Hold On With Your Heart
At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, General George Washington instructed his troops: “The fate of the unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die” (italics mine).(1) The warrior spirit was essential in order to win America’s freedom.
This kind of warrior-heart is also necessary spiritually. The kingdom of God is full of paradoxes - seeming contradictions. This is one of them: though called to possess the quality of love more than any other, even to the point of laying down our lives (2 Corinthians 13), and to pursue peace with all men (Hebrews 12:14), we believers are also called to fight spiritually (Ephesians 6:12-20).
We must war against the kingdom and powers of darkness, false ideologies, and the strategies spawned by both. Also, though “we wrestle not against flesh and blood“ (Ephesians 6:12 KJV), we must boldly oppose, through spiritual weapons, those individuals who war against Christ’s cause. Another attribute, therefore, necessary to be an agent of change is to possess the heart of a warrior.
General Patton once said to his troops, “You must acquire the warrior’s soul.” (2) It seems that far too many Americans have lost the warrior's soul, both naturally and spiritually. Most people want someone else to do their fighting for them. Warriors, on the other hand, fight when necessary and push forward. They are willing to war for what they love and believe in.
I recently revisited the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. I was inspired once again as I read about the sacrifices of so many warriors - women and men who gave it all to save the world from tyranny. I also grieved as several individuals ignored the signs asking that, in order to honor our lost veterans, the fountain and pool not be used for wading and play. For many, this hallowed place was nothing more than a place to cool off on a hot day. We have become a shallow and ungrateful nation. Millions of apathetic and ungrateful Americans need to be shown the old road of honor and patriotism. We must never forget that someone died purchasing our freedom - a child lost a parent, a spouse lost a husband or wife, a parent lost a child.
Old Testament Warriors
In the Old Testament God shares examples with us of warrior hearts. They are our examples, not because we are called to force His will on people, but so that their internal traits can be applied to our spiritual battles. David was one such warrior. This brave fighter killed a lion and a bear to protect his father’s sheep, and was ever ready to fight the enemies of God when they attempted to destroy Israel. David possessed such a strong warrior's heart that he actually ran to face Goliath! (See 1 Samuel 17:48)
Then there was Benaiah, one of David‘s “mighty men” (see 1 Chronicles 11:22-24). Like David, this heroic and bold warrior also killed a lion. It seems the marauding lion was threatening a village in Israel, which motivated the villagers to set a trap by digging a pit, then baiting the lion into it. OK, so now what? Without today’s tranquilizing methods, how would they dispose of the lion? Cage it and move it to another region? Or perhaps kill it using spears, arrows, even stones? Several options were possible - just stay out of the pit!
For some reason, inexplicable except to the warrior heart, this warrior didn’t want to kill the lion from above. “Out of my way,” he shouted. Before anyone could stop him, Benaiah jumped into the pit - “on a snowy day,” scripture adds for good measure - and killed the lion (see 2 Samuel 23:20).
Warrior? I think so.
He once killed, “A man of great stature five cubits tall [seven and one-half feet]. Now in the Egyptian’s hand was a spear like a weaver's beam, but he went down to him with a club and snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear” (1 Chronicles 11:23).
Warrior times two!
Warriors Reproduce Warriors
Incidentally, from whom do you think Benaiah acquired his warring nature? He was obviously inspired by the heart of his leader David, who also killed a lion and giant. Warriors reproduce warriors. I’m praying God will raise up a generation of spiritual Davids and Benaiahs who will challenge satan, the roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8), who is devouring many in our day.
Eleazer was another David-inspired warrior. “He arose and struck the Philistines until his hand was weary and clung to the sword, and the Lord brought about a great victory that day,” (2 Samuel 23:10). What determination! In defending the nation of Israel, Eleazer fought past his weariness and when no longer possessing the physical strength needed to control his hand, he held onto the sword with his heart! When the battle was over, his comrades waded through the bodies and peeled Eleazer’s hand from his sword.
We Need Warriors Today
How does this warrior spirit translate into action today against the spiritual giants of our land? Obviously, it begins with prayer - spiritual warfare. But there is more. Standing for truth through acts of protest and civil disobedience, voting out of office individuals with unbiblical ideals, giving to righteous causes, speaking out against all that oppose the rule of God - all are ways by which we war. To turn America back to the ancient path, we must tenaciously resist evil and tyranny, let our voices be heard, and pray until revival is seen in our land. Can we really see a reformation of America? If pioneer warriors with hearts like David, Benaiah and Eleazer arise, with a determination to find and walk the old road, we can.
I am asking God to raise up spiritual warriors in America. We desperately need men and women with hearts strong enough to face whatever firepower satan and his allies can throw at them and, in spite of it all, turn this nation back to Christ.
We need 21st century burning-heart revivalists in the mold of John and Charles Wesley. We are desperate for Jonathan Edwards level anointings causing such Holy Spirit unction that sinners cry out for forgiveness and salvation. We must have modern day Finneys whose preaching births such conviction that men run to altars weeping and mourning; and Peter Cartwrights - Circuit Riders - who will brave wilderness paths and freezing winters on a horseback to preach the gospel. We desperately need “praying Hydes,” Reese Howells and Jeremiah Landphiers, who will shape history and birth awakenings in regions of the earth through prayer.
Perhaps you were never taught about these heroes of the faith and are wondering who some of them are. That is part of the problem. America’s heroes today are athletes, movie stars, and singers. Many are good people, but heroes? I don’t think so. And frankly, some are not good. Many in America emulate losers - adulterers, the foul-mouthed, rebels, irresponsible fathers, and lying politicians. May God give us holy, selfless warriors who will fight for truth and honor. May God awaken the pioneer spirit again in our land and mantle a generation with the vision and tenacity needed to find the old road.
Pray with me:
Father, in Your word You use words like wrestle, warfare, fight and soldier to describe our activities. Even though Christ defeated our enemy and took from him his authority, it is still our responsibility to enforce that victory on the earth. We must use Your name, power and the sword of the Spirit to bind and loose, open and close. We ARE Your Ekklesia on the earth.
We pray that warrior hearts will be resurrected in Your church; that people of faith and passion will be raised up who will run to face Goliaths in the earth. Give us the warrior’s soul! May we fight until our hands cleave to the sword, holding on with impassioned hearts that refuse to yield to demonic forces in the earth. May the zeal of the Lord of Hosts consume us!
We ask for this in faith, and in the name of Jesus. We believe this is done!
We decree that a fresh generation of spiritual warriors is arising on the earth, and will enforce the victory of Calvary all over the world.
Click on the link below to watch the full prayer.
1. Coffey. Patriot Hearts. 118.
2. Ibid., 144.