Dec. 14, 2022

Bear His arms

Man being held in the arms of God

Good versus evil. Our society is obsessed with seeing the good guy or gal triumph over an evil villain. In Star Wars, the Jedi wield their blue, green, or purple lightsaber against the Sith. The Sith wield a lightsaber too, only it is red and casts a sinister glow that captures the evil lurking within them.


But do you notice something? Both good and evil are using the same weapon. What determines if that weapon is good or evil is based on the perception of the one wielding it, illustrated by the color. We do the same thing in war, both sides use tanks, guns, and bombs but whether they are good or bad is based on the insignia of the nation carrying them. Even when we are keyboard warrioring with an online nemesis, we use memes and gifs that either side could share, but it is more appropriate because we are the ones posting it.


As Christians we want to champion the cause of Christ against the Church’s foes, but we attempt to do so by picking up the same weapons as the world. “You got to fight fire with fire.” Have you ever tried to fight fire with fire? While this can alter the direction of a fire, it does nothing to put the fire out. Is that not the goal?


In addressing an issue within the Corinthian church, the Apostle Paul wrote, “I do live in the world. But I do not fight my battles the way the people of the world do.” (2 Corinthians 10:3 NIRV) Paul is declaring as a follower of Jesus that he will fight differently than the world.


Paul was no longer born of the spirit of this world, he was born again from above. His heart and mind were filled with the Holy Spirit. When Paul did battle with the world and worldly attitudes within the Church, he would do so  displaying the fruit of the Spirit as proof of his testimony. This meant Paul’s attitude would be one of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and gentleness. (Galatians 5:22) And Paul’s attitude would drive his actions that reflected all those characteristics of the Holy Spirit’s presence in his life.


When Paul waged war filled with the Holy Spirit, he would do so by performing his gifts that came from the Holy Spirit. These gifts were unique to Paul, and though some believers may not possess those same gifts. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophesy, discernment, and languages. (1 Corinthians 12) These are all abilities that are maximized by the Holy Spirit, some of these abilities were used by Paul to accomplish the work of the kingdom. In other words, Paul was no longer a prisoner of this world, nor was he chained to the ways of the world. Paul had a right to bear his own arms, but he did not. Instead, Paul displayed the arms of God through the Holy Spirit’s presence dwelling in him.


When you and I answer the call to follow Jesus it is accepting we will never be the same. Following Jesus breathes spiritual life into us and disrupts the patterns that run our life. This disruption is both in action and attitude. We are no longer living this life for ourselves, we are in the Lord’s Army now, called to bear His arms. This life alters how we fight. Instead of battle cries of this world, our heart and mind show the fruit of the Holy Spirit through our fighting. It is with our gifts of the Holy Spirit that we do our fighting. We live in this world, but we do not fight our battles the way the people of the world do.