Patrick continues to be my all time favorite historical/Christian figure. Of course Jesus is just in a category all His own but I think you know what I mean. Patrick, a Romanized Brit, was kidnapped as a teen and enslaved in Ireland for several years. There, in His desperation, He cried out to God. He spoke to God often, in part because he had no one else, but nonetheless he cultivated a true relationship with God. One night God spoke back in a very profound vision and told Patrick how to escape. He followed God’s leading, escaped his captors, and made it back to England. He enjoyed the reunion with his family but eventually felt called by God to go back to the place of his captivity and bring true freedom to the pagans of Ireland.
He had several encounters with the Druid high priests who tried to kill him, but he kept pressing on. On Easter Eve of the year 433, which happened to coincide with the Druid holy day of Beltaine, in which the king lit a fire that was to be used to light other fires throughout the region for the celebration, Patrick famously engaged Laoghaire, the Druid King , by lighting his own fire declaring his allegiance to another God and King. The story goes that the king’s soldiers attempted to put out the fire but couldn’t. They tried to kill Patrick but didn’t succeed there either. The king eventually acknowledged that Patrick’s “power”, the power of The Most High God, was superior to his own and that of the gods he worshiped. Though he never bowed to the true God, Laoghaire allowed Patrick the freedom to preach and make disciples.
So with one act of audacious courage, the enemy was dealt a mighty blow and the Truth of the Gospel went forth! What’s not to love?! There is an enslaved kid who gets a vision from God, and with no one around to tell him that God doesn’t do that kind of thing anymore, he obeyed the voice of God and gains his freedom! As if that weren’t enough, he forgives his captors, gets the heart of God for the people in the country that enslaved him and goes back to face death and demons and totally kicks some rear end (in a spiritual sort of way) to bring the Gospel to an unreached people!
That’s what I’m talking about! That is the kind of Christ follower I want to be! The world can keep the leprechauns and green beer I want the guts that Patrick had.
And did I mention that this happened on Easter? This is exactly what Easter is about! ! John 3:8 says, “For this purpose the Son of Man was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” That is exactly what He did! He broke the power of sin and the power of death and He rose again to hand us the keys of the kingdom so that we, like Patrick, can go and do the same. Jesus is a mighty warrior and He invites us to join Him on His exploits. It takes courage and trust. Sometimes as Christians we get weary. We look at our lives and wonder why we have so many battles, and then the light goes on. It’s because we have come to the enemy’s territory and declared war on all that is an affront to God and all that would keep people in bondage. It’s because when we did that, and the enemy came after us, we didn’t back down. Every prayer we breathe, and every life we touch, is a declaration of war in the eyes of the enemy. So don’t hold back. Don’t stop when the battle is heavy and victory seems elusive. The King of Kings fights alongside us and His victory will surely and completely be ours!
This song is incredible! One of my favorite lines is, “I’m runnin with that fella I’m just honored to follow.” You might want to just pause the video and read the fast parts. It’s worth catching every word.