Day 90: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 90: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

In our last devotion we noted the superiority of Christ in Gethsemane.  He revealed his supreme qualities in knowledge, courage, power, ethics, then love.  One disciple, Peter nearly brought disaster, though Christ conquered the moment.  Peter breeched Jesus’ plan and recklessly tried to start a melee: Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (Jn. 18:10).

Who had to stop the carnage – Jesus.  Roman soldiers would like a good tussle.  They were out after midnight taking care of a Jewish problem, and they would prefer to bang some heads rather than arrest fanatics. Jesus and his disciples were novelty items for the Romans, but they would have been very brutal to Peter.  They were thuggish brutes.

Later Peter wrote some books in the New Testament.  Let’s see if he gained some spiritual wisdom. Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. (1 Pet. 2:18).  Godly wisdom had grown in Peter.  Instead of adrenaline induced fighting, he gained prudence.  Peter was not gentle in Gethsemane.  Later he adds: For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. (1 Pet. 2:19).  Goodness he became a kitten.  Peter advocates for gentleness and grace – is this the same guy?

For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. (1 Pet. 2:20). This can’t be the same burly guy who was going to take on 600 Roman soldiers!  Is being a punching bag, a higher moral order?  It is important to see, that masculinity is not Hollywood superhero behavior.  Spiritual masculinity is what Jesus modeled. Godly courage facing immoral behavior with a firmness and conviction of higher moral good.  Godly courage is not moral squishiness, rather it stands on Biblical standards.

But Peter had to learn this the hard way – as some of us have.  What changed Peter? Let’s go back to John 18.  After Peter attacked with his sword: struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) (18:10).  Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. (Luke 22:51). The High Priest – Caiaphas was not able to protect his servant Malchus, but Jesus healed him, and protected Peter.  Malchus did not exhibit any faith in Christ, yet Jesus healed him. Caiaphas, the highest religious leader in Israel was impotent, could not help or heal his servant.

You know hundreds of soldiers were itching to get at Peter?  He’d be dead in 25 seconds.  Jesus prevented that. Jesus was more than a rabbi/carpenter, and more like a General.

Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” (Jn. 18:11).  Here is supreme obedience to God the Father’s will.  What kind of ‘cup’ is Jesus talking about?  Whatever the ‘cup’ is, it is dreadful.  He fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matt. 26:39).  It is the Father’s will that dominates the will of the Son, but not by coercion.

The Son accepts the ‘cup’ for the sake of someone else – you.  Jesus accepts the cost of his life, to replace what you have earned – eternal death.  Jesus in Gethsemane won’t let Peter’s actions deter him from dying for you.  Did you ever realize that Peter’s behavior put our eternal destiny on a knife’s edge?  Jesus protected our eternal life at that moment.

Here’s the ‘cup’ you and I’ve earned: Let him rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup. (Ps. 11:6). Whoa!! Jesus took that cup instead of us. For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup with foaming wine, well mixed, and he pours out from it, and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs. (Ps. 75:8). Jesus took that ‘cup’ for us… That should hit you like a slap in the face.

Because he takes that ‘cup’ for you, you get a different ‘cup.’ I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD, (Ps. 116:13).  You get the cup of salvation for all eternity.  Peter just about spilled that ‘cup’.  Aren’t you glad Jesus stopped Peter?

Here’s Peter’s own words: For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. (1 Pet. 2:21). In other words, don’t follow Peter’s lead, follow Jesus.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Pet. 2:24). What a sacrifice!

Back to Gethsemane.  So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. (Jn. 18:12).  Tough men just tied up the person who’d knocked them down, and who healed an ear that was hacked off by a sword. That’s ironic.  They believed they could overpower Jesus.  They were blind to their absurdity. Also note that both Jews and Gentiles partnered together in this process.

The binding of Jesus was a sign of his submissiveness.  Here is an Old Testament passage that mirrors what happened: When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. (Gen. 22:9).  Abraham is a picture of God the Father, he bound Isaac his son to be sacrificed.  Isaac was submissive to his father’s leading.

First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. (Jn. 18:13).  Jesus was ‘led.’  In the Old Testament Levitical system each animal offered for sacrifice was to be brought to the priest (Lev. 17:5).  The prophecy in the Old Testament about the Servant of Jehovah was: He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. (Isa. 53:7).

It is important to understand the supreme submissiveness of Jesus.  He willingly went to die.  He could have received power an easy way: Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” (Matt. 4:8, 9). Of course, he refused, because we weren’t in the deal, and his Father wouldn’t get the glory.

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

We pray for our nation now, in this pandemic. We pray for protection and healing for people of our country.  We pray you will place your hand of healing on us, with a hedge of protection around us.  We seek a measure of mercy from you because you are merciful.  We desire your glory be manifest in this time, so people birth a fervent trust in you.  Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. (Ps. 20:7).  Help our population get a glimpse of heavenly realities, rather than earthly solutions.  Let physical healing happen, but let it be predicated on the bona fide trust of people in the Living Lord.  Let the people of the world be marvelously awakened to your goodness, and willingness to suppress dark supernatural powers.

Let people know you.  Let people hope in you.  Let people glorify you.  Reveal to them your manifest power, and your lovingkindness.  Let people truthfully acknowledge your goodness in this time of challenge. Do not let darkness reign with foreboding and terror.  Rather let your light shine so people can experience the reality of blessed hope.  Let hope be tangible, then infectious, reversing the harbinger of despair.  Don’t let misery rule people’s minds, rather let raging confidence take over the soul of the nation, letting citizens exper-ience the optimism of a good and holy God fighting for them.  Assure them that you are ready to save, you are ready to heal, you are ready to restore the blessings you have poured out upon us.  Help the United States honor you with their worship.  We pray this in Jesus precious name.  Amen.

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