Being a Christian soldier in this culture is exhausting. Everywhere you turn, Satan is attacking. The battle is being fought all around us, leaving us with little, if any, time to put down our battle gear and take a rest.
Sometimes the enemy’s deadly sword looks like a big, giant lollipop coming at you. It’s really only through serious study and discernment that we can pick up on the fact that it is a sword made to look like a lollipop.
Think with me for a moment about the book The Shack. It’s just a story, right? But it single-handedly changed how many Christians think about God. I read this quote recently and it really summed up why The Shack is a problem–
“Christian idolatry is betrayed in this telltale phrase: ‘I like to think of God as________________.’ I like to think of God as a loving Father–as a mother–as an artist–as forgiving–as an architect…But the problem is that such thoughts are often coupled with a denial of something else the Scriptures teach about God–for example, that He is Judge…[We] don’t like to think of Him as a judge, but as a loving Savior.”
That is exactly why I believe this book is dangerous. It is a very one-sided and incomplete view of who God is. And yet evangelical Christians, by the thousands, love this book.
And so if you stand up and say, “Hey, wait a minute! Something’s not right here!” we are labeled.
We are judgmental, critical, narrow-minded, ridiculous, unintelligent, among a variety of other names.
And we get tired. Exhausted, even.
We decide the hassle isn’t worth it and we shut up (exactly what our enemy wants, by the way).
But these kinds of subtle deceptions aren’t our only battlefield. No, standing for Truth even goes into the arena of entertainment, dress, and life where somehow in this crazy mixed-up world, we find ourselves being ostracized and looked down upon by Christians because we believe books that glamorize witchcraft and the occult are dangerous, R-rated movies inappropriate fodder for our minds, bikinis inappropriate clothing for our daughters, and gambling and drinking unacceptable ways to spend our God-given time and money.
Have you stopped recently and thought about how CRAZY that is??
Sometimes it feels quite surreal that this is what modern Christianity has become in the year 2013. This can’t possibly be reality, can it?
But this is not the Christianity I was taught as a girl and this is certainly not Christianity as defined in the Bible.
Here are a few things the Bible says —
I should not even look at evil (Psalm 101:3; 119:37)
Those who practice sorcery will be burned in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8)
God hates sexual immorality, whether it’s in our life or on a screen (Colossians 3:5)
To not let filthiness, coarse jesting, and foolish talk be among us (Ephesians 5:4)
To be separate from the world (James 1:27)
I am to be modest (I Timothy 2:9)
That I am different if I am a believer (I Peter 1:14-16)
I am not sure when Satan made his inroad into the Church. Perhaps it was when marriage became less sacred and divorce more common, leading to a breakdown of the family. Perhaps it was when shallow, me-centered music became part of the worship service. Maybe it was when worship became more about “The Show” than about God and pastoring became more about entertaining than about feeding and caring for the flock. But, most likely, it was when the church was sold the lie that people will only be won for the Gospel if we become like them. And thus the word “relevance” pretty much destroyed any purity and separation that was left within the churches.
I don’t know when exactly it happened. And I guess it doesn’t really matter. What matters now is how we Christians respond to this madness.
Are we going to melt into the crowd and do what everybody else is doing? Or are we going to take a stand?
Are we going to fight for the spiritual health of our families? Or are we going to die on the alter of peer pressure?
Are we going to grow tired and weary and give up the battle? Or are we going to stay and fight in the strength of the Lord?
My husband and I are tired. So tired. It is especially wearying on the home front, where we have spent many years trying to explain from scripture why many of the popular movies, music, video games, and books are not glorifying to God, all while most of their friends are out having a good time doing all that we are encouraging our kids not to do. We feel so outnumbered and have even questioned our sanity on a number of occasions.
But whenever we take a moment to re-look at something or to question a stand, we end up back at the same place–God’s Word calls us to live holy, pure lives separate from the world. Period.
