The Thief and The Warrior: A man has to know that there is a battle going on

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Some of you have been reading the blog posts on the 360 Man Project Website. for a while.

Maybe you have thought at some point that I am obsessive, or how does he get all of those things done, does he take care of his family?

I have thought those same questions about other people before, so I understand that they are natural.

I wanted to address these questions head on, not because I think I have to or because someone said something to me, I just want to be transparent and let people know that I am just a man too. Flawed, and subject to temptations and I have weaknesses just like anyone else.

However, there is a reason that I continue to push forward, work hard, and make every minute count.

I wasn't always like that, in fact. For those of you that don't know me, for the most part, I wasted my life from the time I was 13 until I was about 21. Those 7 years were spent on drugs, alcohol, women, foolish endeavors. I didn't do good in school, I had low self esteem, almost all of the choices I made were poor. I didn't believe in God, I got in fights, I was rude, and selfish.

I did whatever I wanted and didn't care about those around me or how my actions would affect them. A lot of things in my life suffered. Relationships were destroyed, hearts were broken, and people were hurt. Not only that but I did nothing to take care of myself. 

It was the perfect example of a wasted life.

When I joined the Navy, I wasted the first 2 years in Japan doing nothing but bouncing around back and forth at the bars. I didn't do any sightseeing or learn the culture. Like I said, I was only focused on myself, and what I could get or do.

I knew that I was made for more.

I knew that there was a man inside of me that was made to do great things, I could always feel it under the surface quietly trying to guide my life and get me on the right track. I ignored it and used anything I could to mask its voice. I felt trapped, and like there was a war always being waged between these two men. The man I was and the man I was made to be.

I desperately wanted to be the man I was made to be. I would dream about it, and even plan things out and say to myself "Tomorrow, I am going to change. Nothing would happen, instead,  I would regress back in to my normal pattern of behavior.

That happened over and over.

I couldn't break free.

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Then something happened when I was about 21 years old, in Singapore. I got beat up really bad by 3 local guys. I was doing what I always do, drinking and making a fool of myself. I thought I was untouchable.  Limitless, like nothing could ever happen to me.

I had more money than I knew what to do with, I had everything I wanted, and I was miserable.

It was my wake up call.

I started asking myself these life questions:

  • What am I doing with my life?
  • Is this the man I want to be?
  • If I keep this up I'm going to be dead soon without ever having really lived?
  • What do I have to show for my life?


Shortly after this incident, I had a huge life change. Whether you believe in God or not, he changed my life.

I read this verse in the midst of everything, and I knew it was meant for me.

John 10:10 (NIV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

The thief is anything that is preventing you from becoming the man or person that you were made to be. The thief can be your thoughts, your addictions, or any distraction in your life.

That thief is looking to destroy you, run you aground and keep you off track.

I let that thief run my life. I paid for it.

That thief is what runs this world. and looks desperately for anyone that it can mislead and keep off course. Now you know why I say that there is a battle going on everyday. There is a war waging inside of you between who you are, and who you are meant to be.

That battle cannot be won on your own. You need strength, power, and truth from something bigger than yourself.

Ephesians 6 says it best:

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
 

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If you want to win, if you want to be who you are made to be, you will ultimately need two understand a few fundamental truths.

  1. There is a war going on and you are in the fight whether you want to be or not.
  2. You can't do it alone.
  3. There is a thief (Whatever that is to you) who is looking to destroy you.
  4. You have to take action


The thief wants you to be miserable, overweight, discouraged, angry, frustrated, in debt, insecure, focused on the media and distracted by social media and video games.

When that is who you are, you are ineffective. You are useless and no longer a threat to the thief.

Anytime you start to take your life back, you come under attack. That's why you can't do it alone, and that is what was happening to me.

So, today. What are you going to choose? 

The Abundant Life of a Warrior

Or

are you going to allow the destructive attributes of thief to control your life?

- Stephen

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