Finish Strong (part 2)

Gladiator is a picture for us a restored man. We saw in the last post the picture of him leading his men into battle but reminding them, “what we do in life echoes in eternity”. It is accurate. The man you become in this process of becoming will echo in eternity. Watch this next clip. Listen to the son’s heart as he speaks with the father figure in his life.  Listen as he fights for his men.  Listen as he longs for home.  Watch his face change as he begins to describe his home.  Marcus says to him, “I envy you Maximus, it is a good home”.  When all the power in the world is handed to him, watch him push it away.  His heart is good.  He just wants to go home.

Gladiator is a picture of man restored.  A man who commands the loyalty of his troops and the admiration of his Emperor.  He is skilled in his profession.  He’s worried about his troops.  If he must go to war, he will follow his command, but his driving desire is to get his men back home.  He longs for home. We all long for home.

He has a strength and a balance to his life.  A skilled professional who knows his life is not defined by his profession.  He values his family.  He’s honorable and trustworthy. What if? What if you could become this kind of man?

What is the most important thing?  What if you had another chance?  What if there was a secret treasure waiting to be found?  What if there was an ancient path that led to life as it was meant to be?  Would you take it?

What if it wasn’t easy?  What if it wasn’t cheap?  What if it wasn’t quick?

What if there was a way to become who God meant when He meant you?

What if you could have you whole heart restored?

What if you could be strong again?  Courageous again? 

And learned to live a ferocity that outlives your life?

What if that is what they remembered?

What we have been after is not easy, it is not quick, it is not cheap – but it is worth it.

I remind you of the iceberg…

In this process of becoming, we must be willing to go deep beneath the waterline with God and allow Him to work there.  I can pose with you and only show you the 10% that is visible.  I’ve perfected that pose.  In my brokenness, I’ve found how to make life “work” if I can fool you into thinking I’ve got life figured out. God could care less about that 10%.  He’s after the 90%.  The song we sang last week, “I surrender”, that is what that song is talking about = that all of me is available to all of Jesus.

God is always at work chipping away of our kingdoms.  You have a way you do life and a way that you have “figured out” how to make your life work.  Yet, God is always at work against that.  He’s not interested in your propped up kingdom… 

If you are a propped-up man, and your roots don’t go deeply.  The coming storm will knock that tree down.  God is interested in you digging deep roots in Him – the only structure that matters. That I am only dependent on God.   That my roots are in Jesus.  That I won’t chase the things of this world.  Of the things in us that are not “true”, God is always sanding those down, shaping me, chipping away at my false fronts, and molding us into the man He designed us to be.

IF … we consent to it.  Will you consent?

The turmoil in your life and in mine is not an absence of God – it is quite the opposite.  It is a sign of the presence of God pressing up against the reign of the other gods to whom you and I have bowed.  God wants to tear down all these other idols/gods you and I worship.  The world comes at us hard trying to convince us “life” is out there on the tree, and we can just eat the fruit and win.  It doesn’t work that way.  It’s a trap.

The world is a failing, broken system run by a tyrant, the devil, who is just trying to burn it all down.  He promises life but he brings death.  He will seduce you with lies and false idols. 

We are warriors. We are sons. We are submitted to The Authority.  God wants to reconstruct us so that we live from a place of utter dependence on Him.  In that, there is great freedom and great life.  A man of strength, in service of the True King, is a man who can get about the business of the Kingdom of God and rescue others.  You have a role to play What if our role as warriors is to bring order to the chaos that entraps so many today?  

The warrior spirit in you was built for more than a small life.

It is not easy to build things of lasting value.  It is why we have used the oak tree all year.  It is an image anyone can understand.  Oaks take time.  They take patience.  They weather storms.  They sway in the wind.  They bend but don’t break.   Their roots go deep.  They draw upon living water to sustain them in times of drought.

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