Be Not Deceived

Be Not Deceived

How to Know if a Warrior-Poet Really is One

by Anonymous Warrior Poet | July 1, 2011

I would like to take a moment and, on behalf of warrior-poets everywhere, apologize for the fact that there are impostor warrior-poets. Actually, there are a whole bunch of them, far too many. And frankly, we true warrior-poets-in-the-making have a very low regard for them. They might outwardly seem like one of us – but they are not the real deal.

So, I would like to unmask this fraudulent operation and provide a little bit of insight into how to recognize a genuine, authentic, bona fide man of God. Now just to reassure you, there is such a thing out there. But they are not always out in the open, easily seen, or frequently noticed. True warrior-poets are a lot like Aragorn’s Rangers: silently protecting, defending, and advancing the Kingdom, without any acknowledgement, recognition, fame, or prestige. In fact, they are often the despised, hunted, rejected, ridiculed, and outcast. Aragorn’s Rangers had a motto: “All that is gold does not glitter, not all who wander are lost.” True Rangers have the stuff of heroic, Christian manhood, and their majestic mien is cloaked in the humble garments of selflessness.

You see, our King has commissioned us soldier-saints to fight a very sobering battle. Here is one of His most famous regulatory principles for us: “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matt. 6:6 KJV).

This principle governs those of us who are true to our King’s code of honor and have a reverential fear to infract upon the code in the least regard. So, though we like to remain rather anonymous and not draw a lot of attention to ourselves – per the King’s edict – I would like to help the women we are called to protect learn to discern between the bluffing swagger of an impostor, and the confident gait of a true soldier-saint, warrior-poet, and ranger of royalty.

First of all, the impostor is good at his game. He’s smooth, and can say all the right little lines to sweep a girl off her feet. He shows up to college groups or youth groups for one reason alone: Christian girls. He’s a lowlife, good-for-nothing, indolent sluggard. Can you see that I have a very low regard for him? He says things like, “I love kids; want tons of them when I’m older.” Or, “I’m thinking about becoming a youth pastor, maybe even a pastor, ‘cause I love God, and people, and...uh...stuff.” Or, “Can I call you tonight so we can pray together?” While all of these may sound fantastic and they are the sort of things you might be longing to hear a guy say – hold your horses! The mark of a true woman of God is that she does not let her emotions and desires betray her into foolishness.

Thus, my first tip is: test the fruit – and don’t go easy on the guy. If he is a man of mettle, he can take it; probably exceeding your expectations in the process. Also, do not give him any notion that you are evaluating him, or it might make him change his tune. Let the guy in question be ignorant of your true feelings. Real men of God live with a principled honor that shows up consistently in their life. The impostors have a fluctuating inconstancy that will eventually reveal itself. Which is why I implore you to be patient, and stealthily observe his life over a longer-than-you-want-to period of time.

Therefore, here is the first question you should ask about a guy: Is his “secret life” no secret? Though a true man of God is much in secret, he is unashamed of his “secret life.” He is not busy with deeds of darkness, rather, he is engrossed with deeds of righteousness. When a young man spends much time in secret prayer and service, Scripture makes it clear that God rewards Him openly (see Matt. 6). What is this open reward? It is the fact that there is a clearly demonstrative force of holiness, purity, and valor in his life. His words have a weighty gravity to them. He has stability, sturdiness, and “stayability.” He is dripping with the unction of heaven, and those around him love Jesus more as a result of interacting with him. His King rewards him by using his life to showcase Jesus.

A true warrior-poet is not swayed by the opinions of this world, fashions, or trends; he is what CT Studd called, “a man of One Book.”

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A few evaluation points: Does he evidence in his life the sort of Christ-like behavior that can only be gained on his knees? Does he have profound insights into the Word of God, rather than just a mimicry of Christian catchphrases? As you watch him over time, does his spiritual vigor wax and wane; or does it grow constantly and effectively stronger? Trust me, if he’s a fluctuating Christian, he is not spending time in the “secret place of the Most High,” and is probably an impostor, not a ranger!

The second question is: Does he notice and care for the least? Watch him in all sorts of environments (but don’t stalk him!). Watch how he interacts with children. I’m not asking, “Can he play with them?” But, is he able to be serious with them as well? Is he just a big kid, or is he an adult that is tenderly exemplifying Christ to a little one? Just because a guy can play with kids does not mean he will make a good dad. He should be able to have fun playing with them, but he should also be able to recognize the folly in the hearts of children and wield his position of influence to encourage the children to godly behavior. Also, stick him in a situation where he has to serve the “unlovely.” Does he do it with all his might? Does he operate with virtuous gentility towards all, or just toward cute girls? Does he notice the outcast and move toward them with intentionality? Watch him in a large group, observing his interactions. Is there a consistency in how relates to the “lovely” and “unlovely?” The mark of a true man of God is that he has no regard for riches, wealth, prestige, beauty, fame, or influence. He honorably cares for all. He is not swayed by what people can offer him; rather, he is concerned with giving of himself to others, for the glory of God. He is not in it for a photo-op. He is in it for the glory of Jesus. There is no one below his regard or beneath his compassion.

There is a third test to determine the authenticity of the guy in question. I like to call it the “tea bag/flower petal test.” Have you ever taken a tea bag and just studied its contents? It looks sort of weird to us guys, but we know you ladies like it. Anyway, when you inspect the contents of a tea bag, there are many different spices, roots, leaves, sprigs, and other such oddities. They are rather innocuous by themselves apart from boiling water. But introduce them to a cup of piping hot water, and the ingredients permeate the entire mug. Now, take a young man. Imagine all of his attributes are the little spices and leaves in a tea bag. He may seem like an ordinary tea bag externally, but stick him in a situation of difficulty, stress, and hardship. What seeps out? If he is a fake, you will probably get the aroma of sagebrush, stinkweed, mulch, and fungus; which sounds like a rather unpleasant cup of tea. However, when a man of God, faced with “fiery trials” (see 1 Peter 4:12-13), is forced to steep in the pressure of a difficult situation, the aroma will reflect the purity of all the wholesome ingredients that make for a delicious afternoon tea. So, watch him in those situations of difficulty.

In the same way, flower petals emit their fragrance after they are crushed. The true scent of a man’s character comes out when he is faced with difficulty. If he remains humble, patient, virtuous, honorable, and kind while enduring hardship, there is a great deal of certainty that he is the real thing. Further, what he truly cares about is what he will talk about the most. Listen to him when he is not around other Christians. Is his language still full of reverence and dignity? Does he degrade himself to fit in with the level of communication around him? Does he pull people up to a higher level of conversation, or is he easily dragged down into vulgarity? The mouth is the barometer of the heart. If his heart is full of the good treasure of Jesus, he will bring forth life-giving words to all around him. If his heart is full of wicked intent, he will be able to deceptively wield his beguiling tongue; but in unguarded moments, when the boiling water is poured on, his tongue will betray him (see Luke 6:43-45).

If a guy proves that he can faithfully grow in wisdom, maturity, purity, and holiness – even in the most difficult seasons – he truly has the makings of a mighty man of God. He is probably one of the true, elusive ranger-warriors. The best advice I can give is this: wait and watch. God is able to give you the discernment into a young man’s character, if you remain guarded. If you begin allowing him to make advances, without him proving the caliber of his character, then pretty soon you will be a pool of emotions and it is incredibly difficult to discern the truth through the fog of our deceptive hearts. Warrior-poet rangers are out there, but they show up in the most unexpected places, and live contrary to the world’s system. The impostor crumbles when the pressure comes, but rangers of King Jesus elusively carry out their commission of humbly glorifying Him in every adventure and battle.*