Colonel Sam Trautman coined the term for me. He was a character created by David Morrell, played by Richard Crenna in the movie “First Blood”. John Rambo, a Vietnam war vet trying to navigate the horrors of his combat experience and the anti-war sentiment of the American public, drifts as a societal reject for 10 years following his return.
He hitch-hikes to Hope, Washington to reconnect with Delmore Berry, the only other surviving member of his unit, Baker Co.
When he arrives, he discovers that Berry has passed away after being ravaged by the effects of Agent Orange. Will Tassel, the local sheriff, judges him to be an undesirable and tries to bully him out of town. Something snaps inside of this warrior and all hell breaks loose. When the locals discover that he is a trained killer, beyond the scope of their ability to manage, the National Guard is called in to capture Rambo. Trautman arrives alongside the Guard with full realization that the situation has changed. There are simply more people in danger now and Rambo is not one of them. The reservists are merely “weekend warriors” (reservists who attend weekend meetings of their unit to fulfill military obligations)
Now here’s the point …
Scripture records the following description of the children of Israel as they exit Egypt:
“So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt armed for battle.” (Ex. 13:18)
God frees his people and they leave captivity for the wilderness. The wilderness is a difficult enough experience on its own but often it is the pathway to freedom.
So they march out “armed for battle”. They feign a false battle bravado which evaporates when the enemy appears.
Pharaoh changes his mind and pursues. The pretense is gone … though physically they are free they remain slaves at heart. They are simply weekend warriors on maneuvers and they cave to a real challenge.
I think I am safe to say that the church today is filled with “weekend warriors”. The majority of people who attend a Sunday service are there for a 90-minute experience and not much beyond that.
Look at the definition again: “reservists who attend weekend meetings of their unit to fulfill military obligations”. Let me push this envelope just a bit farther. There certainly are true soldiers in the organizational church … but there are more reservists. And many of the warriors are occupied protecting the reservists and attending to their comfort and convenience. Meanwhile the enemy advances over a battlefield unattended or sparsely manned. And still we win … amazing.
Let me ask you what you truly are? Which term is the more personally descriptive? These are the opening hours of 2012 and there is much ground to be gained at a personal level … at a Kingdom level. The battle rages 24/7 with or without you, whether or not you realize it. This battle requires true soldiers who engage at the same level. You don’t have to leave what you are doing to engage – it is taking place all around you. It’s not won on Sundays, … it is fought in the trenches with weapons that are spiritual in nature and absolutely counterintuitive methods. It is not a battle in which we fight “flesh and blood” but “spiritual wickedness” (as opposed to your basic garden-variety wickedness) in “high places“. Far too many of us are oblivious to the fact that the battle rages and often the opposition comes from within, not without.
I have concerns for weekend warriors and their ultimate well-being. I beg you dear brother and sister … don’t be a reservist in this battle.