Mike and I watched the movie Machine Gun Preacher, a true story about a messed up angry abusive man who surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and how that led him in a mission that not many Christian men would even consider.
Sam Childers, a former alcohol and drug using gang biker turned into a preacher defending South Sudanese orphans. The film tells the story of Childers and his efforts to save the children of South Sudan in collaboration with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) against the atrocities of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
What came out to me is how he went from being an evil man himself to a new man in Christ, and how the Lord used his flaws against the atrocities of the LRA devils who force children into their army by ways that would make you and I want to do exactly what Sam Childers did in righteous anger. This man gave all he had: his money, his business, and even gave up being with his wife and daughter to do what God put on his heart to do there. Sam Childers still leads armed raids to rescue children from the LRA.
I would consider Sam Childers and men like him – true heroes of the faith; men that actually practice what they preach. What made Childers so very angry was when he went into American churches for financial help only to find apathy with the people. But, now there is a growing support for what he is doing. The man in the movie who played Sam’s best friend before and after Sam’s conversion, works with the real Sam Childers and spreads the vision of Sam Childers.
Men like this are not the only ones who are true heroes of the faith. There are heroes we rarely hear of that fight against the “principalities of the air.” These spirit demons are the ones that are controlling human beings, cities and governments at all levels. These heroes spend hours each day fighting the real enemies in the land.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can make your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:11-13
They fight against the devil and his demonic cohorts who are in control of evil men that have formed armies like Hitler’s, Al Qaeda’s, LRA, or even the BLM in our nation pillaging and killing as they please. These prayer warriors are heroes too as they live their day to day lives in continually warfare prayer. A good movie to see about these kind of heroes is “The War Room.” This movie was about a broken marriage that was healed and the family united in Christ to become God’s vessel in helping others going through the same trouble and suffering in the same way. Whatever ‘we were’ before the Lord set us free and healed us – becomes our mission in helping and freeing others. Some have more responsibility than others, but God makes all His sons and daughters responsible in some way for setting captives free.
Jesus said of Himself: “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19
And as His servants, those that He has set free, we have been given the same ministry to set captives free both spiritually and physically. Free men – free other men. A captive is anyone who is kept from the truth of Jesus Christ, kept from becoming whom God created them to be, kept from living the life that Jesus Christ died to give us: the abundant life of God’s eternal life; the life that overcomes sin, evil and even death. Thank You Jesus for all that You have done for us that we could never do for ourselves!
Childers was a hostile man who hurt people before he surrendered his life to Christ. God used that ‘hostility’ about him, but in a ‘good’ way – against the LRA. God doesn’t waste anything about us; He knows how to use everything for His GOOD purpose. God taught Childers how to guard his new heart from God and how to use his anger in the ‘right’ way, God’s way.
The devil and his cohorts are lying to Christian men about their masculinity and to women about their femininity. God designed both for a very good purpose on earth, but we see how men have become like women and women have become like men – but not in ‘good’ ways at all.
God listens to His prayer warriors who live before Him day and night. He answers the prayers of the humble who uphold those that the Lord is seeking to set free and bless. God rewards them because they eagerly seek after Him, believing that He exists in all the ways that HE SAYS HE DOES and that we can see in all the various accounts in the Bible.
I’ll bet Sam Childer’s wife leads a strong prayer ministry in her church for her husband in the work God called him to, supporting him in every way they can. They are both true heroes of the faith, in God’s eyes, and in mine.