The Way of the Warrior Week 13 - The Warrior's Journey®

The Way of the Warrior Week 13

Author: Nathan Werner,

. Photo by is licensed under CC By 2.0

Our last devotions have focused on David, the warrior/king.  The Lord trained him for both roles, just as he will with you. We are the Lord’s representatives to a lost world, and if we have average character, people will not be interested  in what we are selling.  The Lord is targeting the entire world. Virtue, dignity, purity will be ideals that people take note of and be attracted to. The Lord desires that believers take the responsibility of becoming light to a dying world: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).

What if you fail in your call to represent the Lord?  Do you just get benched and put on the sidelines? You fumbled and turned the football over to the opponent. Now you get to sit at the end of the bench – right?  Nope. The Lord puts you back in the game, and you will get some more coaching. But you need to – want to – get back in the game.

David wanted his relationship back with the Lord.  That relationship is based upon purity. “Since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Pet. 1:16).  That’s it? Just be perfect! Okay, great – I tried and fumbled!  You’re right. So, the Lord has a plan for you.

David outlines this plan in Psalm 51. The starting point is: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love…” (Ps. 51:1).  David’s first step is the same as all sinner’s – the pursuit of forgiveness. David claims the mercy of God. He does not ask for justice, but mercy.  He makes that petition because of God’s loving kindness. Justice is a correct reward for a wrong done. Mercy is forgiveness based on an attitude of contrition.  David does not ask for justice, since the Law demands his death: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed” (Gen. 9:6).  Remember, David had Uriah killed.

Here’s some good news, the Lord wants to grant us forgiveness. “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us “(Ps. 103:12).  The Lord doesn’t want us languishing as a spiritual invalid.  ‘Transgression” means we rebelled. One knows what is right, then refuses to do it. It is a breach of trust.  We’ve been appointed to manage the Lord’s affairs, and we’ve decided we did not want to do our job.

“According to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions” (Ps. 51:1).  Yeah, that is a plural.  So, David kept on, keeping on — transgressing.  David does not appeal to his own desire to do better.  He appeals to God’s mercy – lovingkindness. Intentions don’t fly.

David then switches from wanting the mercy of God (51:1), to confessing his sin against God.  “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!” (51:2).  ‘Iniquity’ means David was guilty of a perverse crime.  He’s broken the law – not by oversight or ignorance, but by deliberate intention.  David knew he was breaking the law and did not care, nor have remorse or concern.  David wanted perversity, so he was perverse.

The corruption from this iniquity was so corrosive, that David passionately wanted to be purified. The fallout was so degrading, that he wanted to be cleaned.  His failure was so appalling, that it was a stain tainting his life. Everyone noticed the stain.

There was angst in David’s soul as he reflected on his choices. He came to understand how destructive those choices were to him and especially to the Lord. God is the victim. David reaped some bad effects, but the Lord gets the consequences.

“Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight…” (51:4).  This sin and iniquity were against God.  This was like committing treason. Even though David sinned against Uriah & Bathsheba, his ultimate impudence was in the face of God.  With this confession, David used legal language of a courtroom: “so that thou art justified in thy sentence and blameless in thy judgment” (51:4). David was rightly convicted of treason, and he admits to the charges, noting they are justified.  He concedes he was not being railroaded, but getting fair treatment.

“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (51:5). David then comes to a stunning conclusion and was thunderstruck by his inbred sin.  He doesn’t try to justify himself, rather these are the full boundaries of his confession. He confesses that he is in very nature a sinner – not just that he sins.  When he says “Behold,” he is affirming the alarming truth he discovers about himself!  He is a natural born sinner, just like you and me! We don’t need any training in sinning, we do it naturally.

Then David comes to another astounding conclusion: “Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart” (51:6).  Even though we are dedicated sinners, the Lord does not give up on us!  Though we have victimized him by our choices and behavior, he still targets our core being.  He invades all corrupt and decaying places in our lives, and makes us into new creatures. He starts on the demolition of the old-self, and renovates the new-self: you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

In two verses David was flabbergasted by the Lord’s stunning dedication to purifying him.  God, the victim of our choices, does not stop from being our advocate! When I was a combat Marine, I did not think like this!  I was all for retribution and justice! David had the same sort of mindset, coming out of a warrior class. For David, this revelation was staggering.  He’s astonished that the Lord is so, so good. The Lord surpasses our one-dimensional approach to sin, that of trying not to sin. Instead, he launches an invasion into our core spiritual being.  His desire is to free us from sin’s bondage, liberating us from ourselves.

David came to some extraordinary discoveries in his spiritual life.  Though sin is powerful, there is a greater power that bestows a greater good.  The Lord’s goodness toward us who hurt him, is so amazing. That like David, I am stunned by his kindness to me.  The Lord was willing to invade the stagnant swamps of my life, wade through the cesspools of perversities, and save me from myself.  I could not manufacture enough goodness to overcome myself, but the Lord in his grace invades our lives to free us from ourselves, so we can reap the benefits of eternal rewards.

What a deal!

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31)

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