WARRIORS & FREEDOM FIGHTERS
Warriors & Freedom Fighters. Two sides of the same coin, probably, but each term holds a special significance to me. Firstly, because both my first and middle names bear the meanings of each:
William = Strong-Willed Warrior and Franklin = One of Freedom.
I greatly desire to live up to both of my given names.
Secondly, and certainly more importantly, each plays deeply into my stories.
Some of you may know that my first novel, Deliver Us from Darkness, was originally named Freedom Fight. The reason was simply that the protagonist in my story found himself in battle for his own freedom, physically, mentally, and spiritually. A second fight for another character's freedom occurs at the tail end of the story.
As for the warrior aspect of my novels, whether we know it or not—or want to believe it or not—we were all born into a world at war, most of which cannot be seen with our natural eyes. Those of us who call ourselves Christians are called to be warriors—"good soldiers"—bearing weaponry and wearing uniforms for battle (Ephesians 6). It is made clear that we have an Enemy who is bent on destroying us, be it physically or the dumbing down of our walks with Christ or completely distracting us from fulfilling the purposes that God has given each of us.
We are given authority through the name (identity) and the blood of our Commander and King, Jesus Christ. If we are living a completely safe life, not willing to take risks for the Kingdom of God—not willing to fight for the salvations of others—then quite probably we have already been defeated. But, that need not be the case. We can prepare for battle. We can stand against the Enemy who wishes to kill, steal, and destroy, not only in our lives, but in the lives of those around us.
I thought, therefore, that I would give some definition to what a Freedom Fighter is and follow that up with a prayer for those willing to suit up and pick up their armor.
... first and foremost are “not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
... understand that there are two realms: The Physical and the Otherealm, where Heaven, Hell, and Man battle for the soul.
... are willing to stand for God in the midst of persecution. They do not run away. In the words of Marta Rosales, a character in my novel, Deliver Us from Darkness: “What do you think courage is? Absence of fear? Nuh-uh. It’s doing the right thing in spite of fear.”
... are men, women, and young people who are concerned about the spiritual — the after-this-Earth — welfare of others.
... are individuals who understand that “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.”
... know how to give thanks to God in the easy and tough times.
... have learned how to use their tongues to speak in the authority of Jesus Christ when engaging the Enemy.
... stick up for the weak and are willing to take risks on behalf of others who need help.
... walk the Christian faith and don’t just talk about it.
... are humble, but confident in who they represent on this earth.
... are looking to bring as many people to Heaven with them as they can before leaving Earth for their real home.
Are you a Freedom Fighter?
"A Warrior’s Prayer"
From the book Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist ...” Lord, I put on the belt of truth. I choose a lifestyle of honesty and integrity. Show me the truths I so desperately need today. Expose the lies I’m not even aware that I’m believing. “... with the breastplate of righteousness in place ...” And yes, Lord, I wear Your righteousness today against all condemnation and corruption. Fit me with Your holiness and purity – defend me from all assaults against my heart. “... and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace ...” I do choose to live for the gospel at any moment. Show me where the larger story is unfolding and keep me from being so lax that I think the most important thing today is the soap operas of this world.
“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one ...” Jesus, I lift against every lie and every assault the confidence that You are good and that You have good in store for me. Nothing is coming today that can overcome me, because You are with me. “... Take the helmet of salvation ...” Thank you, Lord, for my salvation. I receive it in a new and fresh way from You, and I declare that nothing can separate me now from the love of Christ and the place I shall ever have in Your kingdom. “... and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God ...” Holy Spirit, show me specifically today the truths of the Word of God that I will need to counter the assaults and the snares of the Enemy. Bring them to mind throughout the day. “... And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Finally, Holy Spirit, I agree to walk in step with You in everything – in all prayer as my spirit communes with You throughout the day.