Still a Soldier

Remember that being magnanimous, merciful, courageous, and heroic are some of your outstanding healthy qualities. Be aware of these strengths in yourself today. (Personality Types, 297)

“Indeed, I know that this is true. But how can mere mortals prove their innocence before God? Though they wished to dispute with him, they could not answer him one time out of a thousand." (Job 9:2, 3 NIV)

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried and chosen you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, for My own sake, I do it [I refrain and do not utterly destroy you]; for why should I permit My name to be polluted and profaned [which it would be if the Lord completely destroyed His chosen people]? And I will not give My glory to another [by permitting the worshipers of idols to triumph over you]. (Isaiah 48:10, 11 AMP)

Is it too soon to start looking at some of the healthy qualities of my personality? Where were these qualities when I was marching aimlessly into the coliseum of seduction to face the lions of adultery? I'm not talking about a person, I'm referring to a spirit. What made me think that I could win against this ferocious foe with its voracious appetite to destroy my family, my call and me? Was it my courage or my heroic attitude both of which God wove into my person to use for His glory? It's all too true that my greatest strengths were used against me.  

In times like these, especially in my world, the Christian world, I have to wonder how much credit belongs to Satan? If I give him too much credit or assign him too much blame then it removes from me responsibility that should be assigned to me. Was my decision made by the weakened power of my "free will" or by the strong influence of Satan and his Imps? I know that he has come to steal, kill and destroy but did he overpower my will or did I momentarily submit myself to his lies?

He scripted this scene in a war "stage play" long before it ever hit the Broadway of hell. When he was casting and looking to fill the lead role I was just one of many actors being considered for this part. After all the roles were cast and the script finalized Satan quickly moved to box 666 and waited for the play to begin. His sordid sense of humor couldn't wait to watch his plot unfold. He knew that opening night would be closing night for at least one actor, Mark Crow, and he would be right. At least on this stage and in this play. Trust me none of us wants to see a repeat of this performance except Satan himself. It's not the last time I'll walk onto the stage of God's global theater. Yes. God's theater. This earth is the Lords in all its fullness. This world is God's theater and earth is our stage.

There will be a sequel to this play and unlike many, if not most Hollywood sequels, the next play of my life will be far greater and better than Mark Crow version one. I will allow God to cast me in my next role.  So, why is it that I would accept a role that God didn't cast me for? Maybe I surrendered too many of my personal convictions to the refined rhetoric of modern religious philosophy. Certainly there has been a great pendulum swing from the theology of my upbringing to the doctrines of today.

Early on in my life the Christian pathway was one of avoidance. Avoid card playing, poolroom participation, theaters (of any type), non-Christian associations and such. Then we, Christ followers, realized that it really isn't the card playing, the pool tables, the theaters or the non-Christians that are our enemies, it's ourselves. I became my own enemy. I accepted this role to play. My agent, in His script (the bible), told me not to take this part, however, I chose to go against good counsel and to go on stage. It wasn't where I was or even who I was with that caused my fall. It was the weakness of my soul that cratered under the great pressure of selfish opportunity. 

If the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead had been fully operating in me this would have never happened. I mean look at some of the people that Jesus associated with, harlots, thieves (wee little Zacchaeaus) and adulterers just to name a few. He was at parties that created great criticism from religious leaders of His day.

So then, how can we remove ourselves from the world that Christ so dearly loves all in the name of human weakness? We can't!

My problem was my lack of strength created by a lack of honesty before God, my family and my friends. I feared that my human flaws and spiritual fatigue would be judged before I ever had the opportunity to sin, notice I said that, “I feared". I'm not trying to pin this blame on anyone else but myself, however, Christians are typically uncomfortable with spiritual authenticity and weakness, at least I was.

It's just too painful for us, however, as you can see in my story we will either experience a preemptive pain or a post sin agony. I've determined that experiencing pain on this side of Heaven is not optional, only how we experience it is. In this case, my case, there would have been the pain of self-denial had I walked away from "opportunity".  I wanted something, or someone, that was created by God but not for my use, forbidden fruit if you will. Does that ring a bell? The result of wanting something that we can't have is most often painful. The other side of the line, the line that I crossed (as did Adam and Eve), is the pain created by commission. As I have stated, pain in this life is unavoidable. One pain is redemptive and the other punitive. Had I denied my flesh and walked away I would have suffered a redemptive pain for sure. Trust me, God never wanted me, or Adam and Eve, to make the choices that we made.

Our choices have proven to be painfully punitive. And, like Adam and Eve’s choice, mine too has hurt a lot of people. Maybe I should at least be mad at Adam and Eve. They started this mess. I love the lost, the weak and God seekers (not just God followers) of this world because I was one. So, where would I be today if fearful Christians had shunned my type? I don't ever want to run from the battles of this life, the sick, the mean, the adulterers, the misguided of my generation. There are lost souls imprisoned by their sin that need the spiritual freedoms that I have found in Christ. Today I am a wounded soldier of Jesus Christ.

I am no less a soldier today than I was when I fell on a grenade of passion. The only way that my injuries become fatal is if I choose to quit. And, I refuse to quit.

How will my fellow soldiers of Christ view me as I choose to re-up to serve another tour of duty for my Commander and Chief, Jesus Christ? I will from this day forward carry the scars of a battle that I lost. My scars will be an embarrassment to some and "Purple Heart" to others. I was never not be a "good soldier". I was just a weakened soldier ill prepared for a battle that I chose to fight, a fight that wasn't mine to fight. The scars that I carry will either be viewed as a symbol of one soldiers failure or as the marks of what Christ can do with a fallen infantryman who refuses to let his wounds excuse him from the battles he was born to fight. True, I will fight with a limp the rest of my life, however, my hearts strong resolve to fight may be stronger than its ever been because I'm more certain than ever that the God who lifted me out of this pit will proudly fight by my side in future battles that I am sure to face.