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Today’s society is unique when compared to society past, due to one simple and particular fact. People are not the same due to changes in culture and the manner in which we develop as individuals of Character and Spirit. Proper development into full maturity is a two-step process. First, we must internalize behavior models that guide and develop our character to its fullest. Secondly, we must understand Spiritual Principles, then accept, and develop them. Societal changers brought problems on both these levels of development. These problems show themselves in the difficulties we struggle with in society, as well as the personal developmental flaws expressed in our individual character makeup.
This book deals with very real issues on the Physical and the Spiritual levels of perception. Part 1 discusses the physical level and certain common developed and undeveloped character traits. Part 2 deals with the Spiritual level and will elaborate on the “Armor of God,” and how it relates to certain problems, or symptoms, and to their solutions, or cure. Demonstrating the integrated nature of character and our spiritual armor will associate parts 1 and 2. Scriptures support and exemplify spiritual truth specifically concerning the Armor of God. These spiritual elements correspond with real armor worn on the physical body. Armed with divine protection and assurance, the full power and might of the Godly armed Christian is developed and the spiritual enemy engaged as fearlessly and successfully as a physical enemy.
Abstract terms used in discussion of character development relate to physical or externally identifiable problems and issues of character and behavior. In contrast, strong visual images are used in depicting the Armor of God, the spiritual and nonphysical aspects of our protection. The dichotomy of Physical and the Spiritual aspects supporting each other is very important. The reader must recognize Godly Integrity requires the internal and external represent the same qualities. Reflect upon the expressions, “good through and through,” and “rotten to the core.” That which is good on the inside should be valued as good on the outside by an objective observer. In other words, if your inner self is genuine and good, you should be seen as good by the outward manifestation of your character.
Part 1 expresses the character of the Warrior as a “Man-of-Peace” and is concerned with character development and behavior models representing the externalization of our internal character. We “see” the subject matter in the context of our own behavior and that of those around us. This is about as real as you can get. Part 2 deals strictly with the spiritual principles depicted by the Armor of God in a visual fashion, portraying the character of the Warrior as a “Man-of-War,” and showing how the various characteristics of a well trained warrior are manifested in the Armor of God. As Christian Warriors, we have a duty to train in the use of this armor. These objects and their function carry an expressed spiritual message. When describing physical armor, the image drawn is of one prepared for combat. In effect, the most abstract concepts of character will be looked at as represented by real or external problems, while the most visually represented aspects of the book will deal with those intangible or internalized spiritual concepts.
To simplify, it is helpful to refer to various models of behavior ingrained in us all as “Archetypes.” The classic four archetypes are known as the King (Queen), the Magician, the Warrior, and the Lover. These four basic behavior models give a clearer understanding of what full character development entails and the realization of what we should emulate in full maturity. The blending and maturing of these archetypes determine how we function as adults and how we express our character. Each archetypal model blends with and affects the others in a unique fashion within each of us. Ultimately it is the level to which we have developed each of these archetypes and how fully we have allowed them to mature and interact that determines our expression through word and deed.
While the full development and blending of our innate archetypes is essential to develop to our maximum individual capacity, it is uncommon in today’s world to find a completely integrated person. We often meet and have dealings with people stuck in an adolescent or an undeveloped adult behavior model. Thinking of your many acquaintances, you can identify someone who seems to have their act together, but simply cannot get their personal life straightened out. They may have their professional life going full steam, but never seem to be able to make a decision or take a stand in their personal life. Studying them, it would appear likely their problems lay in the incomplete development of some aspect of their character. Even though it may be easy to see shortcomings in others, we are often blind to our own failings.
Though the internal archetypes of mankind appear timeless and universal, it is how they are recognized and individually developed which makes us different today as a society and a people. If we all were to develop completely and to our fullest potential, the world would be a much happier place. This would stand in stark contrast to the society and world surrounding us today. In dealing with societal problems, it helps to be better prepared and trained in certain spiritual principles. To be a person of “Character without Spirit” is as absurd a concept as to be a “Spiritual Person without Character.”
The same difficulties we face in developing on the individual level must be faced on the societal level as well as both are related. Today’s problems require the raising of higher standards than has been the rule in the past. Often, we are trained to deal with the appearances of a problem, or its symptoms, rather than its root cause or empowerment. The allopathic approach in treating illness is a good example of this. We as a society have followed this example, tending to treat the symptoms of the illness rather than “Cure the Disease.”
An example of treating the symptoms may be seen in the way a child acting obtrusively or throwing a tantrum is typically dealt with by their parents. The child is scolded or sent to their room when in fact the poor behavior being expressed may be due to the child feeling ignored, or wanting to interact. If this is the case, including the child in your activities or spending a little time talking with them as an adult may correct their behavior by showing them a better form of coping. Our understanding of the underlying causes of poor behavior and dealing with the true cause is how a child learns to grow up or mature in a more acceptable way.
