Day 94: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 94: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

In recent devotions we’ve been looking at the last hours of Jesus’ life.  Jesus had an illegal trial before the high priest Annas.  Jesus was direct with Annas and with his disrespect for the law.  Jesus would not break, so: Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. (Jn. 18:24).  Before going to Caiaphas, Peter was in the courtyard, and denied knowing Jesus for the third time: Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed. (18:27).

While he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. (Lk. 22:60, 61).  This was a moment of monumental failure for Peter.  And Peter remembered… And he went out and wept bitterly. (Matt. 26:75).  Peter’s reaction was a clear sign that he was emotionally flattened by his behavior. We can learn lessons from Peter’s denial. It came about from a series of small steps, that culminated in a historic disappointment. Knowing these steps, will help us to be aware of similar choices.

First.  Apart from God’s grace a believer is weak, even though the Lord gives clear warning.  We can know things, and have data, but if we are not Spirit energized, we are at risk of making choices absent Heavenly guidance.  Whoever abides in me and I in him…for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5).

Second.  Believers need to remember the Lord’s omniscience, or his integrity of knowledge. He is always aware and alert to our conditions and choices.  He knows us better than we know ourselves. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. (Ps. 139:2).  Though he’s not physically present, he is still aware of our thoughts.

Third. The lesson of self-confidence.  Peter was sure of his strength.  Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” (Lk. 22:33).  Peter believed he had enough hutzpah to overcome any condition for Christ.  Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Prov. 16:18).  Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matt. 23:12).

Fourth.  Prayerlessness.  Jesus had warned the disciples in Gethsemane: Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matt. 26:41).  Failure to pray allows spiritual weakness to flourish. Stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place… (Lk. 21:36). 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).

Fifth.  The disastrous influence of the ‘World.’  Becoming shaped by culture and letting fear of what people will think, changes one’s heart. The fear of man lays a snare (Prov. 29:25). Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. (1 Sam. 15:24).

Sixth.  The love of God restored Peter to fellowship.  The Lord did not abandon him when he failed.  Restoration can be difficult, even grievous. “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said …”Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” (Jn. 21:17).  The Lord never gives up on a believer: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11).

Knowing this pattern will help us be spiritually alert, so we do not experience the devastating consequences of spiritual apathy, as Peter did.  Remember, Peter ultimately trusted in his own character and nature, not fully relying on the power of the Lord.

Back to Jesus.  Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. (Jn. 18:24).  The Gospel of John does not tell us about that trial.  Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. (Matt. 26:59). What was this high-powered group of Jewish individuals after? Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, (Matt. 26:59).  The ‘council’ was the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Supreme Court.  These were wise elders, who knew the Torah, the Law of Moses.  They were the experts in civil and ceremonial law.  Surely Jesus would be offered justice, in the most prestigious group of lawmakers in the nation.

Were they seeking – justice? “…whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death…(26:59).  This is a kangaroo court.  A sham. This august body of men weren’t after justice… What does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8).  Justice is not a suggestion, but a requirement.  Certainly, for the highest court in the land.

The court attempted to get testimony but: ‘…but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward’. (Matt. 26:60).  Finally, two came and: and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.'” (26:61).  With this testimony, Caiaphas assumed he had legal standing: And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” (26:62).

The deviancy of their attitudes is alarming.  Religious pretending can work for a time before it is challenged.  Jesus will challenge this group of hypocrites.  What will be his strategy?  But Jesus remained silent.  (Matt. 26:63).  Huh?  Doesn’t he want to confront their farce? This was not a bona fide trial, rather a plot to destroy someone who challenged their authority.  These dignified priests, scribes, elders were putting on an act, impervious to their own depravity.  They dismissed their own motives of hatred, and revenge assuming they were noble and ignoring the most heinous of offenses – murder.

Jesus’ uses the simplest of tactics – silence.  They needed him to self-incriminate.  He will not break the same Law, they were trashing.  He does not conform to their manipulation. This tiny phrase: Jesus remained silent, was a glaring revelation they should have been aware.  Over 700 years before Jesus, Isaiah the prophet predicted the Messiah would: 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).  These experts of the Law were aware of this stunning prophecy and should know Jesus was broadcasting spiritual truth to them, not in words, but with behavior.  They missed it.  Be careful that you are aware of what the elites missed or dismissed.

By Nathan Werner

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Please do not let me succumb to intellectual stubbornness, like Peter and the Sanhedrin.  The best of men are men at best, and I can miss spiritual truth though it is ever present.  Help me to be spiritually energized all the time, like a spiritual tuning fork.  Help me to exercise spiritual habits daily, hourly, even moment by moment.  Let spiritual thoughts be roaming my mind, underneath my earthly living.  Let spiritual life be a vibrant, dynamic awareness in my mind, so my natural life will remain uncluttered.  Don’t let the tyranny of the urgent replace what is important.  Thank you for always being present, so you will partner with me in this endeavor: And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20).

Then Father, as this way of living becomes more and more natural, let my choices and behaviors reflect you to the world.  Do not let me assume my invulnerability.  Rather, let me desire your counsel, your wisdom, your revelation, so I walk with confidence in the knowledge of your presence.  He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Ps. 23:3, 4).  Let my courage come from your presence.  Let my choices come from your wisdom.  Let my behavior come from your holiness – so the world gets a glimpse of you.  I pray this in Jesus’ precious name.  Amen.

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