As many of you know, I am challenging myself again to another year of what I call living a “Servant Warrior” life.
If you have not figured it out by now, when I speak about the servant warrior life, I am really talking about being a true bible believing Christian who has truly submitted and committed his or her life to the Lord.
In today’s world it is easy to give lip service or to “Spiritualize” things which in turn make things easy to put in some sort of fantasy world.
What happens is that one starts to live a dual life, one part of your life that is “spiritual” and the other part that deals with everything else. You compartmentalize and when you do that, it is easy to justify sin.
The Servant Warrior life is not like that. I have been pushing to live both the spiritual and the physical, right here, right now., no compartmentalization.
My sole filter is God’s Word. If His Word says it, then we are called to live by it. To put it in simple words, submitting completely to God’s Word.
I believe that we should strive to live a holy acceptable life.
God’s Word states …
1 Peter 1:16 because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
This is a hard thing to do, but if we submit to God’s help and direction, we can slowly over time grow more and more like Him and less like the world.
It is that that time that you start really walking that Servant Warrior path forsaking all others, picking up your cross and following Him.
That is why I say that there are a lot of people out there that claim this, but in realty there are not many. A lot of people give lip service, but rarely do most people back it up by really living it out.
Many try and fail. But believe it or not failure is a good thing. It is what you do after you fail that strengthen the metal with which you are made of.
Those who do choose to take the action and to really live this idea out, are the ones who become The Servant Warriors.
When you choose to walk the servant warrior path, you become the superior person as opposed to that person who has their life set to “autopilot” just drifting down the river of life allowing life to take them wherever.
Now I know that there are some who are reading this and it is upsetting them saying “how dare I call myself superior.”
Like it or not, it is the superior person who tries harder and takes the right path verses the one of least resistance.
The superior person chooses the ways of the Lord verses what they “believe” or “feel” what is right.
It is also the servant warrior who is more aware of the enemy inside because they battle with that enemy daily.
To use a modern term, that enemy is called “Despicable Me.”
In scripture it is called “The Flesh” and you know what? Your flesh wants to ruin your life.
That is why I call that part of me “Despicable Me.”
See the average Christian today really does not understand that their flesh will NEVER seek the ways of the Lord.
As I have said, most people bend to their flesh and compromise themselves. Why? Because it is the easy thing to do, it is the easy way out.
Look at how many are out there that basically convey the idea of …“Who cares! I have my fire insurance; I am saved by grace so I can sin like hell.”
Now do most people proclaim it that way, in such an in your face sort of statement?
No, not at all.
But like it or not, that’s basically how the average “autopilot” Christian lives their life.
Look at Playboy? Sure why not, I am saved by grace.
Go out and get drunk on Friday night? Sure why not, I am saved by grace.
Smoke that joint? Sure why not, I am saved by grace.
Check out that cute mail boy or secretary at work, undressing them in your imagination? Sure why not, I am saved by grace.
Get what I am saying?
The Servant Warrior works hard to not allow these things to come into play. He or she does not give sin that foot hold.
At least 95% of the time.
But there are those times when “Despicable Me” wins out, and when “Despicable Me” does, regret, shame, guilt come into play and it feels horrible.
I know that when my “Despicable Me” wins, I feel worse than worse. My heart is heavy; I have a knot in the middle of my stomach. I am not walking with that pep in my step. I feel like the world has dumped every bad thing it can across my shoulders and I am collapsing under the weight.
It seems that you will never feel free of this oppressive state.
And you won’t, that is till you do one thing.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
See, until you make that true commitment to serving Christ, one will continue to live that life of ups and downs constantly being rocked to and fro.
It is our sins, our “Despicable Me” that constantly keeps winning and it seems like we are never free of all the destructive sins.
People plead and beg God to take those pet sins away, but they keep having a grasp on us.
“Despicable Me” is strong and most people think that “Despicable Me” will just go away.
We pray, we fast, we do all kinds of things and as much as I hate to say it, it does not matter. “Despicable Me” will always be there.
I am going to let you in on a little secret. “Despicable Me” AKA your flesh is in a war against you.
Your flesh will constantly attack you. If it isn’t from one direction, it is from another.
Something else, remember that line a long time ago “The Devil Made Me Do It? “
It was your flesh battling against you, yourself and I. AND…. YOU LET YOUR FLESH WIN.
See the moment you let up, your flesh finds that foothold and will start hacking away at you till you are living a life of regret, shame, guilt, spiraling out of control till you finally crash and burn.
