Ken and I saw an awesome movie about a scientist/archeologist who visited a graveyard in England and discovered a grave where a sculpture was made of a king and his bride laying side by side with just the inscription “Defender of the Castle”. The awesome mystery was this “Defender of the Castle” turned out, by the chance encounter with a warp in time, to be him. After the movie the Castle came to mean, for us both, me, our marriage, our promises, all we hold sacred in our family through our vows and commitments. As I was running this morning the realization that in running, pressing to strengthen my endurance, my muscles, my heart and mind, I was a Defender of the Castle. The Bible says we are living stones and are the Castle of the Living God. God says to offer our bodies, our Castle, as a living sacrifice to God. He also says “Do you not know your bodies belong to God? You were bought with a price and you are not your own.”
I love the song that says to God ” Way maker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light in the Darkness, my God, that is who you are!”. This is so true but the fact is also true that, as THE CASTLE OF THE LIVING TRIUNE GOD, that is who we are too!!! Jesus said we are the city on the hill for people to look up to and want to rise to. We are the light, we are destined to do all that Jesus did and EVEN GREATER WORKS THAN THIS! But all of that is possible only if we go through the cross as Jesus did. He said what’s the use if you gain the whole world and lose your soul. When Jesus died on the cross our old sinful nature was nailed on the cross and we are to RECKON OURSELVES DEAD TO SIN BUT ALIVE TO GOD. Baptism is the perfect example of leaving our old habits and inclinations behind in the grave and raising up to eternal life with Jesus.
So how can we be defenders of our Castle? By discerning whose voice we are listening to and bring EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST and making the right choice. Psalms 23 says He prepares a table before me in the presence of our enemies. Well that’s perfect! Hooray! But don’t forget our enemy is not barred from contributing to the banquet table. Without options you don’t grow in wisdom and warfare. On the table our enemy will add a juicy bowl of self pity, a desert of resentment, a “to die for” appetizer of entitlement and self endulgence. We are also provided alternative choices for praise music:. I Can’t Get No Satisfaction, I Did It My Way or God’s favorite, Hallelujah What a Saviour! Around the Banquet table there are choices also in entertainment that are designed to equip for battle or sap our strength and resolve.
Today I chose to remember who Jesus says I am: Way Maker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light in the Darkness, DEFENDER OF THE CASTLE. Being strong, being a warrior, begins with crushing it in the minute by minute right choices. God is in each moment cheering me on. I can see Him grin. His wink. His hands stretched out watching my teetering efforts to walk. “Come on! You can do it!”
I can’t allow myself to think about the mile ahead but I can say in my weak tenuous beginnings I am going to raise my knees higher, keep my shoulders straighter, my chin higher, walk faster, walk longer, drink a full glass of water before taking a bite of anything, add a fiber supplement and cider vinegar to my day. Down the road I see my castle looking fit and a great place for sitting in the war room with the King to hear His battle strategy for me and tuning my frequency to hear His voice.
Finally, I’m reminded by the writer of Hebrews that Jesus, for the joy set before Him endured the cross. In Him, the Apostle Paul says we are more than conquers. Yes. We are Defenders of the Castle!