Day 57: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 57: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

The focus of our recent devotions has been Abram, the man God chose to bless the entire earth (Gen 12:1-3).  He and his wife were unable to have children, yet the Lord launched them to be progenitors of a new people group?  Additionally, he was used by the Lord to defeat four invading armies with just 318 men, and he was over 75 years old!  God is full of surprises.  Guess what kind of adventures he has in store for you?

After his incredible victory over Chedorlaormer, Abram was the center of all kinds of attention, the king of Sodom tried to bribe him(14:21); then Melchizedek blessed him (14:19, 20).  Abram was a brave warrior, and a respected leader.  But something was not right, Abram was experiencing some inner turmoil.  There was no hint about this in the narrative. Bera, the king of Sodom, nor Melchizedek, the king of Salem knew what was troubling him.  Yet one person knew, and he went to Abram without any hesitation.

After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” (Gen. 15:1).

Who goes to whom?  God, the Creator of the Universe, who is kind of busy, drops everything and invades Abram’s life.  There might be a few things in the Universe that are more critical, than Abram being fearful.  The Lord doesn’t send in Psychiatrist Angel, to help counsel Abram about his fear.  Remember, fear is self-generated, and does not come from the Lord: for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Tim. 1:7).  Neither does the Lord send Messenger Angel, telling Abram, to get-over-it.  Remember, the Lord is on our side, and knows our deep self.

The Lord shows up in a ‘vision,’ not face-to-face like Gen 12:7; 17:1; 18:1.  A vision is  vivid imagery.  God wants to have a great impact on Abram, insuring that it is long lasting.  Jehovah changed his approach to Abram to give him assurance of his importance. Visions carry awe and wonder to the subject.  The Lord goes the extra mile with Abram, assuring him what he has to say is beneficial and consequential.

The Lord emphasizes his knowledge about Abram’s situation, showing a willingness to give Abram whatever safety is required.  He had just allowed Abram to be in horrific combat while preserving his life. The Lord also promised to protect Abram in the future, so that Abram does not have to rely on his own program of protection, by securing and training Special Forces personnel.  They’re good, but God’s better.

This is the second time the word ‘fear’ appears in the Bible.  The first time, Adam: “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid (Gen. 3:10).  Adam was afraid of God!  Whatever for?  because I was naked, and I hid myself.” (Gen. 3:10).  I guess God had never seen him naked?  He created Adam!  Fear is silly sometimes.

Let’s contrast Adam and Abram, for a moment.

Adam was the father of all men – Abram was father of all who believe (Rom 4:11).  Adam protected himself with a fig leaf (Gen 3:7) – Abram’s protection was God, the ‘shield’ (15:1).  Adam received a curse (3:17-19) – Abram received a reward (15:1). Adam did not repent, when confronted with sin – he blamed God (3:12). Then Adam was tossed out of Eden (3:24) – Abram repented and received glorious blessings (13:4; 14–17).

Remember the Lord wants to restore you to fellowship with him, then launch you into a ministry for the benefit of others.  There will be trials, and victories. Abram has a lot of tests in his future, and he needs the Lord to help him manage those bomb craters.

Back to God’s vision with Abram: After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” (Gen. 15:1)

‘I AM’…this name looks forward to Moses at the Burning Bush: God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” (Exod. 3:14).  God the Self-existent One.  The Eternal One.  The Holy One.  The book of John in the New Testament is full of ‘I am’s’: I am the Bread of Life (John 6:35); I am the living Bread (6:51); I am the light of the world (8:12; 9:5); I am the door (10:9); I am the good shepherd (10:11, 14); I am the resurrection and the life (11:25); I am the way, the truth, the life (14:6); I am the true vine (15:1, 3).  Jesus as a man, was saying he had divine attributes.  Jesus was either a lunatic, a liar, or the Lord – you must choose.

The Lord said to Abram: ‘I am your shield…’  Why shield?  A shield is for protection.

Some issue has Abram in dread.  He’s just come out of annihilating four armies of very fearsome warriors. After-combat, trauma is bangin’ around in his noggin’?  One can imagine Abram had many intense moments fighting enemy combatants.  It seems natural to me, having experienced combat, that the Lord assures him, he’s safe since the Lord kept him from harm.  The Lord was with him every moment, even in the middle of mayhem.  “Abram your alive because I kept you safe!  My promises for your future are iron-clad, even when arrows and hatchets were whizzing by your head.  Abram, I kept you safe.”  If you’re reading this, and bullets or rockets, or grenades missed you — God did that.

If you’re not buying this:  And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. (Gal. 3:29).  The promise to Abram, and to you, is the Lord is your shield.  It does not mean your Superman, and you’ll never get hurt or die, it means that God’s plan for your life is surrounded by superhuman protection for a greater purpose, until the time he calls you home.  Get used to your exalted position!

Psalm 115:9-11 O Israel, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield. O house of Aaron, put your trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield. You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield.  A whole lot of shielding going on.

The Lord has a great mission only you can perform: But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24)

Genesis 15:1 is one of the magnificent verses in the Bible – we’ll explore it further.  You will be amazed that its intent is directed at you.

By Nathan Werner

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for promising to be my shield.  I don’t even know how that works, but I know that things have got to go through you, to get to me.  Whatever gets to me, you have allowed me to experience, so it must be for my good. ‘And we know that for those who God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28).  Help my understanding, so I do not interpret conditions in my life, as good or bad, by their nature, rather let your nature be the standard that I use to interpret life.  Give me deeper wisdom as I ponder my circumstances, so I do not assume that you are unaware, or uncaring.  Rather let my filter keep your character correctly in mind, before I make choices about my experiences.

Then Father, help me to rejoice over challenges in my life: ‘we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope..’ (Romans 5:3, 4).  This concept assaults my idea of how life should work, and my mind twists itself into contortions trying even to understand this.  But, help me to release my assumptions, and receive this wisdom, so I have a redemptive view of my conditions, and your nature. Thank you for being patient with me, allowing me to conform to your plan for my life.  I pray this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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