Paul stated it this way
Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Galatians 5: 17, 19-21 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Here is some inside information. “Despicable Me”desires to participate in adultery, fornication, idolatry, hatred, strife and drunkenness?
Now some of you may be saying “Not my flesh Ray”
“Oh yes, your flesh!”
It does not matter who you are your flesh is hell-bent on dominating your spirit.
What makes the Servant Warrior different? The servant warrior does not accept defeat. The true servant warrior will ultimately rise up using the word of God (The Sword) and make the flesh obey.
The common autopilot Christian has no idea what to do.
See the common autopilot Christian doesn’t care that they sin. Remember, they have their fire insurance so they are “saved by grace, and can sin like hell.”
If it feels good, they do it.
How To Fight The Flesh / “Despicable Me” – Basic Training
Listen, I am going to be honest. Being a servant warrior DOES NOT make us immune against the battles, what it does is gives us the courage to stand and fight. We as servant warriors learn to use the tools, weapons and ideals that we learn from God’s Word to battle “Despicable Me”.
Basic Training Point #1 – Bring your flesh / “Despicable Me” into subjection
1 Corinthians 9:27 but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
It other words Paul is saying that we need to bring our bodies into submission. When we just let our bodies, thoughts, emotions, ect get the best of us. The flesh / “Despicable Me wins.
When we bring our bodies into submission, then we, the servant warrior keeps the things of the flesh at bay.
This is a daily struggle for all of us and for some it is a minute by minute struggle. But no matter what, it is a struggle. How we win is by being in God’s Word – The Sword.
The more we know and use our sword, the more we can fight the battles against The Flesh / “Despicable Me.”
Basic Training Point #2 – Make No Provision For Your Flesh
Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
To provide provision means to give food and comfort.
So what do we do? We do not feed the flesh. We do not give it what it desires. We do not comfort it.
We starve it so that it is weak.
So guys, stop looking at those scantily clad women. Women, you stop looking at those “beefcake” guys. Stop hanging out at the magazine section of the bookstore peeking at Playboy, Playgirl, Maxim and Cosmopolitan. .
Stop hanging out with people who like to go to the bars and get drunk on Friday nights.
Stop watching those shows that promote sex, drug, and lascivious behavior. You know what you should and should not watch. Grow some courage and turn off the filth. There is an old saying. “GIGO” = Garbage In – Garbage Out.
Start saying NO to The Flesh / “Despicable Me” and YES to the spirit feeding the Servant Warrior in all of us.
We do this by being in His Word, living with it, memorizing it, training with it. It is our spiritual sword and unless we train, we will be useless when The Flesh / “Despicable Me” decides to take action against us and ambush us when we are at our weakest.
Basic Training Point #3 – Mortify Your Flesh
Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
What does Mortify mean? It means abstaining to the point of “putting to death” the action or undesired behavior.
Once you stave something it becomes weak. When you completely abstain from the sin, that sin begins to wither away. Now it will never go away, but when you completely abstain from feeding that sin, it is like it shrivels up and is no longer active.
NOW… just because it is shriveled up and such does not mean it is gone. You feed that sin and it will come back with a vengeance.
So now that you are not feeding the sin and giving it comfort, you can start abstaining from the sin which in turn causes the sin to become seriously weak and ill effective for The Flesh / “Despicable Me” to use.
But again, the danger is thinking you can feed the sin here and there, cautiously keeping it at bay.
See, sin does one thing and one thing only. It kills.
How many of you are going to get into a cage with a live tiger? Sin is the same thing. Like a tiger it will sense when you are not looking or at a disadvantage. It is then that it will pounce on your and rip you to shreds.
Sin when you are playing that game of feeding it here and there does the same thing. By toying around with it, occasionally feeding it, one day it will pounce on you. Even though that sin is in a weakened state, it is still dangerous, like the tiger. Like the tiger it can pounce on you when you are not paying attention, or you are distracted or not training with the sword when you should be. Whatever the excuse or reason, it will pounce. When it does, it will take you down because you yourself are in a weakened state and you have been feeding the sin not knowing that it is getting stronger again.
This is why we are called to “mortify” the flesh. Abstain from all of it. Not entertain it at all what so ever.
Basic Training Point #4 – Walk in the Spirit
Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
See when we bring our bodies into submission, we do not feed or give comfort to the sin, we mortify / abstain from everything dealing with the sin, we can then start walking in the spirit.
When we walk in the spirit, The Flesh / “Despicable Me” cannot take a foothold in our lives. Its ability to temp and do evil is greatly diminished. Again, that sin is not gone, but it is pushed back so far in the back corner that it does not have any influence with us. That is unless we start dabbling in the sin again, looking upon it, feeding it, paying attention to it, etc, etc.
