Day 56: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 56: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

The United States has just celebrated Veterans Day honoring those who served the nation, some at great sacrifice.  This kind of service is not unique to America, and has been the hallmark of many courageous warriors who sacrificed blood and treasure for their nations.

But where does this legacy start?  How did the warrior class become an esteemed example of great service and great sacrifice?  How did men and women value the bold character of those who faced death, for the sake of a greater good?  It started with God… He is the greatest of warriors, exhibiting sacrifice and courage.  It began in early human history.

In Genesis Adam and Eve had been manipulated by Satan. He deceived Eve about the character and nature of the Lord.  Satan subtly assured Eve, that the Lord was not to be trusted: He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Gen. 3:1).  Eve naively considered the comment.  Then he doubled-down: But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. (Gen. 3:4).  Both Adam and Eve succumbed, ate the fruit, reaping judgment that we are even experiencing today.

What’s the Lord’s response to Satan who ruined His magnum opus? I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Gen. 3:15).  The Lord has a stare-down, with Satan, assuring him that he will be crushed.  The Lord, steely-eyed, resolve assured the devil, that he will carry out combat against him and his minions.  The Lord steps right up, without hesitation, and promises aggressive action, promising Satan’s destruction.

Well, human history reveals wars, and destruction, much of it as a result of cosmic warfare, between good and evil.  Paul assures us, that though wars are in the natural realm, there is a supernatural realm that can be behind the aggression: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Eph. 6:12).  Spiritual warfare has leaked into our lives.  Don’t be surprised.

So, does the Lord just take a vacation letting things spiral out of control, then showing up at Armageddon?  He is a ferocious warrior, in the natural realm.  Say what!?  Remember the book of Exodus.  Israelite slaves had left Egypt, heading to the Promised Land.  But Pharaoh pursued the slaves and caught them at the Red Sea.  You know the story (Ex. 14).  God wiped out the entire Egyptian army.  The Israelites didn’t lift a hand or shoot an arrow.  The Lord ruthlessly killed thousands.

The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is his name. (Exod. 15:3).  He’s a fearsome warrior.

After Israel wandered in the Wilderness for 40 years, they got to the Promised Land, outside of the city of Jericho.  Has the Lord softened, becoming more patient, and wise, not so militant?  When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. (Jos. 5:13).  This is the Lord. He’s not in priestly garments, but fighting gear, with his sword drawn for action.

And the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. (Jos. 6:2).  Goodness, this sounds serious, not pretend.  There’s going to be a real fight.  Then they devoted all in the city to destruction, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys, with the edge of the sword. (Jos. 6:21).  The Lord was as serious as a heart attack.

Okay, okay – Old Testament God of justice and all that – right?

John 2 starts with Jesus at a wedding, turning water into wine.  Nice setting, nice story.  Then, the scene changes to the Temple in Jerusalem: And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. (Jn. 2:15).  The Temple complex was 14 acres, filled with extortion, deception, fraud – Jesus drove hundreds of people out of the complex.  Soldiers and guards could not stop him.  He was a fearsome attacker, who was morally outraged by the dishonesty, and commercialism in his ‘Father’s house’ (2:16).

Well maybe after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension he’ll be a bit more settled.  Nope. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. (1 Jn. 3:8).  The word ‘destroy’ means to demolish, to overthrow.  There’s energy in that word.

Jesus is on a mission of destruction.  I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matt. 16:18).  Satan’s on the defensive and can’t stop the Lord, or his church.  That through death he [Jesus] might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, (Heb. 2:14).  The word ‘destroy’ in this verse means to terminate.  You feeling sorry for Satan?  He’s going to be flattened, with extreme prejudice.

Okay, maybe the Lord can get a wee bit miffed.  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (Rom. 1:18).  ‘Wrath’ means ‘violent emotion.’  Quit putting the Lord in a sissy box – he’s the real deal.  He would make George Patton look like a sissy.

There’s a battle in the future, that you will be involved in.  He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. (Rev. 19:13-15).  You’re part of the ‘armies of heaven’ if you’re a Christian.  Your military training might be a little helpful, but really, the Lord is handling all the fighting himself.

Listen, you’re made in the image of God.  He’s a tough no-nonsense fighter, while also being full of compassion.  Quite a combination.  In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Rom. 8:37).  Thanks for your former service.  Be aware, you’re not done yet.  Get ready. There is another deployment coming.

By Nathan Werner

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thanks for being on my side.  You are a faithful and honorable comrade in arms.  You will always have my back: ‘…behold I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ (Matt 28:20).  You will never leave my side. I don’t have to fight battles alone.  What a great assurance, your constant vigilance and companionship, reassures me of your great steadfastness.  Plus, you are very capable: ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…”  That’s more than enough power to handle my challenges. 

I’m asking for the courage to act on these facts.  Enormous power, and comradeship, emboldens me, yet I still find myself vacillating, and weakening in the face of persistent opposition.  Life sometimes grinds me to levels that I begin to lose hope.  Give me courage, give me encouragement, give me hope, give me a vision of your will for my life, which is a vision of surpassing glory. ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. THEN you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  You will seek me and find me.  When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you… (Jer 29:11-14).  Help me be authentic with a passionate pursuit of you, Lord.  I pray this in Jesus’ precious name.  Amen.

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