I love the movie ‘The Patriot”. The battle scene where the Redcoats in their arrogance are ordered over the blind summit in pursuit of the militia and the ensuing defeat at the hands of the colonies’ army who push back, hold the line and take the field.
You see it in rugby. The underdog team suddenly finding the will to push back like the Springboks as shown in “Invictus”. In “The Blind Side” where the young Michael Oher pushes his opposing player the entire length of the field after quietly taing abuse from the opposition.
Less physical sports don’t reflect it so effectively, and movies tend to therefore not get made about it to the same extent, but there’s something in there that speaks to me.
Recently I wrote about a Line in the Sand, and this is kind of a follow-on to that.
I was talking to my wife yesterday and the thoughts began to formulate for this entry, but it’s taken a while to percolate through.
We’re at War.
We forget this. But that doesn’t make it any less true.
And holding on to your confession, drawing that line and saying to the enemy “Enough!” is harder the more battered you are.
And right now we’re battered.
There’s a temptation to compromise. To let go of the “less important” stuff.
But where do we draw the line?
I’ve decided. My line is this:
Jesus died to give me:
- Eternal Life – His definition being to know God the Father and Jesus Christ who He sent (John 17:3)
- Salvation from Hell – John 3:16
- Physical Health – “Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53:4-5 (Amplified)
- Financial Prosperity – “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day” Deuteronomy 8:18
For too long I focussed on Eternal Life and Salvation as the “essentials” of Faith. Mature stuff. Esoteric and stoic in the face of adversity but maintaining a stiff upper lip. Then something changed.
I realised what Jesus went through to provide Health and Prosperity. All four are linked. Inexorably and inextricably joined. To disregard one is to slap Christ in the face.
Jesus was scourged before the crucifixion. Scourging left deep penetrating wounds cut into the flesh. Stripes that wounded Him. The Romans wove flint flakes and bone flakes, razor sharp, into their whips for scourging. His flesh would have been shredded. Most men would have died from the wounds and blood-loss.
How can I then reject my physical healing bought at such a high price?
God gives financial prosperity as a sign of His Covenant. We disregard it. What does that say of our attitude to Him and the Covenant He gave us?
So the line is drawn, but right now it’s in enemy territory. I need to muster my strength and push abck the enemy, reclaiming what has been lost and taking hold of everything God has promised.
It’s hard. This is a long and bloody war we are fighting. Many warriors lose heart and give up.
I used to be a big boxing fan as a teenager. I loved watching the Heavyweight Championship fights. But I realised something. As the fighters came out of their corners to shake hands before the first round, you could almost always tell who would win. When Mike Tyson fought Frank Bruno, on paper Bruno had height, weight and reach advantage over Tyson. Tyson beat him inside the distance. Bruno, big-hearted though he was, had entered the ring not certain he could win. Tyson had entered not considering losing a possibility. And you could see it.
We need to focus on Victory over the Enemy, no matter what he throws at us before we attain it. I can look at my current circumstances and decide it doesn’t work, or I can use what has happened to spur me on to press in deeper and see a greater victory than I could ever have imagined.
Joseph could have quit when his brothers threw hi into the pit. He could have quit when Potiphar threw him in jail unjustly. He could have quit when the man whose dream he interpreted forgot about him. But if he had, he would have never seen the fulfillment of his Vision. Most of Egypt would have starved, and Joseph would never have been raised to a position second only to Pharoah in power and wealth.
I want to be a Joseph. A Visionary who holds fast to the vision until it comes to pass, irrespective of the transitory facts.
I would encourage anyone to do the same, but remember: Battles are ugly. The enemy is cunning and devious. His weapons are thoughts and mind-sets. We must wrestle those same weapons from him and use them ourselves, just as David beheaded Goliath with his own sword, so must we defeat the enemy by wrenching his own weapons from him and using them on him.
Take back what’s been lost. Then push forward and claim New ground. Let God expand you and wreak havoc in the enemy’s camp.