Which by that time we are no longer walking in the spirit, The Flesh / “Despicable Me” is winning and the internal battle is rearing to start up again.
The key is to not stop walking in the spirit. Stay on the path of righteousness and continue to do the right thing in the eyes of the Lord which whom we serve.
Basic Training Point #5 – Crucify Your Flesh
Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Once we have gotten this far in our basic training. We can say that we are walking the Servant Warrior Path.
We have put our flesh to death. We no longer desire it, we no longer feed it, comfort it or long for it. We have in a sense “crucified” our flesh and instead of serving the Flesh / “Despicable Me” we now serve Jesus Christ, The King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
But this is just the beginning. In many of the martial arts you have a ranking system. The beginner is the “white belt” and the advanced is the “black belt.”
See, once the practitioner of that fighting system goes through all the ranks does not mean he or she has learned there all is to learn. No, it means that they now have all the foundational basics. Now that they have the black belt, the real training starts taking place.
The same goes here.
How To Fight “Despicable Me” – The Advanced Training Plan
Let me say that now the real training begins. See all we have done is brought The Flesh / “Despicable Me” under some semblance of control. If we do not continue to not feed, mortify and crucify the flesh daily, then The Flesh / “Despicable Me” will rise up again and we will be “sinning like hell” and have to fight this horrible fight all over again.
Now is living a life of constant internal battles a great thing? No not at all. It is a horrible way to live and it is absolute misery.
But if we continue to go back to The Flesh / “Despicable Me” then we will continue to have these struggles.
To prevent these internal battles with The Flesh / “Despicable Me” from taking place, we need to get into the advanced servant warrior training and that means take some serious action.
To win the war against The Flesh / “Despicable Me”, one needs to realize what it is and that is a true battle. That means down and dirty fighting. The Flesh / “Despicable Me” is not going to let up. It will continue to fight daily. That is until you really learn how to tame The Flesh / “Despicable Me.”
Like in a real war battle, the side that rapidly overwhelms the other side will usually win. The more firepower, the more ammunition you have to hurl at The Flesh / “Despicable Me” the more it will cause the enemy to fall back.
Remember the term “Shock & Awe”? That is what you do. But instead of using real world bullets, bombers and cannons. We use scripture, prayer, & praise.
When you feel The Flesh / “Despicable Me” starting to wiggle a little, wondering if you are paying attention, that is when you pounce and give them all you go.
Bam… You give it the scripture you have memorized.
Wham… You pray asking for God’s Help
Boom … You praise God for the victory.
If you do this at the very first sign of The Flesh / “Despicable Me” coming to life, you will win the battle.
So what do you need to maintain this state of vigilance against The Flesh / “Despicable Me”?
Advanced Training Point #1 – Sever All Bad Influences
Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
You don’t hang out with people who condone drug use, pornography, hedonism, drunkenness, theft, revelry, lawlessness, etc, etc.
I am going to be very blunt with you. You do not give people like this any of your time. You do not look to understand who and why they are. You do not negotiate, compromise, or have any dealings with them.
IF YOU DO… they will help reawaken The Flesh / “Despicable Me”. They will work to coerce you, tempt you, lead you astray, seduce, pull, just about anything they can do to cause you to fall away from God.
This is why you sever all bad influences. This especially means those are living the C.I.N.O life. (Christian In Name Only)
Is this hard? You betcha. That is why this is “Advanced Servant Warrior Training” and not the basics. You are going to have to knuckle down and get serious.
Do you truly want to be a servant warrior or not?
Now, I can hear some of you say. “ Well Jesus hung out with sinners.”
Yes He did. In fact He was surrounded by them 24 / 7 because everyone is a sinner. What makes Jesus different is that He is God in the Flesh. None of us can claim that.
We are here to be ambassadors to the world on behalf of our Lord and Savior. That does not mean that we freely partake of the world. We are to be light. Light shines and illuminates. It does not get in the fray and gets dirty.
See, when you play in the devil’s playground, you ALWAYS get dirty.
How you prevent this is by not getting in there in the first place.
We as Servant Warriors are called to a higher purpose, and NOT allowing the devil any foothold in your life from any source that would bring us down and off the path of the Servant Warrior.
Advanced Training Point #2 – Set No Wicked Things Before Your Eyes
As I have written in the past I used to be a smoker of Cigars & Cigarettes. This is something that God convicted me of and so to me it is a sin. But I will not walk up to someone who smokes and call them a sinner. I will tell them the harm that smoking causes, and those who are Christians should not damage the temple God gave us.
