During the crusades, knights were enlisted to fight for the church.
The Knight's Sword
The story is told that before joining a crusade, a knight was required to be baptized. Baptism was a sign of his surrender, commitment, and loyalty to the church.
The knight himself was willing to submit to the church and be baptized. But it did present a problem. In battle, the knight placed his trust in his sword and his ability to use it. The knight was not willing to surrender the control of his sword to anyone.
As you may know, many knights fought in the crusades. These knights were baptized. But when they were baptized they held their sword above the water, signifying they retained the control of their sword.
The Knight's Master
Before he was baptized the sword was the knight's object of trust. He placed his faith in his sword and his ability to use it. After he was baptized the sword was still the object of his faith and trust.
When the knight refused to commit his sword to God, baptism for him was merely a ritual that allowed him to pursue his own agenda––joining the battle of the crusades.
Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other” (Matthew 6:24a). Holding his sword above the water the knight made the choice of the master he loved and would be devoted to.
Today many Christians have “swords we hold above the water.” It may be our wallet, our family, a relationship, our career, our house, a car or even a dream.
A disciple of Christ must be willing to commit everything to the master. He/she can hold nothing back. We may say we have placed our faith and trust in God but when we hold something back it becomes the master we love. It becomes the object of our trust and faith.
Conclusion & Challenge
What am I holding back from God?
If the answer to that question began with the word "my" you have found a sword you are holding above the water. You have found a master you love more than Christ.
Take some time in prayer and ask God to reveal to you what stands between Him and you. When He reveals it to you, commit that thing, person or attitude to Him.
Being a disciple of Christ demands surrendering all we are and have to Him, this is the mindset of a steward.