Day 25: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 25: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

God is in the reconstituting business.  He takes broken down has-beens, people who have plummeted in life and done face plants, recreating them to be virtuous, and impactful people, who change families, cultures, and the world.

Remember the disciple Peter? He was a whopping failure, denying he even knew Jesus Christ.  The Lord recommissioned him, to become one of the prime movers of the Christian movement in the first century.  At the same time Saul of Tarsus, was a terror to the early Church, killing Christians. Then he became a believer and brought the Gospel to Asia Minor, Greece, even Rome.  You might remember him renamed as the Apostle Paul.

In our recent devotions, we put the spotlight on David, the warrior/king.  He had an epic failure, but the Lord reconfigured him, into being more than a hard-edged warrior, who became the ruler of a nation.  God had called, then trained him to be a leader who would forge the way for a nation to capture a vision, of the living Lord.  This wasn’t just a vision for a nation, but for the entire world so the world, could get a long look, at a Holy God, who is abundantly good, and eternally loving.  Genesis 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” The Lord is a globalist.  He’s a big idea God.

Is David’s moral failure, going to ruin the Lord’s agenda? The Lord will change people, he won’t change his plan. His mission doesn’t change, people get changed to do the mission, even after they corkscrew themselves into the ground by sinning.  The Lord grabs immoral knuckleheads, unearths them from their pit, and like Peter, Paul and David, makes them into new and better models.  He takes us, a 1965 Volkswagen Beetle and make us into a new Lamborghini.

Does the Lord take a magic wand, tap us on the head and remake us?  No.  He takes our hand and walks with us on a new journey of progressive transformation.  This is not pretend, it can be a task that may be more difficult than climbing Mt. Everest, but he will walk the trek with us: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; (Ps. 23:4 ESV).  He does not give up on us!

David took a married man’s wife, slept with her, then killed her husband.  If I was God, David might be on hot coals in a millisecond.  The Lord does not sleepwalk through David’s behavior, then wake up when David ploughs the ground face-first.  All the time David was making thoughtless choices, the Lord was sending messages to David – he just ignored them.  David says as much: you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. (Ps. 51:6). The Lord was not mute, David willfully ignored him.

At least two Psalms, David reveals the aftermath of how the Lord restored him.  Both tell how David changed his attitude of being blithely carefree about his choices, to studiously inspecting his own motives, then being refreshingly transparent with himself and the Lord. David changed from being manipulative with his passions, to maturing into a man who looked seriously at himself through the mirror of the Bible.  David’s stubborn defiance evaporated into godly wisdom and humility.  God started wrenching on that ‘65 Bug.  Remember the Lord bought that old, beat-up jalopy, to fix it, and then display it.

David begins his changed course by being totally transparent.  He’s honest with himself.  He’s got some black-hearted issues that need addressing.  The Lord knows this, he’s not surprised.  There is not one moment, one thought, one decaying mass of history in your life that the Lord has overlooked.  He has sent the Holy Spirit to clean house — not just an external paint job, on your life.  He doesn’t put lipstick on a pig, he changes us inside out. Failure to understand this will create huge angst in your life.  You want to hold onto old destructive behaviors?  The Lord will pry your fingers open!  He is making us into: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works (Eph. 2:10). ‘Workmanship’ is the Greek word ‘poiema’ – a work of art.  We get our English word ‘poem’ from this.  We are the Lord’s magnum opus!  He will chisel and shape us into a masterpiece.

The two Psalms that focus on David’s aftermath, are the 32nd, and 51st.  Read these with thoughtfulness, learning how David’s new approach will mirror yours.

Psalm 32 is wrapped around a core principle, that we need to remember.  If you imagine God, as a raging bull, charging into your life, to correct things, all upset and mad, about your failures; David wants to reorient that.  The hub of the 32nd Psalm is: You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.  (32:7).  The Lord is not fuming, rather he’s a safe place for you to land.

When David says the Lord is a ‘hiding place, it means he’s a shelter.  He’s the calm in the storm.   He is a secret place of protection, a safe harbor.  Though David was a robust sinner, God focuses first on David’s well-being not his behavior.  The choices in David’s and your lives will be a matter of attention, but the Lord’s foremost concern is our welfare.

The Lord is so focused on us, his first priority is: preserve me from trouble. He guards us from danger.  He’s on guard duty.  He’s aware of all threats to us, and beforehand is dealing with them.  24/7 vigilance.

Peter, Jesus’ disciple was totally unaware of behind-the-scenes machinations about him.  Jesus notes: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat. (Lk. 22:31).  Jesus calls Peter – Simon 2x.  Simon was his old name.  Peter was acting like his old self, and Satan wants at him.  Satan wants to grind Peter into mincemeat.  The Lord has Peter’s back.  He’s protecting Peter, like he will and does for you!

Jesus goes on to explain: but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Lk. 22:32).  What is Jesus’ weapon of choice?  Prayer.  What is his focus?  Peter’s faith.  Not Peter’s wealth, health, or things – but something much more important and lasting – his faith.  The Lord will target your faith also.  Your faith is a gift from the Lord! For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8).

David calls the Lord his hiding place – his safe place.  Is he yours?  If he is, what will he target, your behavior or your faith?  Priority one – your faith.

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

            Thank you for pursuing me, even when I’ve ignored you.  Thank you for not letting me settle for moral mediocrity.  Thank you for not letting me become spiritually complacent, nor letting me be satisfied with marginal righteousness.  Please continue to unsettle me so my faith is stretched, then strengthened.  Help me be a mature, godly man, and not a religious midget.  I do not want to pretend about spiritual matters, putting on a façade for acquaintances.  I want to authentic and public with my faith, helping others become comfortable and bold with their faith.

Then Lord, help me to take on further faith challenges – so those who observe can have courage to step into spiritual valleys.  Don’t let me hesitate when you have placed opportunities in my path, rather encourage me to embrace the mission.  And let me bring others with me on the journey, so they can be bold spiritual warriors, who will see the mission through to completion. 

Help me chart a path that makes a way for those who need hope, all the while infusing me with hope that makes much of you.  May you be glorified in my life.  Let my family see it, want it, accept it, then live it.  I pray this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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