The human body, by design, is a happily-running, perfectly-oiled, machine. It is not innate in its creation to bear the multi-faceted burden of sin and death. Those two things alone place terrible stress on each of a body’s functions. When serious conflict, be it relational or territorial as in the case of war, intrudes, great turmoil erupts within, resulting in the diagnosis of various diseases and syndromes. Deliverance and healing are necessary.

Little children worldwide, given the context of safe, nuclear families, exhibit spontaneous joy, their squeals of excitement at the discovery of the smallest new thing being solid proof. They know no fear (which, of course, frequently incites fear in the hearts of their parents!). From being able to turn over in their cribs, to crawling, to walking, to running, children thrill at the exercise of every newly gained skill (why parents of toddlers are exhausted at day’s end?). For children it seems true: ‘the world is their oyster.’ Bad things and bad people are kept far from them. They only know peace and beauty.

Despite the best intentions of these loving parents, these little ones eventually encounter some form of conflict, usually in the form of said parents saying, No! This word pierces the peace and beauty of the world, and suddenly liberty is denied them. And they begin to protest – loudly, sometimes ear piercingly so. The other shoe has finally dropped and so begins the steep learning curve of life lessons.

Fast forward to adulthood with its accompanying learning curve. The intervening years are filled with all manner of people and circumstances and challenges. Personalities are shaped through encountering all of them.

Twelve young Galilean men were no exception. Their largely rural lives, hidden from Jerusalem’s pomp and power, had been unassuming, sometimes joyous, sometimes extremely difficult. They learned early on that there were major roadblocks in their path, the number one being Rome’s oppressive rule. The bright light on their journey was the prophetic promise of a deliverer, the Messiah, who would make all things right. He would come as their Warrior King, ruling in truth and justice, banishing foreign powers and bringing much longed-for freedom and restoring national sovereignty to Israel.

Then they found him! Maybe it was their lack of understanding, but something didn’t feel right, sound right. No military talk. No talk of weapons. Only gentle talk of reconciliation and joy and reaching out to them in genuine friendship! They chose to trust him and follow his leadership, all while not sure when the prophecies would begin to be fulfilled. Surely, any day now.

Fast forward two thousand years and it turns out we are the army, bearing his weaponry, his armor, with the Holy Spirit and prayer our great trainers. Looking forward to seeing all you battle-immersed saints tomorrow, 10 AM, 3 PM, 4 PM.  PD

Share This