VIRTUES OF KNIGHTHOOD (Part thirteen)


STRENGTH IN THE LIFE OF A MODERN KNIGHT
While still very important, a modern knight’s need for strength to survive battles is no longer physical but spiritual—dealing with a person’s will. Let me explain. Have you ever experienced a situation where you felt weak at the knees? Could hardly talk? Have you ever trembled in fear? Have you ever felt like someone or something knocked the wind right out of your chest, all without even being physically touched? I certainly have. If you haven’t yet, live long enough and you will (it is a certainty!).
However these challenges come, we need to be ready for them. Unfortunately, there are no recipes for whipping up superhuman strength when these situations arise. But here comes the caveat—while we cannot control how our bodies may physically or emotionally respond when we experience shock or fright, we can load up on physical, spiritual, and emotional strength to be prepared for when these situations occur. True strength comes only from God and through our dependence on God:
Once you spoke in a vision, to your faithful people you said: “I have bestowed strength on a warrior; I have exalted a young man from among the people. I have found David my servant; with my sacred oil, I have anointed him. My hand will sustain him; surely my arm will strengthen him. No enemy will subject him to tribute; no wicked man will oppress him. I will crush his foes before him and strike down his adversaries. My faithful love will be with him, and through my name, his horn will be exalted” (Psalm 89:19-24).
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:30-31).
For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power, we will live with him to serve you (2 Corinthians 13:4).
To keep me [the apostle Paul] from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why,
for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
There are some major differences between the strength of a worldly knight or warrior compared to God’s knight. Some of these are provided in the table below.
Challenge the World’s Knight is . . . God’s Knight is . . .
  • Discouragement Self-reliant
  • Encouraged by God, the Bible, and the counsel of others Hitting a roadblock
  • Determined and stubborn Surrendered and determined
  • A competitive situation Driven by pride Driven by a desire to please God
  • Abundance Used for personal gain Purposefully used for the benefit of others
  • Failure Compelled to “pull himself up by the bootstraps”
  • Seeks God through prayer and waits on the Lord
  • Injustice that involves the loss of personal pride Compelled to take revenge
  • Inclined to take the high road and overlook the loss
  • Threatened by things outside one’s control
  • Moved to “stand up and fight” in one’s own strength
  • Moved to kneel down and take steps in God’s power and timing
  • Downtrodden or defeated Forced to take action
  • Drawn to “pray up” and wait on God and move in His timing, plan, and way
Ultimately, a knight uses his God-given strength for serving others, laying it all on the line, and not for self-absorption and personal enjoyment: “Blessed are you, O land whose king is of noble birth and whose princes eat at a proper time—for strength and not for drunkenness” (Ecclesiastes 10:17).
In short, a knight does not use his excessive strength for creating too much personal excess. Do not get me wrong here—there are more rewards in store for those who work longer and harder at their work than for those who slack in their work, but a knight realizes that all of his resources can either be used and given away in this lifetime or be left for the survivors to divide later (which is not always a bad idea—especially if it is carefully and purposefully designated).
What is meant by strength in the context of knighthood? A knight should be strong in both spirit and body. Ultimately, a knight is victorious in battle through the strength of spirit, not by the flesh.
The victor in a sword battle is one who fights with sheer will and spirit, not by one who competes with only mastered mechanical moves. A knight’s spirit is made strong only by God by surrendering to God.
A knight’s body is made strong by exercise, and, no matter what a knight’s vocation or physical condition, this means exercising more than six hours per week (yes—I’m using a specific minimum because most experts agree this is, in fact, a minimum!). There are many ways to stay fit. In the knightly days of old, knights stayed fit by sports (tournaments) and hunting: “Knights must undertake such sports as to make themselves strong in prowess, yet not forget their duties.”
This means within your own body type, strengths, and limitations working what you have and however you can for at least six hours per week. It also means eating like your body is the temple of the living God: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

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