By Glenn Rosenbaum –
Monday evening as seven servant leaders stood before eleven Warrior souls, we all knew a spiritual battle was about to take place. While the battle was not between instructors and the Warriors attending, it was made clear who our common enemy was and that together we were going to begin a journey, a spiritual battle, this week to become better and stronger Warriors: men of True Character with a clear vision of divine plan and purpose. While the enemy struggled to maintain control of the men before us in his strongholds of sin, the Sword of the Lord was drawn and the battle for these men’s lives began. And so, the 5-day journey ensued in which we were to become eye witnesses of the victories that were to be won.
Every day as the sun rose at Sky Rose Ranch in sunny California and Old Glory was raised and unfurled, the opportunity to witness God’s plan and desire for each man began to unfold! As with every battle, there was always a fight. Honesty and trust, authenticity and confidentiality, and absolute truth were established and on full display by each leader. During instruction and discussion, the layers of each man’s life: the struggles, the pain, and the excuses, were pulled away one by one like the layers of an onion. As the team leaders and instructors presented lessons and guided each man on his journey through the week, the Truth was presented, discussed, and revealed. Some men were ready to expel all the bitterness, resentment, and bondage and let it go early on, while others did their best to cling to and hide behind their masks; but all eventually let go. Pivotal turning points in the week were unique and different for each Warrior. For some, it was during a period of instruction on Forgiveness. When Team Leader/Instructor Ben Ives taught and presented thoughts such as:
“Bitterness, resentment, and bondage is like a homemade bomb that you created that will explode in your home… and your lives!”
“Forgiveness is the sincerest gesture of character that you can display!”
“You cannot forgive yourself!”
And if you continue as you have in trying to forgive yourself, Ben said,
“Your attempts to forgive yourself will never end!”
Ben then went on, as did the other instructors in the classes to follow, to reveal the true path to forgiveness, reconciliation, and – to the main goal this week: healing.
By the end of the week at the graduation, I will never forget the moment where seven leaders were able to once again stand in front of eleven Warriors. Looking from one side to the other at the faces and into the eyes of each of these men and revel in the moment and the opportunity to be witnesses of these eye witnesses. Each Warrior and graduate of this Legacy week is an eyewitness of the truth, and now knows what God has designed, planned, provided, and purposed for them during that week and for the rest of there lives. For us instructors, or as we like to say, servant leaders, we were provided the opportunity to be witnesses of God’s sovereignty, Jesus’s love, and the Holy Spirit’s power in the spiritual victories won during this time together.
In closing, one of the men shared a letter he had written to his wife. The letter in many ways speaks to the journey, struggle and Truth every man faced this week. With his permission, I want to share the message of his letter and the journey each man faced this week:
For every moment discovers me inward if not outward in tears…
I am beset with torment, of longing for you,
My instances of hope too few…
Of sorrow for what I’ve done and cannot do…
I seek thee Lord to heal my plight.
And guide me through this passage slight.
Yet, though the timers of my ship seem broken asunder
The skies about me wracked with thunder,
The hold dangerously laden with fault and fear…
Rocks menacing and jagged then disappear
Still I pray, Lord in thy merciful kindness and by thy skillful hand
Please mend the sails of my faith so torn and ragged
Calm thou Lord my storm of heart
Oh, hail us Lord with a mighty shout
For thy voice is never prevented, saved by the hardness of my heart
But beckon me by thy guiding call
And with the beacon of thy spirit
Deliver me to the refuge of thy gentle shore,
To abide… in newness of lasting love once and forevermore.
What a journey of joy it was to a hill of his creation and the opportunity… to be witnesses of eyewitnesses.