This is the spirit that’s needed to win through to a life of joy. Instead of feet that flee from difficulties, we need hands that freeze to our swords. Even champion is too weak a word for the true Christian, that roving, dangerous, hoodlum warrior of God.
Mike Mason in Champagne for the Soul again!
Do you see yourself as a ‘roving, dangerous, hoodlum warrior of God’? Maybe you are very British, in which case you struggle to appropriate that description for yourself. In some ways, I do too.
I know what I look like on the outside. White ‘home counties’ girl born into relative privilege, one-time professional who still has the ‘City girl’ look, articulate, probably private school-educated (I wasn’t!), a product of middle-class suburbia and an elite university. I know what you see when you look at me. It’s what I see too.
But you know, it’s not what God sees. He doesn’t look on the outside; he looks at my heart and yours. And our hearts are not what they were because Christ lives there now by his Spirit. Even the middle-class white girl who doesn’t know she’s born (or insert your own self-description here!) can be a radical, a ‘roving, dangerous, hoodlum warrior of God’.
And actually you and I need to know that. We’ve done soft, nice Christianity for too long.
Don’t be under any illusions. This is a war. It’s a war for your integrity. It’s a war for your joy. It’s a war for your holiness. Your ultimate allegiance will be put under pressure. Your convictions will be threatened. Whether Christ is indeed your all in all will be tested.
‘Instead of feet that flee from difficulties, we need hands that freeze to our swords’. The battle is here and it’s now and only the radical, the ‘roving, dangerous, hoodlum warrior of God’, the one who has been crucified with Christ so that she no longer lives but Christ lives in her…only this one will come to enjoy the victory.
Therefore, let’s leave behind all pretence at being anything other than radicals. Let’s stop trying to live lives which don’t upset the status quo. Let’s not hear anymore the lies that Christianity is a safe path and Christians are basically nice people, claims that have robbed us of our identity and our calling. Your future, my future, the future of the church’s next generation…that future depends on us living this out, recognising the battle, knowing the resource which is Christ in us, the hope of glory.
So, ‘roving, dangerous, hoodlum warrior of God’, leave behind your ‘safe’ persona. Leave behind the identity which is rooted in your background, your family, your skin colour, the place where you grew up. Leave behind the identity which depends upon your education, your home town, your job or profession, the things which others have said to you, your reputation. Leave it behind. It died with Christ anyway.
Now, live the life of Christ. Live it by faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave himself for us. Live like the radical you are.