Warriors Needed!Guest Editorial by Matt Sullivan Orlando ICC

These were the men who came to David at Ziklag, while he was banished from the presence of Saul son of Kish (they were among the warriors who helped him in battle; they were armed with bows and were able to shoot arrows or to sling stones right-handed or left-handed); Some Gadites defected to David at his stronghold in the desert. They were brave warriors, ready for battle and able to handle the shield and spear. Their faces were the faces of lions, and they were as swift as gazelles in the mountains. – 1 Chronicles 12:1-2, 8

At this time David is in exile because Saul wanted to kill him. The jealousy and envy in his heart had blinded him from God’s plan, so David chose to remove himself from under ungodly leadership rather than rebel. Saul had so drifted from God that literally the Spirit had been taken away from him–but he does not even know it. On the other hand, David is walking with the Lord faithfully and his heart is commended by God.

The married disciples in Denver are getting excited about our upcoming marriage retreat entitled "All of Me!"
The married disciples in Denver are getting excited about our upcoming marriage retreat entitled “All of Me!”

Sometimes we have to be banished from where we want to be in order for the Lord to prepare our hearts for the work He has planned for us. In a very short time, David is rewarded for his faithfulness with the kingship and Saul is taken out! Men begin streaming to David and God begins rebuilding a righteous kingdom. Day after day men came to help David, until he had a great army, like the army of God. (1 Chronicles 12:22)

The men who the Lord brought to David were powerful soldiers, trained men who were looking for a righteous king to follow. They came ready to fight for the Lord and for David and brought an incredible amount of talent, heart and a willingness to work as hard as needed to build back the kingdom to the glory it was destined for! They could shoot arrows or sling stones right or left handed–they were disciplined and had battle experience. These men were brave and known as warriors! Even their faces were recognizable as valiant, “faces of lions” and they were in shape “swift as gazelles”, showing their eagerness to do whatever it took to be warriors for the Lord!

Are you ready to be a warrior like these men–eager for battle and willing to do whatever it takes to build the Lord’s church? If there were a sign we could hang at the entrance to our fellowship is would read: Warriors Needed! Are you in? As we continue to build the church here in Orlando, around the South and the Caribbean [and around the world] we need men [and women] willing to be Prayer Warriors, Unified Warriors, Repentant Warriors and Evangelism Warriors.

Prayer Warriors- David and then Jesus himself were powerful in prayer and so were two of the most formidable opponents of Satan that ever walked the planet! In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:1-3 David prayed early in the morning and knew by faith that the Lord would answer him. Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple. Luke 21:37-38 Our Lord often spent the night in prayer and was known for getting away to the mountain to have special times with his Father. David and Jesus were prayer warriors and so were used to literally change the course of human history. Are you in?

Ryan Stergis was restored to the family of God this Sunday!
Ryan Stergis was restored to the family of God this Sunday!

Unified Warriors- Jesus so exemplified a warrior who brought unity that men followed him without question, willing to die for him! He was their Lord and their servant…so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. John 13:4-5 A man willing to serve and lay down his life for his friends will always build unity! Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 In the Lord’s church we put aside our agenda and serve- this builds a unified and powerful group of servants and warriors. Are you in?

Repentant Warriors- Without repentance we cannot even see or enter the kingdom of God. Then we are called to be broken and repentant for the rest of our lives demonstrating our gratefulness for the salvation the Lord so freely gives us. Are you fired up and refreshing others? If not, you will be a limited warrior for the Lord and some day you could simply slip away with a hard heart. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3:19 Men who are refreshed will refresh others. In the battle for our souls and for the souls of mankind, we must remain refreshed! The battle is too ferocious to get weary and weighed down by sin. Repent and do it quickly so you can refresh others! Are you in?

Jeremiah Clark baptizing his brother, after 17 years in Eugene!
Jeremiah Clark baptizing his brother, after 17 years in Eugene!

Evangelism Warriors- There is power when men live with a purpose they are willing to die for! A clear purpose purifies our motives and each action we take. Are you living out the purpose God called you for? Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save what was lost. Luke 19:9-10 Jesus was very clear about his purpose. Everything he said and did was focused around the singular motivating goal of his life on earth- to save us! The last seven weeks have been incredible as we have seen the Lord bring us two amazing restorations; George and Jesse and seven baptisms; Jocelyn, Tera, David, Gabe, Amanda, Ashley and Tray! The salvation of others is our guiding and unifying purpose. Let’s pray together that God will guide us to become the evangelism warriors we are called to be and watch what He can do!

If we take the first letter from each of the types of warrior they spell PURE. What kind of warrior does the Lord want? Pure ones…singularly focused on bringing Him glory as we continue to build his church. Are you in?

He stoops down to make us great!

Matt Sullivan