Friday, November 17, 2006

the armor-bearer

"Do all that you have in mind," his armor-bearer said. "Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul." - 1Samuel 14:7

This verse has always resonated with me, but more so of late.
There's something powerful about this kind of loyalty and commitment. Suprisingly, many commentaries and bible notes skip over this verse. Perhaps we get too caught up in theology and miss the things that are truly important. There's no theological mandate associated with 1Samuel 14:7. There are no doctrinal issues at stake. No intellectual reasoning in which to engage. But where the mind is not engaged here, the heart is. This is not a verse of theology, doctrine, or intellect. It is one of love, loyalty, and commitment. It is one of service. A true laying down of one life for another.

It's not enough to say that we are willing to die for one another. We must be willing to live for one another as well. Truly, this takes a greater commitment. To die for someone... that can be done in a single act. But to live for someone... that requires selflessness every day, moment by moment. It requires perseverance.

I like the idea of being someone's armor bearer. I like the idea of committing myself to the service of an individual or group. There must be extraordinary power in making such selfless declarations. To say outloud "I'm with you, heart and soul." That kind of commitment among Believers must make the enemy tremble.

As a Church, we don't often make commitments like that to one another. We have our visions and our plans, and we set to work acheiving them. But what if our visions and plans are found in helping others acheive their own visions? Romans 12 tells us to no longer conform to the pattern of this world. What is the pattern of this world? It is to choose a goal and work toward it's acheivement. So, if we are not to conform to the pattern of this world, will our visions and dreams in fact be birthed as we lay down our lives in service to others? Does God cast vision, not so that we'll run in that direction, but so that we have an inkling of where we'll end up as we serve others?

Romans 12:2 says we're to be transformed by the "renewing" of our minds. That word "renewing" means "a complete change for the better". A complete change. A complete change from the pattern of this world. The verse goes on to say that the purpose of this transformation is the "proving" of that which is good, and acceptable, and perfect. The word "prove" means "to see whether a things is genuine or not" or "to deem worthy". Is the world's pattern of acheivement genuine? Is the world's pattern for success worthy of adhering too?

My spirit cries "no!" And so maybe a paradigm shift needs to take place. A shifting of focus from my goals and dreams to the goals and dreams of others. Maybe it's time for me, as an armor-bearer, to look someone in the eye and say "I am with you, heart and soul."

3 Comments:

Blogger Leaning on Him said...

stef,
i met you once, at jen's before aaron left. (i'm "popeye".) i love to read your blog. this stirred me to write you...when you wrote to commit to someone heart and soul, i saw myself as Jesus's armor bearer. to live for Him does take a day by day, minute by minute death to my interests. and an obediant humbling to His. it seems that He's doing this in many people right now. it's not about our plans or even someone elses ... it's about His plans, His will.

as the body, we are connected and subject to one another. but He is the head. don't be sucked into following mere men. keep following Jesus. no matter what. no matter the cost. He's worth it all!

keep looking up!

1:43 AM  
Blogger Leaning on Him said...

isn't this a picture or a type of the greatest commandment? to love Him with all our heart, soul and mind. i'm finding that everything always leads back or boils down to loving God...and then... loving outward to others and myself(secondarily) that we'll follow Him into battle, follow His battle plans, even unto death! that those who love their lives will lose them but who give up their lives will find life...

we don;t hear this in churches because if people really started doing this...they would lose control and wonderful miracles would break out. it's starting! Hallelujah!!!

1:55 AM  
Blogger Stef said...

thanks for your comments.
you're right, that this isn't about following "mere men". It is about following Jesus, but we're meant to submit to leaders who are following Jesus as well. There's another dynamic that involves laying down our lives for others. Through that, we lay down our lives for Christ.

3:44 PM  

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