If we want to serve Him, we can’t ignore this command. We can’t get around it. We can’t push it under a box. We are soldiers in the Lord’s army and this is a big part of our duty.
And, so…here we are. Weary warriors but still fighting. Anyone else with us?
31 thoughts on “Weary Warriors”
Excellent – following Christ has a cost – Jesus said “they hated me and they will hate you”.
When I read that years ago, I didn’t realize that the time would come when much of that hatred would be coming from people who took the name Christian. Walking the narrow road with broad minded people is not the ideal fellowship that Christ intended for his bride.
Leon (otherwise know as Leslie’s Dad)
Thanks, Dad. The support we feel from you and Mom and from Eric’s parents has been absolutely invaluable :)
Leslie, OH MY, do you look like your Dad. :)
I work with your Dad and he shared your article with me. I have to say your article was very encouraging. My husband and I are raising a 10 & 12 year old (boy & girl) and we are faced with so many challenges each day. Teaching a 12-year old girl the importance of modesty can be very challenging at times. She gets angry at us often for saying, “NO WAY” to short shorts. She’s been insisting since she was 10 that she needs a cell phone, because all of her friends have one. She’s survived these last 2 years just fine w/o one! lol
Keeping our heads in His word is crucial…we need the daily reminders and encouragement! Thanks for sharing!
You know, I don’t think anyone has ever told me I look like my dad, because I look so much like my mom! Nice to know I am a good combination :) As the parent of a 22 year old, I can confidently say “stick to your standards”. Kids get over their anger eventually, as long as you keep talking and taking them back to God’s Word for the standard. That has been our experience with all four of our kids, actually. But it’s certainly not easy–although I suspect it’s easier than watching your kids walk away from God, taking your grand kids with them…
Leslie, your dad and I have became great friends over the past 10 or so years. He has been a tremendous encouragement and challenge to me in more ways than I can count; and more ways than he knows. I am a father of two wonderful teenage children whom I love with all my heart; one girl and one boy. They have wonderful dispositions and I am so thankful for them in my life. Nevertheless the pull of this world, the deceptive “candy” of Satan and the desires of the human heart are strong and we too find the battle to be exhausting and wearying. Many nights I’ve remarked to my wife that it would be easier in the short term to just simply give up the fight. Many of the issues you’ve pointed to in this blog post and others are the identical fields of battle we find ourselves. It is so good to know as we stand on this hill that there are other stalwarts of the faith standing on the same hill with us. Don’t lose heart, continue to look to the one who has promised that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is available to us. Stand firm for the hearts and souls of your children and don’t retreat in the face of exhaustion. And lastly, thank you for your encouragement to me through these articles. We’ve never had the privilege of meeting face to face, but our hearts can connect through the same challenges of this life.
Thank you, Jonathan, for your encouragement! It is much appreciated. I almost feel like I know you, because Dad talks about the many and good conversations you have :) Perhaps someday we can meet in person.
Leslie, we have never met, but I hope we will have the opportunity someday. I have the privilege of serving alongside of your father at New Hope Bible Church. Thank you for this well-written article and for taking a stand for holiness and godliness. You are right on target, and your exhortation echoes a similar appeal made by Paul in Titus 2:11-12. May the Lord encourage you this day. Don’t grow weary in well-doing! A fellow soldier of Jesus Christ ~ Kim Fox
Thanks so much for your encouragement, Pastor Fox. I know my dad and mom really appreciate you and your wife a lot. I am sure we will meet one of these days! :)
I haven’t heard of the shack, but I do know that Satan entered the Church once it began right after Jesus died, and the Bible warns about it. Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing…Not much has changed, the same sins are still being practiced, it’s just that we as Christians accept them now and then claim grace as if there isn’t punishment for our sins.
Such a great point, Katie! Yes, this has been an ongoing battle for a very, very long time. Just seems to be heating up a bit! And, yes, I think the difference is not only that the standard has changed for what Christians accept but the definition for what makes you a “Christian” has also changed, so that there are probably many who are unsaved in our churches.
