Chapter 5 in Fathered By God
(View the content below to get started)
Huo Yuanjia is a very talented but prideful man. When everything he has is taken from him, he is forced to lay down his pride and learn humility. This made him into an even greater warrior and, in the end, was victorious for his people.
Saving Private Ryan
WARNING: This is one of the hardest scenes in any movie to watch. It is bloody and gory, but even worse, makes me face myself. This is at the end of Saving Private Ryan, when Corporal Upham is ordered to bring the 50 cal bullets to the building they had fortified. He was scared and because he did not make it with the bullets they were overrun. Not only that, but he could have saved his fellow soldier if he just had of gone up the stairs and shot the enemy. The enemy doesn’t even bother to shoot him as he poses no threat as he passes him in the stairway.
Ouch. What are some times when you did not act, but you could have?
Training Through Adversity
At the 2015 True Pursuit Weekend Dan Bumford and I (Matt Emhoff) started a discussion about pain and how we try to avoid it. How God wants to use it to grow us and train us but we would rather create a false, but comfortable life. One of the things we discussed was this poem.
How small are the things we choose to fight. What fights us is so great! If only we could let ourselves be overcome, as nature is overcome by a great storm. Because if we do win, it is a small victory, and the victory itself makes us small. Whoever is defeated by an angel, always goes away proud and upright, full of strength, and greater still for having felt its power. This is how we grow: by being decisively defeated by ever greater forces. -Rilke
What strikes you personally about this poem?
We then talked about James 1 and how I always kind of skipped over it or ignored it because it did not make any sense to me; or more likely, I didn’t WANT it to make sense to me. Read this from the Message:
James 1:2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
Another OUCH! When has your faith-life been forced out into the open? Do you try to get out of painful things prematurely?
Write down what it was like for you to live in your twenties and thirties. What were the main themes? What were the things that affected you most? The times where you did rise up as a warrior and the times you did not?
If you are interested in more on spiritual warfare here are a few helpful resources from Ransomed Heart.
Excerpt from Waking the Dead
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St. Patrick’s Breastplate is a great prayer to start praying…
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Find more audio teachings here.
|The context of our lives is a world at war and the battle is over our hearts.|
|The enemy does not want us to bring our power against him and so does anything he can to wound or twist our God given strength.|
|The warrior is wounded when good aggression is stunted and turns to passivity or if aggression becomes a way of making life work.|
|The question we are asking in this stage is “Am I dangerous and powerful?”|
|God trains the warrior through hardship and by giving us opportunities to step into our strength.|
(Respond personally to each question in your journal)
|Most men can be fairly easily put into a “passive” or “aggressive” category. Which one do you put your father in? Yourself?|
|The reality is that there are places that we are both passive and aggressive. Draw a line down the middle of the page and make a list of situations that you are either too passive or too aggressive.|
|How have you used aggression to get your way? To manipulate others? To intimidate others?|
|Anger is an expression of our belief that there is some unjustice going on and we have to do something about it. What do you get angry about?|
|In what way has your warrior heart been wounded or missed? See if you connect with any examples on this page. [embeddoc url=”http://deeper.fiveespressos.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Wounded-Warrior.docx” height=”350px” viewer=”microsoft”]|
|Do you view hardships as God training you to be a warrior? If not, how do you think you could reinterpret hard moments in life to allow this?|
|What strongholds does the enemy have in your life? Why have you not kicked them out?|
|What would it take for you to live out of your warrior strength?|
|When you think about the warrior stage, what do you want for yourself? For those you love? Why don’t you take a moment and ask God for these things.|
(Find space to be alone with God and invite him in to heal your wounded heart. You may want to bring your journal to capture what He says)
Much of the healing for the wounded warrior heart will come in times in which God calls you up. As you ask God to see what battles are yours to enter into, know that he is training you to be the warrior He created you to be.
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(Take time to talk to your ally face to face or over the phone about these questions)
|Discuss with your ally what your biggest struggles have been since week one of this process. Brainstorm together on how to fight against the enemy’s schemes to take you out.|
|Pray for each other against the enemy.|
(Take time for a personal worship time during this week)
Put on some relaxing music you enjoy and meditate on these verses about God being a warrior. It is tempting to read through it and be done, but really sit with it, allow images to come to your mind, see what what God has for you.
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What Did You Learn
Try to synthesize everything that you learned down to a few main points by revisiting your notes from each section. Pay special attention to the “Key Points” section.
Write a quick response to this week on the Forum.