Day 55: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 55: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

In our last devotions we looked at the king/priest Melchezedek.  He is a type of Jesus Christ: The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Ps. 110:4). He is also our example.  You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Pet. 2:9).  Our focus is on Abram, a 75 year-old (Gen. 12:4) ruthless warrior, who decimated four powerful armies.  After his victory, Abram made a beeline to Salem, to see Melchezedek.

Abram was blessed by him (14:19, 20). He gave Abram a gracious blessing, that was full of spiritual forethought, and affection from GOD MOST HIGH.  Canaan, the Promised Land was full of other religions that worshipped El, Baal, Ashteroth, among other gods.  Melchezedek, made sure that Jehovah was the focus, in front of all other worshippers of other gods.  He unabashedly, boldly, publicly proclaimed the majesty, and goodness of Jehovah.  That is also our mandate.  Get used to it.

How will Abram respond as a hero, the one who liberated the land of Canaan from brutal oppressors?  Abram was the center of attention, the focus of kings. Earlier, Abram went down to Egypt (Gen 12) and was in the presence of a powerful ruler.  He became deceptive and manipulative, even giving up his wife, Sarai to Pharaoh. Would Abram again succumb to fearful intimidation by powerful elites?

In Egypt Abram was offered gratuity, he received it, without protest (12:16).  He was not reluctant to take possessions, though he was deceptive.  The possessions were ransom for his wife. Wealth overcame his purity, fear overcame his love.

Abram decided to act out his faith by making an oath which had legal standing.  He made a bold display of his attitude by making an agreement with Jehovah: But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth… (Gen. 14:22).  Abram was afraid to do this in front of Pharaoh.  Abram isn’t fearful in front of Bera, the King, who was watching. Remember, ‘Bera’ = ‘son of evil.’ Satan has a presence right in the middle of this victory gathering.  Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Pet. 5:8)

Abram’s oath was a tactic, he used to resist old habits. Public oaths have a binding element.  If you’re married you made oaths of fidelity to your spouse, publicly.  In front of Pharaoh, Abram was as quiet as a church mouse, and he folded (Gen 12:14ff).

This oath asserts that Jehovah is a God of moral expectation and moral purity.  He is a God, who though He’s the possessor and creator of the universe, still has expectations about individual’s behaviors.  Public oaths have fire-power, and staying power.

The oath had a greater good – though Abram was not receiving property, the greater good was obedience.  There was greater value in the non-intrinsic than in the intrinsic.  There was a cost involved, the loss of profit for a greater value of obedience.  Honesty and integrity vs. profit, gratification. Abram had tried the latter, now he wanted the former.

Jehovah had previously made an oath to Abram, in Gen 12:1-3, now Abram made an oath  to Jehovah.  Abram’s oath is incumbent on obedience, not just honorable words.

Next, Abram without hesitancy made a public declaration of his allegiance to Jehovah.  He was fearless in proclaiming that Jehovah was the highest of the High, so that even El, Baal and Ashtaroth were subservient to Him.  The audience was important political leaders, who had different belief systems, but Abram was unapologetic in telling the truth.  In Egypt he had remained silent before Pharaoh, Egypt’s man/god.

Melchizedek and Abram made bold proclamations, in front of hundreds of people. They said they would serve: God Most High. (14:20; 22).  The crowd had little, if any knowledge of God Most High.  They would witness the behaviors and bold statements of faith by these two men of faith.  They could not see, feel, taste, touch Jehovah, but they could know he was real, by people of faith exhibiting honorable and caring behavior, while not comprom-ising their character.  Is that true of you?  Can unbelievers watch you and see the Lord of glory, in you?  Remember: Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. (2 Cor. 5:20)

Then Abram reveals his partners were not under obligation to follow his lead about his oath.  Though he was thoughtful about their needs, he did not impose his oath’s conditions upon them.  His partners were free to choose their allegiance, and were under no compunction to follow Jehovah out of duty. I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me. Let Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre take their share.” (Gen. 14:24).  Abram gave his friends and partners freedom, and blessing.  Do not try and force your dedication to the Lord, on another.  They likely will recoil.  Let them see you grant liberty to them, without compromising your standards.

Abram was a good steward to his people.  Whereas Abram was free to limit his choices, he did not make his oath mandatory for others. Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. (Prov. 3:27).

These attributes of Abram launched a new era in his life.  He was growing in spiritual maturity, while becoming bold in pronouncing his faith. These are stepping stones for him to deeper spiritual life.  But there’s trouble on the horizon.  Abram has some internal struggles, that no one knows about, except for the Lord.  Abram is fighting some devastat-ing issues in his inner-being.  Even his wife does not know of his angst.

He was silent, unwilling to speak about his fallout after combat.  He internalized some very traumatic experiences. He was unable to articulate what was troubling him.  He was celeb-rated for his victory, and received acclaim for his epic triumphs. He even made bold proclamations of his faith about and to God.  Yet he was not fine.  He was afraid.

LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, (Gen. 15:1).  Did you know Abram was fearful?  He just won a magnificent victory, and boldly proclaimed his faith.  Wassup? We will find out that he is fearful, even when he is a bold believer.  But the Lord rushes in to help, though no one else is aware of Abram’s angst.  God will also do that with you!

By Nathan Werner

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

How does this work?  I’m sometimes bold, and sometimes fearful!  Help me minimize, or even eradicate fear!  I am confident when I am bold, then defensive, and manipulative when fearful.  My petition is for you to take over, and slay the dragon of fear, and the expectations of performance, hoping I am accepted.  I want to only be on display for an audience of one – you: he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. (Eph. 1:4).  You are not dismayed over our inabilities, rather you come charging into our lives to make us as strong as steel.  You do not put a veneer over our behaviors, rather you help us change our attitudes.  Thank you.

Then let my boldness be infectious.  Let my character be unsullied by worldly challenges, like bullets ricocheting off Superman.  Let the world see that you are a reality, because my behavior, my attitudes are otherworldly, supernaturally infused into my inner being.  Let the world experience you, through me.  Help me maintain a desire for purity, honesty, fidelity, so you receive the glory due your name.  I don’t want to play at spiritual life, I want it to be robust and fruitful, so you are seen by others.  And thank you, for knowing my heart of hearts, and not running away from me, but rather rolling up your sleeves and working with me for greater good and greater glory.  I pray this in Jesus’ precious name.  Amen.

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