The first shot from the cannon
caused the hair on every man's neck to stand on end. By
the time the smoke cleared, every sword had been drawn and
the attacking force engaged. The lookout in the crow's nest
had seen something moving in the distance. The shot from
the cannon was both a warning to the approaching forces
as well as a wake-up call to the pirates on the ship.
The attackers had spied out
the ship and knew where the captives were being held. It
was imperative they free them and they were willing to do
whatever it took to get them out alive. The attackers had
good reason for using the element of surprise.
In a matter of minutes, the
captain was on deck and fighting with the best of them.
In fact, he was a wanted man. The ship's captain gave orders
that no one was to kill the leader of the attacking band
of raiders; the captain was saving him for himself. Before
long, Peter Pan and Captain Hook were fighting it out, swords
clashing as they battled back and forth. You probably know
the rest of the story.
Their battle was make believe…our
battle's for real. While serving in Portugal as missionaries,
we were engaged in a very real and quite intense battle.
An unseen enemy, with sword drawn and an eternal prize at
stake, attacked our son unremittingly. The attacks would
not cost him his life, but the affects would be long-lasting.
He totally shut down. He stopped eating, he stopped talking,
he stopped laughing, he stopped sleeping…he lived in terror
for several years. When we first came home from the mission
field, the therapist thought he was autistic because he
so shut down and withdrew into himself. We couldn't get
anything out of him.
After a year-and-a-half of
therapy, we began to see a glimmer of hope. God was at work
in his life. But for the next few years, he insisted on
dressing up in one costume after another. He loved "being"
Peter Pan. When he had on that costume, he was a go-getter;
bold, happy, full of life. One day I asked him why he always
wanted to wear that costume. He said, "Because Peter
Pan is brave; I am not." When he put on that costume,
in his mind he put on courage, bravery, and hope; all the
things he felt the enemy stole from him when he was attacked.
We are each called to put-on
something as believers. With an enemy intent on attacking
each one of us, we are told to put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul wrote this in Romans 13:14:
"But put on the Lord Jesus
Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill
its lusts." When we put on Jesus, we put on
everything: the full armor of God, salvation, hope, redemption,
sanctification, and victory; for victory comes in no other
name. He's our warrior. He stands up and fights for us.
5:13-15, Joshua met the preincarnate Christ. The
Bible says: "And it came to
pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes
and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His
sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said
to Him, "Are You for us or for our adversaries?"
So He said, "No, but as Commander of the army of the
LORD I have now come." And Joshua fell on his face
to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, "What
does my Lord say to His servant?" 15 Then the Commander
of the LORD's army said to Joshua, "Take your sandal
off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy."
And Joshua did so."
Joshua quickly learned that
the Lord didn't come to take charge, He came to take over.
When we put-on the Lord Jesus Christ, we allow Him to be
in control and to fight our battles for us. He's eternally
brave, He's eternally courageous, He's eternally hopeful.
These are the things He gives us when we put Him on and
walk in Him.
Now our son has learned to
put on for himself, not a Peter Pan costume, but the Lord
Jesus Christ and, in Christ, he is once again bold, courageous,
and full of hope himself.
Are you? Have you put-on the
Lord Jesus Christ? Do you walk in His courage, His bravery,
His hope? I challenge you today to put aside the lusts of
the flesh, which spell defeat; and to put-on the Lord Jesus
Christ and to walk in Him. Only then can you be victorious
in your battles today…and every day.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.