharp contrast to others: standing in as protector and defending His people. Even today, He continues to fight our battles.

But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.

2 Thess 3:3

There’s no doubt that Jesus’ character matches Grossman’s description of the sheepdog. He is both warrior and hero, intent on protecting, defending, and fathering his people. He seeks those who are hurting, suffering, oppressed and lost, and He sacrificed everything for them.

The Last Adam came to accomplish what the First Adam could not. While the First Adam was motivated by self-preservation, the Last Adam came to protect His people.

Jesus stands in the gap where Christian men fail. But given that we all fail, we should view that as an encouragement rather than an indictment.

We are called to stand and defend those around us, but we do so with the strength of Jesus on our side.  

We have something to fight for, and something to fight against.

We have a land to protect; relationships to defend; people to save. And we have an enemy to fight.

Take stock around you:

·      Who has fallen prey to the confusion of the world?

·      Who is imprisoned by sin and shame?

·      Who needs a defender to stand in the gap?

The men of Junto Tribe understand that it’s difficult to stand as a sheepdog in the world, but we believe it’s the path God calls us to.  

God is seeking warriors, and we want to be those men.

In a world of sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs, which path will you choose today?

 

 

Photo by Federica Giusti on Unsplash