If you’re familiar with the various types of cop dramas on TV, the above phrase will not be unfamiliar to you. For those of you who do not recognise, or know what this phrase means, it is used by the police fraternity to inform other members that one of their own has been shot, maybe even fatally wounded.
I want to borrow that phrase and apply it to the wounded saints and warriors within God’s Kingdom. I want to flag up those people within the Body of Christ (including myself), who are currently hurting, particularly those serving at the frontline as prayer warriors, or ministry leaders. Man down!
There are men and women, who in the line of duty have been targeted by the Enemy. His aim is to distract, discourage and dishonour. Man down!
I have walked with the Lord for a few decades now. My particular path, foreordained by God, has been an arduous, rough and largely lonely one, since friends are few, family members are preoccupied and the fellowship of believers oft times cliquey. Apart from the companionship of my husband, it’s been a solitary pilgrimage. In picking up my cross to follow Christ, I’ve traversed a hostile terrain, one charted by sustained unpopularity and systematic assassination of my character. Man down!
My path has led me into Enemy territory – towards mountains of adversity, across the Great Sea of Sorrow and through the Valley of Achor*. Man down!
I have cried over the perpetual and malicious cycle of mockery, scorn and derision. I’ve sighed at the shrine of sabotaged dreams, mourned at the monument of missed opportunities and crawled in the dust of punctured self-esteem. Man down!
No doubt, as I continue along this pathway, I will still at times struggle with seasons of self-pity, still have to wrestle with promises-of-God fatigue and still have to cope with days of despair.
I know without a shadow of doubt that no matter how many times I must circle the desert because of disobedience, no matter how many times I must walk through the wilderness because of wilful rebellion, no matter how often I must engage with the Enemy of my soul who prowls and roars, waiting to pounce on his prey – because the Lord my God is with me, I will arise (Micah 7:8).
I know that when I choose to discard the spirit of heaviness and wrap myself within the garments of praise, God’s strength will empower me to rejoice in him (Philippians 4:4), to continue to rejoice in hope and to be patient during trials and tribulation (Romans 12:12). Warrior arise!
I know that when I tear my eyes away from my circumstances and keep them focused upon the God of my salvation and upon his promises, He will keep me in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3). Warrior arise!
I know that whenever I call upon him, my awesome God will rend the heavens, ride upon the wings of a swift wind and rescue me from the schemes, snares and strategies of Satan (2 Samuel 22:7-20). Warrior arise!
I know that my God will cause all things (the good, the bad, and the ugly!) to work together for my benefit (Romans 8:28). Warrior arise!
I know that because Jesus loves me, and laid down his precious, sinless life for me, I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). Warrior arise!
I know that no weapon forged against me will prosper, that the weapons of my warfare are not carnal but mighty in God and are capable of pulling down strongholds (Isaiah 54:17; 2 Corinthians 10:4). Warrior arise!
And because I know that greater is he that is within me than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4), because I know Jesus has given me authority over all the power of the Enemy (Luke 10:19), I have determined in my heart (whether I walk through green pastures, or through the valley of the shadow of death), I will put on my spiritual armour. I will take my place on the battlefield of prayer and I will resist the wiles of the evil one. I will stand in the strength and might of my God and assert the victory of Christ’s resurrection life and power (Ephesians 6:10-11).
I will, as God’s flawed but feisty warrior get up from the dust heap of defeat and discouragement—and I will arise!
*Valley of trouble (see Joshua 7:24-26)