Warriors wanted: We all have the privilege of serving as God’s soldiers

There are two different types of people in the world: Those who approach movies as a momentary distraction from real life and those who allow movies to become a momentary transport to a different life altogether.

I am absolutely the latter, so if you ever happen to be walking out of a movie theater and see some fool scampering around the parking lot like a ninja, staring down other moviegoers like they just might be intergalactic super villains or crying like someone just killed his puppy, don’t judge me too harshly.

I have always been inspired by movies. There’s something about seeing a story play out in front of my eyes that draws me in and inspires me. This is particularly true with superhero movies.

Even now, on the verge of 40, when I walk out of a superhero movie, I want to be that hero. I want to fight the forces of evil in the world. I want to protect and defend the vulnerable. I want to help make the world a better place. I feel absolutely zero shame or foolishness for releasing my inner superhero upon exiting the theater.

I recently read an article that took issue with the most recent movie from Disney’s Marvel Studios, “Captain Marvel.” The author took issue with the fact that Disney has, in their view, abandoned the princess motif of the past and exchanged it for the warrior motif of the present.

He laments, “We abandon the traditional princess vibe and seek to empower little girls everywhere to be strong like men. Cinderella trades her glass slipper for combat boots; Belle, her books for a bazooka. Does the insanity bother us anymore?”

Personally, I’m not bothered at all. My daughter, Mikayla, against all of my best efforts, is as much of a princess as has ever lived. She is Belle in real life. I love that grace, sensitivity and softness in her.

At the same time, the world is a harsh place, and I’d like for her to be able to put that book down and pick up a proverbial sword, should the occasion demand. I want both of my children, daughter and son alike, to aspire to live heroic lives. I want them to be inspired to be warriors for what’s good, true and right.

This is my hope for everyone who walks through the doors of our church on Sunday mornings. As children of God, we are all princesses and princes, but we’re also called to be warriors. Just as superhero movies inspire us to act heroically like those on the screen, Scripture should inspire us to live heroically, like Jesus.

The armor of God is gender neutral. As my friend, Grace Reed, pointed out recently, the directive to put on the full armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18 applies to all of us. Each of us has a part to play in defeating the powers of darkness and evil that plague our world. We all need to “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”

The enemy, the devil, in all his forms, doesn’t discriminate when picking targets. He wants to destroy as many people as possible. I Peter 5:8 tells us that he’s a lion looking for someone, anyone, to devour. We need to be ready to defend ourselves, our friends, our families and our communities when the attacks come.

The call to serve as soldiers of the Gospel applies to everyone. Women and men, girls and boys, people of all ages, we are all called to be active participants in fighting the good fight of faith and taking the Gospel to the world.

Make no mistake, life is hard for all of us in a variety of ways at a variety of times. Each of us needs to be ready for action. As much as I appreciate the beauty and elegance of glass slippers and princesses, sometimes, life requires warriors.

Jesus is the only savior, but we all have the privilege of serving as his soldiers. We need women and men, boys and girls of all ages to suit up, stand firm and swing away for the glory of God and the good of the world.