If you are anything like me, then you opened up a few shiny new games to play yesterday… and after all the Christmas presents have been unwrapped, the dust has settled, and the interminable wait though the installation and updates have been completed, you may be the proud new owner of a steelbook copy of Halo Infinite. And no spoilers here… but it seems to be worth the looooong wait. Oh… the pajamas? It was matching pajamas day… c’mon, stay focused here 🙂
If I had a dollar for every hour of gameplay I have spent playing some version of Halo on either an Xbox, Xbox 360, or an Xbox One… well, let’s just say I would probably have enough money to make my own set of Master Chief’s iconic Mjolnir armor. I might even have enough change to make myself a Warthog to drive around too… but I digress. The venerable Halo franchise has certainly had its ups and downs, but despite all of the different titles and franchises that have come out over the years, Halo still pulls me back in time and time again… and now that Halo Infinite has FINALLY released it is time for me to dive back in. But until it launched, I still found myself picking up Halo 5 every few weeks or so and enjoying the multiplayer mischief of Warzone.
Warzone is certainly a departure from the Halo multiplayer experience over the years, mostly due to its inclusion of “requisitions”… the option to bring in higher level weapons or even vehicles into the match at your discretion. As you play through the game you unlock more items to “requisition” as you see fit… but there is a catch. Each item is a ONE-TIME use item, and once you choose to use it, it is GONE. As in GONE gone… forever. The more unique/rare the weapon or vehicle is, the more precious it is… and the harder it can be to decide the perfect time to bring it into a match. So how do you know the perfect time to bring in “the big guns”? Unfortunately, there are no easy answers here, and I will tell you why.
See, I have a bit of a problem. Over the many hours of playing this game I have unlocked a plethora of cool options to bring into the game, and I have no doubt that choosing to use them would lead to a higher level of success for not only myself, but my entire team. But… I rarely do. I am a bit of a hoarder, and unless the score in the game gets so close that I feel compelled to bring some heavy machinery into the match, I tend to just roll with the default weapons or what I can scavenge from the battlefield to protect my armory of options. Even though the whole point of collecting these “requisitions” is for use on the Warzone battle maps… it is hard for me to part with them. So, I do my part to win the battle on my own terms, carrying my weight and insuring we remain competitive… only reaching into my arsenal if dire necessity dictates it. If my teammates knew that I was intentionally letting them empty out their requisitions while I preserved mine, they would probably not be too terribly happy. The sad thing is they will never know I have been protecting my assets while letting them deplete theirs… well, unless they read this article I guess. Sorry, everyone…
The reality is my predicament here is nothing new… it is something we see and many of us do every day, even if we don’t recognize it for what it is. Being willing to give God part, some, or even MOST of ourselves… but not all. And this has been a problem that has existed for much longer than Halo… take a look:
Mark 10:17-22 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’” And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
This is one of the saddest stories in the New Testament… a young man who had chosen to give absolutely EVERYTHING to God… well, except for one very important part. He had his own personal “armory” he was protecting… in his case, it was his wealth. And while this is clearly a lesson about the importance of keeping money from becoming an idol in our lives, there is certainly a deeper meaning to what is happening here. Something that all of us, including those of us who are NOT in possession of great wealth (raising my hand here), can learn from.
If you are reading this, there is a pretty good chance that you have made the choice to follow the Lord… if not, this is also something to heavily consider as you are making up your mind about that decision. Choosing Christ is not a matter of simply following a list of “do’s and don’ts”. Clearly this young man’s desire was to get his soul in right-standing with God… but the sacrifices he was willing to make was on his own terms. He was certainly prepared to do battle… but he was not prepared to open up his armory of what was most precious to him in order to do so. He was clearly open to the concept of sacrificing for God… but only at the level that he was prepared to give. And sadly, because this is an all or nothing proposition, he left his meeting with the Lord empty-handed… still carrying a bunch of “requisitions” that COULD have been of service, but instead are going to rot in his archive as we never hear about him again.
So… let’s look deep inside for just a moment… what part of our lives are we holding back from full commitment to the Lord? We have all made sacrifices to follow Him, but what area do you KNOW He is asking for, but you have kept it inside for a “rainy day”? Is it our time? An area of our life that we have not submitted to Him? A ministry that only you can launch, but you haven’t yet because the commitment level is simply too high? It could be any number of things… but if you listen to the Spirit of God inside of you, you will know what it is.
All those Halo requisitions I have been hoarding are just sitting there… I haven’t played the game in several months honestly. And even if my team won those matches that I held back on, I forced my teammates to carry part of the load that I COULD have carried… I was just too selfish and chose not to. Maybe the battlefield that the Lord called you to seems to be going just fine without you… but I can promise you that it still NEEDS you. There are parts of this battle that we NEED you for… 100% of you. Will the Lord’s will be done without us? Of course it will… Jesus still went to the cross, His disciples still preached and changed the world, and the message of the Gospel has been passed on for a few thousand years and counting. But we will never know the books that this young man would have written, the souls he might have reached, and the ministries he could have enabled it if he had opened up his personal armory and given himself fully to the Lord and His work.
I hope this encourages each of us today to look deep into whatever the Lord is asking us to give Him and make that choice today… sure, it won’t be easy. It will mean we lose our “fall-back” plan… it means we are fully committed to winning this current battle that He has called us to. But here is the interesting part… when my team WINS the match in a Warzone battle in Halo, each time I received a new package of requisitions, some of which may have been better and more powerful than the ones I just used to win the fight. And now that I am moving on to Halo Infinite, I won’t even be able to USE all of those requisitions… they don’t carry over from the previous game, so they will simply go to waste. What we are holding onto pales in comparison to what the Lord will give us… but we have to make that step towards Him to offer Him what we possess. Like the woman who only had enough batter to make one cake (1 Kings 17), He asks for us to give Him what we are currently holding FIRST as an act of faith. He has MORE than enough requisitions to refill our armory a billion times over, and He doesn’t NEED what we are carrying. He simply needs us to be willing to let it go. Just as He did in taking the young boy’s lunch to feed five thousand people (John 6), He can multiply our “little” into MUCH. Let’s hand Him the little we are carrying, even if it represents all we have. The rewards that await on the other side of surrender are more than we will ever be able to carry.
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