The knight gasped for air, trying to catch his breath in a momentary respite from the onslaught. Alone. Tired. Battered. Wounded, inside and out. His armor was dented in a score of places, and jagged lines from sword and axe alike cut through his plate to the chain mail underneath. His shield took countless hits from mace and hammer and was embedded with many arrow tips that would have pierced his eyes, his body or worse, his heart. His longsword rested comfortably in his hand, its blade nicked and notched along its length from scores of swings against his enemies. He was dirty and in desperate need of sleep and food, yet there was no time.
As he looked out over the battlement, the horde began to swarm across the field. They moved inexorably toward the castle, like a tide rolls onto a sandy shore. How could one knight hold this one spot on the wall? How could he begin to summon the strength he needed in the face of his enemy?
With arms that ached from weariness and fatigue, he slowly raised his sword over his head and closed his eyes. As he did, he began to call on his God. He was a defender of the faith, a champion of the helpless. A Paladin. A holy warrior. And as such, he had a direct line to an endless supply of courage and power.
As the words of his prayer eased from his lips, a line of glorious light opened up from the heavens and streaked downward to the point of his sword. It struck the tip and began to bathe the Paladin in a holy radiance too bright to look upon. The glow stopped the horde dead in its tracks. Their gaze was drawn to the light like a moth to the flame. They didn’t know what it was, but they knew without knowing why that to continue forward was to continue on to their death. For the first time in their attack they came to know fear. And as one, they turned and ran…never looking back.
I have a confession to make. I’m a gamer. I grew up playing video games and still do today. From ColecoVision and Atari 2600 (am I dating myself here?) to PC games, I’ve tried just about all of them. The one that I most enjoy, however, is World of Warcraft. I’m sure you’ve seen the Chuck Norris and Mr. T commercials for the game that boasts over ten million players online. And it’s those ten million players that make the game so much fun.
Okay, by now you’re wondering how World of Warcraft has any bearing or relevance in a Christian blog. So, I’ll get quickly to the point.
In the game, there are things called guilds. They are a collection of like-minded individuals that get together online to play the game and help one another out. As you play, you chat and create friendships. Now, there are a lot of guilds that allow all sorts of content and language and things that you wouldn’t want you or your children exposed to. For the most part, however, they are in it to enjoy the game.
The guild I belong to is pretty unique in gaming. We’re called Soldiers of the Cross, and we’re the largest Christian guild on our server (as far as my research shows) with over 770 members. Our faith in Christ actually comes out in the game. From the first time you log in where our guild message is displayed (95% of the time it’s a bible verse), you know that you’re someplace special. We pray for one another. We lift one another up to God and help one another. We come to each other with struggles and trials. We share our successes- both in the game and in RL (real life). And while we’re at it, we have a lot of fun playing a video game together.
My main (the toon- character- I play the most) is a Paladin. A holy warrior. A defender of the helpless. A child of God.
“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in every time of evil. Then after the battle, you will be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” -Ephesians 6:10-18
I awoke the other day with this verse on my heart. What I have found is that the more Lena and I try to put God first in our lives…the more we let Him lead us and strive to do His will…the more we come under attack. The last thing that the enemy wants is for us to be of one accord, unified by Christ. What could we accomplish for His Kingdom then?
On her recent trip to San Antonio, Lena was able to participate in a 5K run for SIDS. She told me afterward that it was a liberating experience, and she felt that she could finally start moving forward after the loss of our daughter. Since then, it’s been one thing after another trying to slow us down and hinder that process. The attacks of the enemy.
This verse reminded me of my role as her knight in shining armor. I’m to put on ALL of the armor of God to lead her and protect her and lift her up…not just for her, but for our entire family. I will strap on the breastplate of righteousness and the belt of truth my God gives me. No matter the trial or pain, my steel shoes will grant me His peace and prepare me for anything that comes my way. My shield of my faith will deflect the barb-tipped, fiery arrows. And I will don the helmet of salvation, given to me by Christ’s death on a cruel cross. I will take up my sword of the spirit, my only offensive weapon, to strike back at my enemy.
I am a Soldier of the Cross. I am strong in my faith and in God’s holy power. With the God of angel armies by my side, whom shall I fear?