This is not to say discipline should be eliminated. On the contrary, discipline is essential to proper development. Improper or insufficient discipline may arguably be a primary fault leading to many of societal problems today. Many problems can be cured and eliminated if we but recognize the disease and treat it, rather than the symptoms. By illuminating the root of the problem, we recognize those things within us that have not developed as God and nature intend. Once this is done, progress towards true character development can occur. This, in turn, will have a reciprocal effect on society.
If we consider this dilemma an illness, it is of epidemic proportions. There archetype of the Warrior exists in men and women alike. Please do not think this book is for the development of character in only men. The concept of the Warrior being within us all is apparent in studying the scriptures and seeing that God intends us ALL to put on the armor he has prepared for us. Doing so assures a life rich with His assurances and blessings. We all carry the Warrior’s basic character.
The Warrior image has suffered being ignored, rejected, denied, shunned, and spurned by our society and by us as individuals. This general misunderstanding and reaction to this aspect of character has typically led to the exclusion of women from association with the Warrior image. This stigma has prevented the Warrior in many of us from reaching full maturation, allowing us to be crippled by the attacks of the enemy. In a very real way, we have been rendered defenseless and the results have been disastrous. Those who have not developed this aspect never fully mature and struggle through life in a compromised state. Those so handicapped place a burden on the rest of society in attempting to deal with them. Society naturally suffers when its members cannot contribute to their fullest individually.
The cure can be found within the problems themselves. My proposal is not unlike the treatment for weak muscles; that being to exercise the muscles. The problem is in an aspect of ourselves being denied and cut off from our reach, understanding, use and full development into maturity. The cure is found within this key Warrior aspect of our beings. Recognizing the Warrior archetype can affect the cure for our immaturity disease by accepting all aspects of the Warrior’s archetype and developing the character and traits of the Warrior within us. Having matured our Warrior self image, we will enjoy the expression of our self understanding and development. Effectively, eliminating the cause cures the symptoms and the disease.
This maturing must take place on an individual level, for our society is but a composite of individuals. A society made up of nothing but children; no adults, just children would be an immature, childlike society. Likewise, a society of freaks and twisted mentalities would be observed as being twisted and beyond the definition of a sane society recognizable to those possessing a whole spirit and a sane mentality.
Reflect on the days of your adolescence or young adulthood. Compare today’s news and society with your memory of that time. Have the very principles and structure of society not changed since then? How would you compare the society of today to that of a generation ago? Societal turmoil, confusion, and moral decay are major concerns today. How many recognize the principles of our Founding Fathers in America today? Can a God-fearing society be made up of godless and wanton, unscrupulous individuals? Do the events reported in the daily news indicate something is terribly wrong? Think of the moral values of our public figures. Are there any good role models among them? All indications are there is a war going on in society today; a war unlike any we have seen in recent history.
We are all involved in a Spiritual War, though most do not want to recognize or acknowledge the fact. In this instance, ignorance is not bliss, but rather can kill us all.
This book is written to take you on a journey of self-awareness, to test you, and help train you for what must be done. I challenge you to take this journey within yourself and find that which needs identification and recognition. Develop the Warrior within yourself to help wage and win today’s battles. Learn of the many tools with which the Warrior is equipped, and learn how to employ them. Train and become that Warrior and join the fray fearlessly! Your alternative is to become a destructive force in society rather than beneficial, or lie cowering on the ground as inconsequential as a rock when the Just Enemy comes for you.
One must first identify the Warrior archetype to train in the use of our spiritual armor. Once identified, you must understand how to develop that Warrior within yourself to maturity. Having done this, we can make use of and become adept with the many scriptural tools available to engage in effective spiritual warfare. This should become your “Order of the Day.” When done, training in the use, the proper wear, and care for your Armor of God will become a treasured practice.
Be advised the initial chapters of Part 1 are drawn from current understanding of the human psyche and character development, information readily found in contemporary books of clinical psychology. Understanding why some problems occur will go a long way towards helping us deal with the problems and stem the social self-destruction we are witnessing. This material does not particularly rest in the scriptural realm. While this first section may strike many readers as being a little “dry,” Part 2 will draw from this information. To have a complete understanding of the full nature and character of the Warrior, it is recommended that Part 1 be read first.
If you are simply dying to get into the heart of the scriptural basis of the “Armor of God,” then by all means, feel free to start with chapter 4 which leads into the armor and the spiritual and scriptural discussions. This should excite the reader to become proficient in learning all there is to know about our wondrous protection and promises from God.
Scripture quotes are used throughout the material and are included in the text. This obviates your need to have a Bible handy. While some criticism may be leveled for such extensive inclusion of scriptures, I have chosen to include them for completeness. Those quotes including superscripts within the text are taken from the King James version, while all others are from the New Jerusalem Bible.
Jesus warns of sitting on the fence. To Him, you are either on his side, or AGAINST HIM. He wants us all to lay claim to His guarantees, and “FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT!”
Fight the good fight of Faith and win the eternal life to which you were called and which you made your noble profession of faith before many witnesses.
1 Tm. 6:12
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