Excellent post! I am particularly impressed by the truth of it and the poignant sadness when things that are holy are perverted and twisted. Put on the belt of faith, sister!
I’m writing on this too, so I appreciate your words even more!
“And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night to him, though he bear long with them? 8I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth? ” Luke 18: 8
Thank you so much, Jacqueline, for your words of encouragement. It has been such a blessing for me to “meet” you via blogging. So glad God led me to Deep Roots at Home :)
Thank you! How refreshing to read this in a day when so many have already capitulated to the enemy and his tactics! “Be not weary in well doing.”
John (a friend of your dad)
Thanks so much for your encouragement! God is so faithful and one of the good things I neglected to mention in my post is that the fighting reaps tremendous rewards in our families. We praise the Lord that, so far, each of our 4 kids has a heart to please the Lord, and so…you bet we will keep fighting ;)
It is very wearying sometimes but we know that we are not alone and that God’s people have always had to fight. The OT prophets of God were persecuted and often killed and all but one of the Apostles were killed. As far as the battle for our children’s minds we must never give up. I sometimes think that my wife and I have to fight hard, but at least we do not have to fight our children. My children, ages 10 and 12, have been told from infancy our goals for them, which are to be godly, and to marry godly people. It is easier for us to raise our children than others because we homeschool. I cannot imagine how hard it would be if we sent them to school, especially public school. I am reading a book about Charles Spurgeon and the battles he fought in the church and it is almost depressing to think that we are still fighting many of those same battles. But, we have the great Hope that is coming soon! then we will have rest, safe in our Lord’s bussom. I cannot wait!!!!!!
You make some great points. And another point is this: we should be willing to make whatever sacrifices necessary to grow our kids and their walk with the Lord. Nothing is worth more than that. And so we keep going…but we agree, the Lord’s return looks sweeter and sweeter every day!
Good, Good Words!!!!!!
Just found your site and so thankful.. Reading this today has blessed me for I am weary… I’m with you..
Glad to hear that, Cyndi! Thank you for your encouragement :)
I thank the Lord for leading me to your blog. As a Christian I always struggle with sin and reading your comment has blessed me a lot. Thank you and may the Good Lord continue to use you in many ways.
Thanks for stopping by :)
Take a look at our nation. It has been slowly and gently infiltrated by a value system that our forefathers believed they could protect us from with the Constitution.
Take a look at our churches. They have been slowly and gently infiltrated by a value system that our Father knows HE could protect us from with HIS Word.
People today are beginning to fight back in opposition to the changes that have crept into our nation.
Christians must fight in opposition to the changes that have crept into our churches.
HE, and HE alone, will be the Judge (not us). We must each live our lives in accordance with HIS rules, and gladly do so.
“Never be tired in well-doing” “To live is Christ, to die is gain” Live without fear. HE has already won.
Amen! So true!
I cannot tell you how grateful i am to God that you take the time and energy to encourage me! Thank you!
I am so glad to hear that my posts encourage you! Thanks for taking the time to tell me :)
Six years after you wrote this, it rings truer than ever. And I am thankful for the encouragement. May you also have more posts like this–shoring up embattled spirits and troubled minds, helping us refocus rightly on the Author and Perfecter of our faith, He who will redeem His people / His church in due time. Remind us of specific encouragements from God’s Word that no matter how wrong, terribly wrong and wicked, the world may seem now (and descending still), remind us of God’s glory, and sovereignty; His presence and care, His precious promises. The LORD bless and keep you and your family, and protect your ministry and humility.
Yes. It’s getting so so much worse. May God keep us looking upward and instead of at the evil world around us. It’s definitely a challenge, isn’t it?? So thankful for the Bible. From there we can see that we needn’t be too surprised about all this…
Folks Keep your armour on. We should be Weary..God be with you.