Day 36: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 36: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Rom. 8:28)

Jonah, the religious professional, the career spiritual leader, the prophet, was defiant.  The Lord had called him to go to Nineveh: “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” (Jonah 1:2).  Jonah balked and took off in the opposite direction, to get away from God’s call, on his life.  This was not a good choice.  The Lord is not easily dissuaded, and certainly won’t be ignored.

The Lord ‘hurled’ a storm at Jonah’s boat (1:4).  The Lord is moving the Milky Way, with its 100 billion stars through the Universe at over 3 million MPH!  When the Lord ‘hurls’ something it has some power.  Jonah’s spiritual choice now gets a response by the Lord in the natural realm.  He’ll get your attention!

The mariners, the salty professionals, were terrified.  Jonah kinda indicates he’s the source of their problems.  Though Jonah is a rebel, he is still noble enough to accept his punishment for his actions. He admits his folly, facing death with courage. (1:12)

These sailors pray sincerely, expecting God to answer. Their faith begins in a small way. They put their faith to the test with a petition: Therefore they called out to the LORD, “O LORD, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O LORD, have done as it pleased you.” (1:14).  This is a prayer of faith.  They use the Lord’s personal name – Jehovah, or LORD.  They are being utterly respectful, and obedient, being very thoughtful about the value of human life, since it is the image of God: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. (Gen. 1:26).

The Lord assures the sailors of his sovereignty and answers their prayer of faith: So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. (Jonah 1:15). An astonishing and immediate answer to their prayer.  They were rightly amazed!

Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows. (1:16).  The sailors were penitent, having sincere awe of the majesty of God.  They add to their faith, a public sacrifice – which is an expression of accepting the Lord’s condition, that something innocent must die, instead of them.  This is a picture of the future Lamb of God, Jesus, who would be the sacrifice for the entire world: The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29). A ‘vow’ is a verbal testimony to what they just did as an act of faith.  They verbalized their new faith.  The sailors experience saving faith, and now have been spiritually reborn. The Lord, in the future, said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3).

Ironically, Jonah’s disobedience provided the opportunity for these sailors to come to faith in the LORD.  Isn’t God so cool?  He takes Jonah’s poor choices and makes good things come from them!  Go figure!  Romans 8:28.

But there is still a problem.

The natural realm was overwhelmingly impacted by Jonah’s decision to disobey the Lord.  And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them… (Jonah 1:5).  Since Jonah had ignored the Lord, God used extraordinary means to capture his attention.  The cargo of the ship was even lost!  This cargo was owned by someone, and was being shipped to some port, so people could buy the product or produce.  Many people lost profit, or the use of the product because Jonah was rebellious.  The sailors may have lost their wages, if their pay was based on delivering the cargo to port.

Defiance by a believer may not only disrupt the spiritual and emotional realm.  Disobedience may leak into the financial, and/or into the health and welfare of many people who were depending on the cargo on that ship. There was a cascading effect on people for one man’s rebellion.  And don’t forget the people of Nineveh who needed the goodness of a God who deeply cared for them.  Their spiritual welfare was being delayed by Jonah’s petulance.  One man’s failure to do what called he’s to do, has enormous cost.

Remember, Jonah not doing something, is an absence of action.  This may seem benign.  Putting off, or refusing to do, is just as much a sin, as an action or behavior that is actively harmful.  Failure to act is not okay!

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (James. 4:17).  That’s a very edgy Biblical truth.  Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. (Lk. 12:48). The Biblical principle is one of responsibility.  If you are given responsibility, you are expected to fulfill it.  Full cooperation with the Lord’s will is his expectation.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (John 15:12).  How are you doing with this?  Or…

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations… (Matt. 28:19).  The imperative in this phrase is: ‘…make disciples…’  How are doing with that?  Got any?  This is not a suggestion.  Better get ramped up.  Or…

Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. (Ps. 34:14).  You beginning to squirm?  Seeking peace, with some of those hard-to-like people you know? Goodness, Lord.  You’re making this tough.

You see, Jonah is just like you and me.  Not doing things is easy.  Not stepping up to do the uncomfortable is easy.  Being noncompliant is easy.  It does not seem like insubordination, but guess what?  It is.  Ask the Lord.

The Lord is going to put a lot of pressure on Jonah.  Eventually Jonah will reconstitute his thinking and agree with the Lord about God’s call on his life.  Jonah willingly agrees with the Lord’s leading, becoming compliant to his call.  Does the Lord need to put pressure on you?  He will if you are slacking.  He’s not afraid to get your attention.  He prefers obedience: Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice… (1 Sam. 15:22).

By Nathan Werner

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Please help me be compliant to your call, even when what you desire is uncomfortable.  Give me raw courage to overcome my reluctance.  Give me a bigger perspective, so I can better understand your will.  However, even when I do not realize your path, help me not to hesitate, or be reluctant, or to dismiss things as unimportant.  Let your Spirit awaken my mind to things that I need to address.  Let me have confidence when you direct, that it is for a greater good, and you have chosen me to accomplish your mission.  Give me steadfast-ness, even if I do not comprehend the future.

Father, then let me see results from my obedience.  Give me some feedback, that your mission has been furthered by my contribution. Let me have a clearer picture of your vision, even in my tiny acts of faith. Give me affirmation, that my faithfulness has blessed you.  Let me know you are grateful for my love gift of obedience to you, it is my great show of love for you and your worth to me.  May you be blessed when I am sacrificing my time, my resource, my talents.  I desire these to be gifts to you, for your great delight in me.  I pray this in Jesus’ name.  Amen

For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints… (Hebrews 6:10)

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