Day 85: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 85: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

Our next devotions will emphasize the end of Jesus’ earthly life, looking at his arrest, his trials, his persecution, and his crucifixion.  We will also watch his followers, and their reactions to the fast-moving events that changed their lives.  This series will impact our lives and change how we shape our spiritual choices.

Before we view Christ, we will focus on the disciple Peter.  We’ll find that Peter’s choices of weakness and denial are the things that we do.  These devotions are not a historical review, but lessons for us in our walk of faith, as we impact the world.

Peter was a rock-solid blue-collar type.  He was a fisherman. In that day they were hard as nails, no nonsense kinds of men. Fisherman were adaptable, knowledgeable, and hard working.  Jesus chose him to be his disciple. Peter did not apply for the job.  His professional expertise did not translate into the academic world of law and religion.

There was an entire scholarly class of Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, who knew the Mosaic Law.  They understood religious and civil matters that governed the culture.  Peter did not run in elite crowds of the intellectual sophisticates.  Yet, Jesus chose him. Peter became a dedicated follower of the Lord Jesus, though he had no ‘religious’ credentials.

Peter, however hit a roadblock in the last few days of Jesus’ life.  Peter went back to old habits, and though he’d lived with and loved the Lord for three years. He wilted like a flower in the desert.  Why?  Let’s see.

‘Backsliding’ is a process in a Christian’s life, when you turn and go backward, in your spiritual walk.   Rather than progress to wisdom and maturity in faith, the ‘backslider’ reverses course revisiting old practices.  One convinces their self that progress in spiritual maturity is unreasonable. Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit; they refuse to return. (Jer. 8:5). It does not necessarily mean they’ve lost their salvation rather they’re reversing course on spiritual maturity.

Peter’s demise begins at the end of Jesus’ ministry.  After the Last Supper, Jesus and the disciples left the upper-room and headed out of Jerusalem to Gethsemane – a garden outside the city.  This is not a botanical garden of pleasantness and quiet.  It is a factory setting in the midst of Olive trees, where oil presses were used to make olive oil.  The place was abandoned and quiet, all the workers were gone, on the Feast of Passover.

Jesus was in turmoil, even sweating drops of blood (Luke 22:44).  The coming crucifixion was a gruesome affair he must endure for the sake of exchanging his righteousness for our sin.  The physical agony was not his primary reason for recoiling,: For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:21).  Jesus who was sinless, was lathered with ALL of mankind’s sin for ALL time. On the cross the Heavenly Father had to look away from Jesus, because he took our sin: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mk. 15:34). You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong… (Hab. 1:13). Jesus became a loathsome being.

Back to Peter at Gethsemane: 1. Failure to watch and pray: And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? (Matt. 26:40). Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matt. 26:41).  How’re you doing at watching and praying?

2. Failure to listen for the Lord’s Word: Roman soldiers and Jewish officers came to arrest Jesus and his disciples asked: And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” (Lk. 22:49).  Peter was impulsive, he didn’t wait for the Lord to speak: Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (Jn. 18:10). Chaos could have erupted from Peter’s recklessness. He didn’t wait for Jesus’ directions.  How’re you doing with His instructions?

3. Followed the Lord from a distance:  Jesus was arrested and: And Peter was following him at a distance, (Matt. 26:58).  He was not being an ardent follower but became a squish. He was no longer bold and fearless, but hesitant about being a follower. How about you?

4. Falters at being bold: Jesus was brought into an inner courtyard. But Peter stood outside at the door. (Jn. 18:16).  His passion for swinging his sword was gone.  The ‘door’ in Scripture has a strong identity.  It is the place where you put the blood of the Lamb (Exodus 12:22).  Blood was on the exterior of the door to show the public that you were a believer.  The door was also where the believer: You shall write them [Law] on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deut. 11:20).  Again, a public display of following the Law. The ‘door’ is also the place a servant pledges allegiance to his Master: Then you shall take an awl, and put it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your slave forever (Deut. 15:17). It is also the place the Lord pursues you: Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Rev. 3:20).  The ‘door’ stopped Peter, and he was not bold, fearful to be public.

5.  Fellowship with the enemies of Christ: Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself. (Jn. 18:18).  What a great place and time to speak of spiritual matters – right?  Crickets….. Why was he making nice with Christ’s enemies?

6.  Faithlessness: Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” (18:25). And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. (Lk. 22:55). He’s communing with unbelievers and they were influencing him. Then he lies again… (22:56, 57). Now what?  Drum roll……

And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered… (22:61). Looking eye to eye with our Savior will have an impact on you.  Are you looking Jesus in the eye?

Then Peter changed: And he went out and wept bitterly. (22:62). Do you think the Lord does not know when you wilt?  He’s not going to insult or shame you.  But his look can change you. Are you looking into his eyes?  Don’t be afraid. The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. (Ps. 34:15).  He’s safe.

By Nathan Werner

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Please alert me to my weaknesses, so when I languish, please buoy my heart and mind, overwhelming me with your wonders.  Don’t let me backslide.  Short-circuit my penchant for slipping back in spiritual mediocrity. Help me to be bold and courageous. Infuse me with a super-natural awareness of your presence, so I depend on you and not my abilities.  I desire that you are exalted, that you are glorified in my life, so people see you as they watch me.  I do not want accolades from people, only: His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. (Matt. 25:21).  I have no confidence in my strength, but I’m fully assured of your great kindness, goodness and power.

Then Father, let your character be revealed in my life.  Let your character be public, so people will know that you are a reality, not a myth. If I’m the vehicle for revelation, let me show your worth with skill and genuineness.  Let people believe in you, because of the reality of you in me.  Put blocks behind me so I do not backslide into old habits and behaviors. Lower hurdles in front of me so I: run with endurance the race that is set before us, (Heb. 12:1).  Let the whole world see you in me, and my brothers and sisters of faith.  I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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