shield maiden of the lord
Have you ever wondered what it actually meant to be a 'warrior for the Kingdom' especially for we women. We certainly don't think of ourselves as large muscled, armor bearing men. I think we all understand the concept and this phrase certainly conjures up a feeling in my spirit of what it means. The question that comes to my mind is "what is the difference between a soldier and a warrior?". Again we have some conceptual understanding of what that might be, but I also realised that being a warrior is somewhat a level above being a soldier. So this sent me on a bit of a journey to find out what it is that makes a warrior tick. Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with being male or female.
A quick search of the King James Version of the Bible for the Hebrew and Greek tells us that a warrior is someone who is accomplished in battle and war, who acts with effect and treads or tramps down the enemy. They are experienced, mature soldiers, skilled in warfare. We usually think of warriors as male, but there have been many hidden female warriors in the past, Joan of Arc being one of the most famous. In my research I discovered that Scandinavian women often fought alongside their men and were called SHIELD MAIDENS. I like that name!
Below I have set out many of the characteristics I found that distinguish a warrior. He/she is not all brawn and aggression, but rather they are identified by who they are and the wisdom they carry. I'm sure there is a whole book in this, but for now if we read them in the light of our position as 'warriors of the Kingdom', there is much for us to reflect on.
IT TAKES COURAGE
Warriors show exceptional courage and bravery, and live for the fight while not being intimidated. They know what it is to endure and exhibit great persistence in adversity.
They count the cost and do what is necessary, knowing when it is okay to take risks. They engage in battle out of intentional choice to be who they are and what they feel they are called to do. Warriors often fight for a cause, for injustice, and are willing to self sacrifice. They will question and confront what does not feel right and are not afraid of conflict.
While soldiers may have a 'follow orders, I'm here for the pay' mindset, for warriors it is a calling and a lifestyle as opposed to a job. They carry a victory mindset and are not easily deterred by the enemy facing them. Their warrior mindset does not change when they are not in battle but is reflected in their whole lifestyle. They are leaders and not followers; not easily swayed by the loudest voices around them. Not only do they have a positive attitude but they never seek their own glory or agenda.
Warriors are strategic and wise in the way they live their lives and engage in battle. They understand the concept of team work and the need for others. Danger to themselves is an accepted risk and they don't lack courage under fire, unflinching in the face of the enemy. They form strong bonds with other like-minded warriors to team up with and protect each other. They recognise the strengths they carry and the need for their team members' strengths to partner with their's. Maturity and experience enable warriors to use their initiative wisely. They don't wait around to be told what to do next. They are finely honed by their experience and instinctively know what to do.
Above all warriors are self disciplined. They train for excellence, put in the effort and channel their energy and drive in the right direction. Warriors are disciplined inside and out, having a strong mental focus and exceptional teamwork, working towards the goal and not their own glory. They are physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually strong. All struggle and conflict are settled in the mind first. In other words, they have determined their course and they won't be deterred from it. They are committed to their mission. Their minds are set on victory. They will protect as well as fight but will avoid or prevent conflict wherever possible. Warriors are committed to doing right no matter what and hold themselves accountable to others and take responsibility for their choices.
Warriors do not compromise their principles and live by a strong behavioural code of conduct e.g. goodness, mercy, courage, loyalty, honor and chivalry. Their personal principles supersede those of the army they serve.
God is raising up His army, we are about to engage in the biggest battle we have faced, but we go in with a mindset of victory knowing we have already won. We are committed to the leader of the army - Jesus Christ. In Him we have all that we need to be mighty warriors for the Kingdom - triumphant, acting with effect, treading and tramping down the enemy, accomplishing our mission.