Walking towards the Light from the cross of a King

A blog by Josh Humbert

Westerns and warfare…


What are you facing right now? 

What challenge, what obstacle, what adversity are you colliding with?  Where, in your walk with God, have things ceased becoming easy?

What circumstance is occupying your thoughts at this moment?  What is slowing you in your pursuit of knowing and experiencing the Mighty, Powerful, Loving, and Merciful God?

For me, personally, the list would be long.  An honest evaluation of my life and pursuit of God would reveal that I give up way too easily. I let other things take His rightful place as not only God, but Lord of my life. I find satisfaction in the junk of this world instead of my Savior. I let my sin slow my steps toward my King. Compromise makes a convincing offer to me.  I can be a real mess…just ask my wife.   😉

Recently, I had a chance to see a great film called “3:10 to Yuma.”  It is a western starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale (confession—Bale is my favorite actor).  Basically, without giving much away….Crowe is Ben Wade, a notorious and brutal outlaw who is captured and must be delivered to the “3:10”, which is a prisoner train which goes to Yuma, Arizona.  Bale portrays Dan Evans, a common man who, due to family and financial circumstances, volunteers to take Wade to the train.

The journey to 3:10 is fraught with danger (did I just use the word, “fraught”??  What am I, 60?).  Wade’s fellow outlaws are trying desperately to free him and Wade himself plays mind games with his captors.  Other factors play into the drama to make it even more harrowing.  Due to time constraints, Evans’ crew of men transporting Wade consists of a vetenarian, a railroad executive, a wounded old cowboy, and Evans himself hobbles on a wooden leg.  It is not the SWAT Team, rather some common men doing their best to do what’s right in the face their adversity.

One thing I really took away from the movie was Evan’s spirit in the face of adversity.  Throughout the whole movie and especially near the end, he has many chances to compromise or stop short. .  His wife sees the problematic task and protests by saying, “He’s a killer, Daniel.”  Daniel responds with “Then someone oughta have the decency to bring him to justice.”  This is the kind of integrity I need.
 
During their journey, Evan’s refuses to give in or let evil have it’s way.  He is a man of integrity and character.  When others give in because of the danger facing them, Evan’s stays the course.

When he nears the end of his journey and while it appears as if the challenge is more than he can handle, when all the cards are stacked again him, Evan’s exudes his great character and tenacity. With grit in his voice, he looks at his son and says, “Just remember, it’s your old man that hauled Ben Wade to that station….when nobody else would.” This is the kind of character I need, character that says, “I know other people might run from this kind of adversity, but I choose to stand here and fight this battle.”

Dan Evans had the same kind of strength of character, integrity, and intensity that a young David had. Think back for a moment to the famous encounter of David and Goliath. (I Samuel 17)

Every day Goliath would come out and taunt the armies of Israel to a fight:  “And the Philistine drew near and presented himself forty days, morning and evening.” (17:16)   He is talking trash every sun-up and every sun-down for over a month……and no one is doing a thing about it.  No warrior from Israel’s army so much as raises a spear or lifts a shield.  There were many good men in Israel’s camp, but they were many good men doing nothing when the odds were against them. They just took the taunting and the verbal abuse from Goliath as if it were their breakfast and dinner. Not exactly the South Beach Diet….

Then, young David shows up and takes an assessment.  He does not like what is going on and he delivers a challenging and convicting statement in verse 26, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the Living God?”  Basically, asking the question of “ok, why hasn’t anyone dropped this freddy yet?  He isn’t bigger than God.”

The people, and even his brothers get angry at young David for calling them out.  Somehow, they have grown accustomed and complacent to this Giant defying them and haven’t been stirred to action.  They don’t “have the decency to bring him to justice.”  David’s words just ring in their ears and remind them of their compromising ways and fearful attitude.

Here is this boy, amongst all these full-grown warriors, and he is ready to battle. Yet, he is responding…he is reacting…he is laying a foundation for victory over his “giant” challenge. 

Now look at how David responds to those who are refusing to live in God’s victory and are still bad-mouthing him: “What have I done now? Is there not a cause?” (V. 29)

“IS THERE NOT A CAUSE?!”

Whoa!! Whoa big D, what a line!

In your life, is there not a cause? Is there not a reason to fight? Is there not our God, who has given the victory? Is there not a reason to engage with everything that is in you?

You know, I’ve never been to Hawaii.  You might think that this fact has no reason to show up at this juncture in this writing, but it does.  My whole family went to Hawaii a few summers back and I wasn’t able to go. They’ve told me all about it and made me insanely jealous.  I WILL make it there one day. 

As I’ve looked at Hawaii websites and photos, I ran across an interesting piece of history.  There is this warrior chant that the natives have used there for many years and it goes like this:
“Eo na toa!  Eon a toa e!”

What this means is: “This is battle. You must respond.”

It sums up the mindset of Dan Evans and David. There is a battle. They must respond. They faced choices and they both could have taken the easy way out many times, but they did not. They jumped into the fray, got on the front line, and engaged the enemy face to face.

So, what about me, and what about you? Let me ask again…

What are you facing right now? 

What challenge, what obstacle, and what adversity are you colliding with? Where, in your walk with God, have things ceased becoming easy?

What circumstances or hardships are occupying your thoughts at this moment? What is slowing you in your pursuit of knowing and experiencing the Mighty, Powerful, Loving, Fulfilling and Merciful God?

Is the mindset of Evans and David in you? Like Dan Evans did with Ben Wade, will you take hold of your situation and bring it to the justice and love of Christ’s throne? In the midst of all the pain, are you prepared to engage and not sit by on idle? Are you willing to do what is right, “when no one else would”? Like David did, are you ready to fight for your cause? IS THERE NOT A CAUSE?

Life goes by quickly. Do not grow comfortable and stagnant. Don’t let the Enemy taunt you day after day. Don’t take the easy way out. Seek God with everything you have and remove what stands in the way. Drop to your knees, bring it to God, and start laying the foundation for victory.

This is battle. You must respond.

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This entry was posted on September 24, 2007 by in Uncategorized.

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