Summary: How you can be a good soldier for Christ.
Choosing Sides – Part Three
Many of you have probably seen the Mel Gibson movie Braveheart. If you recall, Gibson plays the role of William Wallace. Wallace is a Scottish man who grows up in the 1300’s during a time when Scotland has been under the iron fist of English monarchs for centuries. The latest king of England is the worst. His name is Edward the Longshanks, and he was a ruthless king. He devastated Scotland, killing the men and raping the women.
Wallace rises up as Scotland’s liberator, charging England with a great multitude of Scottish peasants. At one point in the movie, Longshanks sends his armies to Sterling field to stop Wallace’s army. It’s time for a showdown, but many of the troops fighting for Scotland begin to loose heart and wonder whether what they’re doing is worth dying for. In their fear, they turn to go home.
At that moment, Wallace rides up with his band of warriors, blue war paint on their faces ready to fight. While some of the Scottish nobles ride out to negotiate a deal with the enemy, Wallace goes straight for the hearts of the fearful men. "Sons of Scotland…you have come to fight as free men, and free men you are." He gives them an identity and a reason to fight. He reminds them that a life lived in fear is no life at all, that every last one of them would die one day. "And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!" He tells them they have what it takes and the men are rallied and are now cheering.
Then Wallace’s friend says, "Fine speech. Now what do we do?" "Just be yourselves." As he turns to leave, they ask, "Where are you going?" "To pick a fight." While the nobles are out jockeying for peace and comfort, Wallace rides out and picks a fight that turns the tide in Scotland’s favor and leads to their eventual liberation. (adapted from Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge)
When the Scottish people began to walk away from that fight, they were doing more than going home, they were handing their weapons over to the English and were saying, "Here, we surrender. You win." Every time you surrender your life, your body, your heart, your mind, your time, your talents, your treasures, anything you have to offer, every time you surrender any of it to unrighteousness, you are hurting the cause of Christ.
All of you are going to die one day. You don’t know when that will be and neither do I. But in that day will it have been worth it to have merely existed in this life, cowering to your fears and giving way to Satan when God wants for you to live, to really live? All men die, but only a few really ever live. There is an adventure out there called life, and God wants for you to live it to the full in His will, but to do that means you will have to fight. It doesn’t mean you will win all the battles you face, but that you will fight.
At the end of his life, the apostle Paul said,
"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."
He didn’t say that he won the fight. He didn’t say he slew all the dragons, conquered all his enemies or saved the day every time. What he said was that he had fought a good fight. The Lord is not looking for those who will win every battle, but for those of you who will stand up by faith in Him and fight. Will you be one of the few who will step out and declare to Christ and to the world that you are ready to accept the challenge to live for Christ as a child of the King fully equipped for the challenges ahead? God is on your side. He is in your camp – will you join up with Him today and be a good soldier for the Lord Jesus Christ?
We began this series by acknowledging the spiritual warfare in which we are engaged. We are in the war whether we like it or not, and we are soldiers whether we like it or not. Last week I told you that as a soldier of Jesus Christ, you have an identity that is found in Him, a purpose for living that comes from Him, and you have what it takes to live and fight for Him.