I had one of those moments that are referred to as an epiphany. It wasn’t a lightening blue moment of sparkling electricity. It was in my quiet moments during my candlelit bath. That’s the time I can relax my body and let my mind drift to life, God, and the other side.
I’ve always pictured myself as a warrior. That self identification came during high school when I felt a strong connection with God. At the time I leaned toward agnosticism and spiritualism more than Christianity. I felt the presence of God and I was fascinated by angels and demons. The archangel Michael in particular. He is the greatest warrior of heaven and the general of God’s heavenly army. I’ve been fixated on him and the notion of the spiritual warrior ever since.
I am that. A spiritual, Christian warrior. And, I often envision myself girded in armor and weaponry, gritting my teeth against the stratagems of the enemy.
Ephesians 6:10-18New International Version (NIV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For 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. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
That is the verse I think of when I picture what it means to be a spiritual, Christian warrior. As it should be.
God revealed to me, during my aquatic meditative state, that expressing Joy, Peace and Love are just as powerful weapons in the face to face battle with the devil as are the virtues listed in the above passage.
I’ve been pursuing Joy in my life this past year. That seems like a rather odd thing to be pursuing, because Joy should come naturally, right? Like happiness. But, Joy is a different creature than happiness. Happiness exists in happy situations. Joy can be experienced in the midst of chaos, suffering, and hell. It comes from God and I am learning I have to allow myself to feel Joy. Guilt free, and fully. I’ve got it a few times and it’s getting easier to catch, like becoming adept at hunting and trapping rabbits.
As a warrior, I can laugh with Joy and childish abandon in front of the devil. The ability to do so with Joy is as powerful as a weapon as righteousness, and salvation. The Joy of the Lord is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10). And that is a pretty, awesome, weapon to have found in the midst of all the other weapons in my armory.