Christian Living

Spiritual Life

War Paint

As a young child, beginning around four years old, I wanted to be a Native American Indian. Not a squaw, but an Indian brave. I wanted to run among those who carried the spears, who shot bows and arrows and rode fast horses bareback. I have to credit this childhood fantasy to my dad who was a great storyteller, and who used to tell me adventurous stories about cowboys and Indians. He was all cowboy, however, and I doubt he expected Daddy’s little girl to lean toward the Indians.

This play-acting season lasted four or five years, and I went all out. I had a collection of toy weapons: a spear, bow and arrow, a knife. But the best part—and of utmost importance since I was, after all, a brave warrior—was the war paint. My mother’s collection of eyeshadow, which came in the form of mini lipstick-style applicators, was perfect for adorning my cheeks and forehead with blue or reddish stripes and various other colors. What else was a little brave supposed to do with her mother’s makeup? If you’re speculating that I did not wear dresses or play with dolls much, you’d be correct. No warrior has time for dolls when there’s an enemy to fight.

During playtime, I fully embraced this identity. And apparently word got around because a friend of my dad’s nicknamed me “Chief Rain in the Face.” I have no idea why he chose that title.

Fast forward several years. After I met the Lord, I began to study His Word only to discover in Genesis that we are born into a realm arrayed for battle from the get-go. 

“Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.” (Genesis 2:1 NIV)

The Hebrew word here is tsaba: appointed time, army, battle, company, host, service, soldiers.

Bring on the war paint! 

Does an awareness of living in a realm arrayed for battle influence our mindset today? As God’s armored ambassador living in a temporal world, I have no time to waste on an indulgent lifestyle. I was not arrayed by evil to be fruitful and multiply works of darkness. I’m here to stand with Christ against that darkness—His kingdom come, His will be done.

“Overcome every form of evil as a victorious soldier of Jesus the Anointed One. For every soldier called to active duty must divorce himself from the distractions of this world so that he may fully satisfy the one who chose him.” (2 Timothy 2:3-4 TPT)

We are surrounded by spiritual POWs, and yet we’re planted on Earth as brave servants of the Lord of Hosts. Therefore, I no longer want to walk blindly through life, insensitive to the deaf, blind, sick, lame, brokenhearted, or those in captivity. As a brave who’s been redeemed, made righteous, and crowned for service by the Lord God, I consider a flesh-driven lifestyle inadmissible (and perhaps mutinous to the Lord of Hosts).

Therefore, let’s choose daily to live in a way that reflects the wonderful abundant life that Jesus died to give us. As a faithful brave, purify your heart and wash your hands; fully surrender yourself to God and seek Him with all your heart, soul, and strength.

War paint is optional.

Pray with me: 
Father in Heaven, help me to live from a passion to do what is pleasing in Your eyes. Thank You for sending Your Son to buy my freedom with His blood so I could live on Earth as an overcomer, and serve in Your Kingdom as Your brave.

Copyright © June 2021 J.A. Marx, used with permission.

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