There is a powerful scene near the end of the movie The Kingdom of Heaven. Orlando Bloom plays the part of Balian, a blacksmith turned knight that has come to defend Jerusalem against the Muslim hoard that seeks to overthrow the Christian held city in the 12th century. All of the other knights have either fled or been killed and he is left to fight for the holy city with a few hundred old men and teenage boys against the thousands and thousands of warriors of Saladim, the Muslim war lord. They have prepared the walls as best they can, fortifying the gates, putting cauldrons of boiling oil on top of the parapets to pour down on the attackers, and now they wait for the battle of their lives.
The priest, who is the weak, cowardly character in the movie says to Balian, “We must surrender the city. We cannot defend it. We have no knights.” Balian turns to a frightened teenage boy in the center of the ragtag band of men. “Kneel,” he commands him. And then to the whole group, “Kneel.” They sink to their knees with the priest and the scared women and children looking on. Balian bellows to the entire band the oath that he had taken as a blacksmith just a few months earlier. “Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth always even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong. That is your oath.” Whack! He backhands the teenager across the face and says, “And that is so you will remember it.” Then he screams at the boy and at the group, “Rise a knight. Rise a knight.” You can see the change come over the face of this motley crew as his words sink in and they stand with a courage and character inside them that was not there before.
The naysayer priest is not satisfied. As Balian is walking off he yells after him, “Who do you think you are? Will you alter the world? Does making a man a knight make him a better fighter?” Balian spins around and glares at the priest and then at the brave band of men that he has just addressed. He looks back at the priest and in one word, almost a whisper he says, “YES!”
The Holy Spirit comes to us to do many things. Perhaps the most powerful of those things is to remind us of who we really are in Christ. We are sons and daughters of the King. We are children of God. It does not matter where we have come from or how heinous our past. When we are baptized in the blood of the Lamb “we are new creatures in Christ Jesus,” (II Corinthians 5:17) and “His Spirit bears witness with our Spirit that we are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:16) Whack! Don’t you ever forget it. God has done something deep inside of you if you have given your life to Him and you are no longer who you used to be. You are now who He says you are. That is amazing. I don’t live in fear about the future. I don’t cower in the face of my circumstances. Finances, relationships, physical ailments are nothing compared to what the Holy Spirit of God is doing in me. I am somebody. You are somebody. You are a knight or a knightess or whatever…. You are filled with the power and presence of God.
Beth Moore has done such a great job of teaching that message with her five fingered object lesson. She starts with her thumb and holds up one finger at a time. (Do that now. Go ahead. Nobody is watching.)
1. God is who He says He is.
2. God can do what He says He will do.
3. I AM WHO GOD SAYS I AM!
4. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
5. The Word of God is living and active in me.
Whack again! Rise a knight. I’m ready to battle the world after saying that. Aren’t you? “I tell you the truth,” Jesus says, “Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12) The Holy Spirit is saying to you right now. “You are a world changer. You can overcome this event in your life. You will be used greatly by me. YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD!”
Yea, yea, that’s all well and good but what difference does it make. It’s just words on a page. I’m not sure it changes anything. Does saying I can do all things through Christ make me a better person?
YES! YES! It does change you. So say it. I can do all things through Christ…now rise a knight.
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