Momentum (Christ – centred, Spirit – empowered, Mission – focused)
In 1 Chronicles 11 we are introduced to an elite group—David’s mighty warriors—whose feats of heroism are absolutely breath-taking. For example, Jashobeem raised his spear against 300 men whom he killed
in one encounter. Abishai also killed 300 men. Benaiah, a valiant fighter, went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. He struck down a 7’ Egyptian, killing him with his own spear.
These were incredible, super-human acts of valour, un-paralleled to this day. David’s warriors could shoot arrows or sling stones right-handed and left-handed. Their faces were like the faces of lions and they were swift as gazelles in the mountains. They were armed and ready for battle.
As I read, “Day after day men came to help David, until he had a great army like the army of God!” (I Chronicles 12:22), I found myself asking, “Where are these mighty warriors today?” A few weeks ago I received an answer.
What was unique about this mighty warrior was that he appeared to be anything but mighty. He was an older gentleman, frail with both feet swollen, so that walking was extremely difficult. I had just finished preaching and the pastor lead in communion. He invited people forward, challenging them to make this a visible act of fresh commitment to the person and mission of Jesus. We all stood to our feet and joined the line of those going forward.
I noticed this man who awkwardly stood, using two canes. His face grimaced with pain as he forced himself into an upright position. Each step he took was pure torture. Several people offered to bring him the elements, but he adamantly refused. He was on a mission and would not be deterred. After watching him make his way to the front, humbly receiving the bread and juice and hobbling his way back to his seat, I knew he was someone special.
After the service I sat beside him, wanting to hear his story. For the past two months he had been so ill he was literally lying in bed waiting to die. Then God spoke to him and said, “Get out of bed, I am not finished with you yet!” He decided he needed to get up and go to church. He contacted a friend to help him and realized that his feet had swollen so badly he needed to get new shoes. All his life he had worn boots but now nothing would fit; he had to settle for a pair of running shoes. He declared, “I paid $128.00 for these running shoes and today I realized why!”
He went on to state, “This morning you told us about a crazy moment in your life when you wound up spontaneously running with a group of folks from the running room and ended up going past the church you were to preach at that morning. You expressed how God stopped you and said, ‘People are running past our churches every day and we need to tell our people to get out of their churches and run where lost people are running!’ You finished your story by saying, ‘If I ever lead a local church again I will want everyone in the congregation to wear running shoes on Sunday morning.” I instantly realized why I was wearing running shoes today. Today I am committing my life to serve God with every breath he gives me
until he calls me home. I have my running shoes on!”
He might not have killed 300 men in one battle or killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day, but his heart was fearless and his passion to serve Christ was inspiring. I could sense the demons of hell trembling in his presence.
I believe I am writing to mighty warriors who are filled with passionate resolve to do whatever it takes to reach lost people. It is time to rise up and take your stand. God is calling us into a mighty army like the army of God. Put your running shoes on!
“This is our trust, our task, our high and holy calling for the Christians of this generation to give to the non-Christians of this generation the message of salvation and the chance of eternal life. This is a solemn trust. This is an urgent trust. This is an immediate responsibility.
” — A.B. Simpson