In the movie King Arthur: Legend of the Sword they depict the Arthur character as a reluctant warrior king. One of his lines is very poignant where Arthur says,”I don’t want to be king!” Yet, he was “born” to be king and had been raised in a very obscure reality that made him feel like he was not the one who should take up the mantel, even though he was the only one who could remove the sword, Excalibur from the stone to which it was planted. A reluctant warrior king is someone who has the power, but denies that power because of a lack of faith and vision. Everyone around Arthur saw the greatness in him, but him. His lack of understanding the seriousness of his role in the story that would see a people freed from the tight grip of evil that had been put upon them, was holding back him doing what he was born to do. LEAD!! His evil uncle, the present king, knew exactly what was going to happen should Arthur take up the mantle of leadership and use the sword Excalibur to fight that evil. Evil would fall in an unceremonious heap. But what about Arthur? When he picked up the sword he felt a power that was overwhelming and scary, and his reluctance to hold the sword of power held back the inevitable. He was going to have to fight evil at some juncture, and he was scared.
In scripture it tells of the constant battle of good vs. evil. The continued need to trust God came with an ongoing set of instructions Jesus gave the disciples throughout His time with them. Prior to going to the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus had the original “come to Jesus” meeting with the disciples, namely Peter. It is recorded in Luke 22:31-36 :31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you,Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” 33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” 35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered.36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. When telling of Peter’s denial when Jesus was taken to be tried we sometimes forget this scripture that warns of satan and his desire to see the disciples fail, namely Peter. When it speaks of Peter being sifted like wheat it always implies this in the plural, which covers all of Jesus’ disciples. The “sifting” of wheat is the act of getting to the good grain and making all the questionable bad grain or dirt fall through the sifters holes. Jesus was warning the disciples that satan was going to be after them and that this sifting process was going to qualify who was really with Him. Peter’s denial was not the whole picture, but just a part of an ongoing sifting in his life to quicken his spirit to be ready for future fights for the cause of Christ. It is quite an alert for Jesus to change the list of needs for the disciples from what He had told them earlier in their ministry to take no purse or bag or sandals. Then Jesus asks them “Did you lack anything?” To which they replied “No.” This time he tells them to take a purse and a bag. And if they don’t have a sword, sell their cloak and buy one. Jesus wanted them armed and ready for action.
Of course, you know the story. Peter is seen and accused of being with Jesus and he denies it three times and the last one with a curse word. Then later on Jesus makes the process complete by restoring Peter and it sets him on a course for greatness in declaring the kingdom of God and the hope of the Messiah. In verse 32 Jesus says He prayed for Simon Peter’s faith to fail not. In this whole process of Peter’s denial and the reinstatement by Jesus it gives me much hope. Paul wrote about how Jesus intercedes for each of us as we fight the good fight in Romans 8:34 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
So where does this put us? Like Arthur we are in a battle to fight for good. Like Arthur we may have rejected this offer to fight. Like Arthur we might have rejected the “sword” of the Spirit because we were scared of His power. But, like Arthur, we can no longer deny that we have been put in the battle and we have the power to fight this battle like the warrior king, Jesus Christ. His Holy Spirit is in each of us. John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. Maybe you have been doing like Peter and have been denying your faith in the presence of evil. Maybe you feel helpless, hopeless, and without much power in your life. Maybe you are reluctant to take up the sword of the Spirit and fight the good fight. Maybe is over, and it is time to trust the Holy Spirit totally and let God’s power be seen in your life. If you don’t feel much like a warrior king, it could be because you don’t realize where the battle is being fought. Ephesians 6:12 tells us 2 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. The struggle in each of us comes back to this one question “Will you grasp firmly the sword of the spirit with your entire life and let Him be seen fully in your life?” In the movie every time Arthur grasps the sword with both hands it releases great power that scares him, but it is that great power that enables him to fight the good fight he was born to fight. We have been given great power through the Holy Spirit and we are born again to fight this fight. Time to take up the Spirit and begin fighting. Just realize that we need to be sifted also to get the worldliness out of our lives so the Spirit will shine through, so let the sifting begin because Jesus is praying for each of us as we go through the processes of our faith. The Holy Spirit is our “sword in the stone” and it is waiting to be taken up by each of us who know Jesus so we can fight the good fight Paul told Timothy about in 1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. The Sword of the Spirit is calling out to you. Are you listening? Will you answer the call?
The Pilgrimage continues….