Have you ever wondered what would happen if you just went for it? I mean, like… really went for it with God. You probably know what I’m talking about. It’s that haunting thought that whispers to you in the quiet hour. When that twilight time meets your inner musings and you almost question the cost of your habits. Why don’t I run from this fence with sword and axe flailing, you may ask. Just… give it all up? The friends? The shallow activities? That box that I stare at for entertainment, or whatever the excuse is.
No. Thoughts flood back in a rush of reality. Because it’s always been this way we believe it is inescapable. I need my rest and that’s where the entertainment comes in. As for the people that drain my focus, I can’t just be rude to them. We’re supposed to be nice, right? Jesus was nice, wasn’t He? On and on the reasons pile up. In the end the limbo stays and there’s still no peace.
It’s a simple reason of design. We are made to be in the army of the Lord (2 Tim 2:3-4) and the attempt to live in such a way that tries to ignore this fact is a practice in futility. I want ya to just try to raise up your hand and grab hold of some air. Just go on doing that for the rest of your life and let me know how that’s goes.
Hmm? Don’t want to do that? Well, the sad reality is that many Christians suffer a multitude of frustrations over trying to live a civilian lifestyle in the army of the Lord. When we understand our responsibility of discipline the fence-sitting lifestyle becomes illogical and we can finally start changing for the better.
So here’s a few points on how to come out from the commoners and answer the call to be God’s centurion…
1. War is Upon You – No person or ministry (even business) can hold onto a vision if war is unexpected and unprepared for. When we don’t expect there to be a battle for what we believe in, we don’t wake up every day to win. If you don’t wake up to win, then you cede the battlefield by your silence. Spiritual warfare needs to be normal. It needs to be daily.
2. On-Purpose Growth – Jesus said in Matt 10:16 that He wants us to be “shrewd as serpents”. That word “shrewd” is talking about a wise acumen or practical skill. If you don’t like where you’re at right now and you can read, then READ! Being able to be mentored by people who are wiser than you that you don’t even know is an ability that most take for granted every day. Set a schedule. Make goals. Every time you choose to spend money and time on growth instead of entertainment you choose to experience the pain of discipline over the pain of regret. That’s an eternally-minded decision that’s worth making. Remember, our deeds will be judged by Christ with fire in the end. You don’t want to be that guy that brings only his treasured stamp collection before the Lord and Commander of the universe. If you don’t know which way to grow, then ask God about what you should dream about. If you stopped dreaming, then dream again!
3. Sacrifice Liberties – 1 Cor 8 shows us a principle about choosing to forgo liberties that we might be able to enjoy so that we don’t cause our church family to stumble. Our society has a tendency to run full-boar into practicing and enjoying every liberty that is made available. Just because something isn’t exactly evil doesn’t mean it can’t siphon our focus though (1 Cor 10:23). Whatever holds your focus determines your future. So there’s two reasons why we walk circumspectly about this… Focus, and our brothers and sisters who might have weaknesses to things we may not blink an eye at. Are we our brother’s keeper? Absolutely. In God’s army we don’t leave a man behind.
4. Accountability – Don’t run! Please! You’ve read this far and I promise it’s almost over. Accountability is a good thing. How much do you trust that flesh of yours anyway? Honestly everyone has blind-spots that we have no idea about. It takes people ahead of us that have been through some things and are a little wiser than us to tell us about them. Iron sharpens iron; it’s just how God made it to be. Get hooked in and get a hold of a mentor. You need more than just books and conferences. You need a Godly spiritual father that can model for you the right way. Some things need to be caught and not just taught.
The rewards of choosing the warrior’s path are many. You can’t weigh the value of obtaining growing, ever-curious, iron-sharpening battle-brothers and mentors. How much money can you pay for a close walk with God? Average doesn’t make it into the history books.
It’s time to live. It’s time to taste battle and take the plunder of promised lands. No more average. No more grasping for wind.
Swing away centurion.