Barry Brown came to Mercy Ships yesterday to rock our boat. I don’t think any of us expected to be shaken up, but he did it, at least for me.
This morning, we were talking about Wilderness (Mark 1:12-13) – or the place the Spirit takes us after we discover our identity in Him, to participate in our spiritual development. This is where the walk gets good.
He said that when you go through a wilderness moment as a child (or as an adult), a loyal soldier appears, to stand up, and make you strong enough to get through that trying time. Think: an 8.5 year old boy who just lost his father being told that he is “the man of the house,” and he simply pulls up his breeches ad says, “if that’s what it takes.”
The loyal soldier is there.
The wilderness is meant to be a time of refining. Whatever we were meant to deal with that remains after we exit the wilderness – whatever loyal soldiers remain standing – will be transmitted to (I prefer the term “inflicted on”) others. This is so important, and affects me daily. Stefan and Erin talked with me about it after the Impfondo trip. My loyal soldier is a soldier of defense. He stands up and fights when I feel rejected after someone disagrees with something I say. Or I perceive being excluded when, really, there is something else going on entirely.
I do it to people I care about – people I work with, people I’m friends with, and even Brian.
The trick is, knowing when the soldier is standing up, ready for a brawl, when the fight shouldn’t exist, and telling him to stand down. Walking with Jesus is listening to the things that people tell me out of seeking to understand and compromise, not to feel like they have a personal vendetta to shoot everything I say down in a blaze of glory.
Knowing that this loyal soldier represents a weakness, a “hole” in my character, where the spirit can enter and strengthen me.
Stand down, loyal soldier. I got this. – Jesus.