I say that because the first step to sin is looking upon it.
Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
The devil is cunning and knows how to cause us to stumble. The first step Eve took to sin was to look upon the fruit.
This is why when we are in some store that sells cigars and such, I don’t even look in that direction. Why put that temptation in my mind? You prevent doing that by not even looking.
If your Flesh / “Despicable Me” likes getting drunk of Friday nights. Stop looking at booze.
If your Flesh / “Despicable Me” likes sexy women and porn, don’t oogle the women at work, or in the store or on TV. Avert your eyes and look somewhere else.
Same goes for women. If your Flesh / “Despicable Me” likes those sexy guys and plants sinful thoughts in your mind. Stop looking and avert your eyes.
Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
Advanced Training Point #3 – Take Heed To What You Hear
Mark 4:24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.
Have you heard the music today? I mean it is utter filth. Most of it talks about having sex on a whim with whoever you are with. Swearing, cussing, killing, pro-theft, anti-Christian, anti-morals, anti-family. Defiling and degrading one’s self and women in one way or another.
If you would create movies just on pure lyrics alone, you would be amazed at the filth that you would see.
That is what most music today is made up of, filth, perversion, hedonism, and the list goes on.
Advanced Training Point #4 – Command Your Flesh / “Despicable Me with Authority
Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Here Paul talks about “crucifying” your flesh. When your Flesh / “Despicable Me” starts to rise, you do exactly like Christ did when tempted. You use the Word of God to slay the temptation.
Christ when he was being tempted did not use is own strength. Every response that he gave to Satan, was from the bible (Old Testament) He used God’s Word to defeat temptation.
See, when you speak to your flesh with the Word of God, it can do nothing but retreat. The flesh and the spirit cannot coincide together. Remember Basic Training Point #4 – Walk In The Spirit? As long as you remain in the spirit, the flesh will not gain a foothold. That means praying all the time, listening to proper music, listen to the audio bible, watch proper TV shows, etc, etc.
Advanced Training Point #5 – Take Authority Over Your Mind
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
By renewing our mind, thinking and working to memorize scripture, singing songs of praise and edification to God, thinking on Him and His Word, these are ways that we renew our minds.
It is through this sort of “immersion” that we constantly grow and learn more about God. Again, the flesh and the spirit cannot coincide. So the more you meditate on God, the less room is given the Flesh / “Despicable Me” to gain a foothold.
Advanced Training Point #6 – Flee From Temptations Of The Flesh
Genesis 39:7 -13 And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.
8 But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;
9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back anything from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.
11 And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.
12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.
13 And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,
As I have said before. If you play in the Devil’s playground, you will get dirty.
You cannot play, flirt, dilly dally with sin and not come out without a scratch. Sin does one thing and one thing only, it kills.
When you are confronted with temptations of the flesh be it sexual, financial, drink, food or other, you can do one thing and one thing only. That is to turn 180 degrees and run as fast away as you can.
There are no other options.
Now some of you may be asking… “Food”?
What was the first thing Adam & Eve was tempted with?
Yes, the enemy even uses food. It is funny how often we forget that one.
So when you are faced with temptation, FLEE!
Advanced Training Point #7 – Surround Yourself With Fellow Servant Warriors
Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
This is one of my favorite Servant Warrior verses. As Servant Warriors the main goal is accountability. We are to be accountable to God, our family, our friends and finally ourselves.
But by surrounding ourselves with other Servant Warriors, we will be able to maintain our stand.
I am reminded of a man named Hur and Aaron who accompanied Moses to the top of a hill to watch Joshua fight the Amalekites. As long as Moses had his hands held up the Israelites were winning the battle. After a while Moses’ arms started to droop due to fatigue. Hur and Aaron jumped in like true Servant Warriors and helped their friend Moses to hold up his arms and because if that, the Israelites won the war.
Aaron and Hur were there when Moses needed them most.
You want other servant warriors around you so that they can hold you accountable and that you can hold them accountable.
There are no “Lone Rangers” in fact The Lone Ranger had Tonto to hold him accountable.
We must do the same thing. Have fellow Servant Warriors we can be accountable to.
Battling your Flesh / “Despicable Me” is the tough part of walking the Servant Warrior life. It is something that you have to work at daily and continue to grow.
I am starting a special email list for those who wish to challenge themselves to be Servant Warriors. If you wish to be on that list, email me and I will add you.
Finally, never give up, keep pushing forward.
1 Corinthians 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
By Ray Gano