The Way of the Warrior Week 2 - The Warrior's Journey®

The Way of the Warrior Week 2

Author: Nathan Werner,

. Photo by is licensed under CC By 2.0

In our devotionals, we’ve been looking how the Lord changed people from slaves to priests. Then he implements priestly character into one who ‘sees’ the way God ‘sees.’ Then they/we, with conviction, move ahead toward their strenuous calling, like the capture of Jericho (Jos. 6).  But we need to look back, there is an ingredient that we have left out, that we need to touch on. Yes, the Lord accepts dead-in-the-wool, spiritual go-getters, who readily perform because they desire, with passion what the Lord calls them to do. But he wants us to know something before this.

If we’ve made the Lord seem like a Marine Gunnery Sergeant, or a Drill Instructor, we need to adjust our thinking.  Yes, the Lord is a tough hombre and would be at home in a DI’s Smokey the Bear Hat, but he’s more than that. Yes, he’s willing to throw us in the deep end of the pool and let us experience some challenges.  But there is another component of his character that you need to be assured about.

This theme starts in the Old Testament, and runs throughout the entire Bible.

The Lord has already embarked on a ministry to you, from him – personally.  Well, you know that old song that says: “The God of the Old Testament is a god of judgment, and condemnation!”  Right?  He’s just like a crabby old Grandpa, who is always looking to find fault.

Let’s destroy that myth.

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zeph. 3:17 ESV).

This verse is revolutionary.  Old presuppositions die that identify God as an unhappy old crank.  He is a breath of fresh air, who has a twinkle in his eye, and really does have an outgoing and gregarious personality.  He is flat-out, tickled down to his toe nails about you!

The beginning of the verse emphasizes the idea that the Lord is ‘mighty.’ Mighty means strong.  God is as hard-as-nails, strong.  Unbreakable strong. His strength is colossal!  When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless” (Gen. 17:1 ESV).

He is strong enough to ‘save,’ or to deliver you from any danger or challenge.  Okay great! So what? The next phrase does not seem congruent: “He will rejoice over you with gladness”. (Zeph. 3:17) Why does he rejoice over you?  Are your attributes so glittering attractive he cannot resist you?  Maybe some of you, but not all of us.

“He will rejoice over you,” means he decides to rejoice over you.  You have not been so irresistible he cannot help himself.  Your attributes are not so overwhelming that he’s doe-eyed with love for you.  He has decided to love you, in spite of your dazzling flaws.

Not only does he decide to love you, warts and all, he does it with gladness.  This means gaiety and pleasure.  He gets a kick out of you! It is not a reluctant love, it is full-born without a hint of remorse.  It is the opposite of remorse. He is experiencing a glad report or happy result. ‘This is great!’ he’s thinking. Like a parent over their child.

What does this cause him to do?  “He will quiet you by his love”.  My, my!  All your drama, tension, hyperventilating, he is stepping in to manage for you, because he thinks your drop-dead gorgeous (in personhood).  Classic love, like romantic novel stuff — except this is real! He looks way past your present, and sees a glorious future, and steers you toward it.  Like a father for his newborn son.

What does the Lord do next?  “He will exult over you with loud singing”.  ‘Exult’ is attitudinal. He decides to be joyful and glad about you, and then he bellows out a love song about you!  It’s like he’s singing in the shower, about you! He’s chuckling, and smiling and proclaiming with loud singing how he delights in you.  Yep. Nice picture to keep in the forefront of your mind, about your impression on him. Keep in mind he knows your past, and that does not hinder him in the least – he sees your future.

How did the Old Testament God of judgment impression take over and not Zephaniah 3:17?  Maybe that was the only verse that talked about the Lord rejoicing over us? Nope.

“Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you…” (Isa. 43:4 ESV).

“As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you” (Isa. 62:5 ESV).

The image of the God of the Universe, just being flat-out, spun-out-of-control, in love with you – is reality!  Get used to it, because it is TRUE!

Then, with this glorious perception and delight in you, you can have a wholehearted response to the Lord, of satisfaction and gladness! In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Ps. 16:11 ESV). A mutual admiration society.

Finally, the Lord’s love for us can be ‘known’ and ‘believed.’ “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 Jn. 4:16 ESV).  Maybe you’ve known – and not believed it.  Now is the time to do – both.

There’s plenty more, but before we go into deeper spiritual warrior investigation, let’s assure ourselves that the Lord treasures us, even if we haven’t fully come to appreciate to a full extent that he chooses to love us with an everlasting love – all the way into eternity.

He has a big, silly grin when he thinks about you – and it’s genuine!


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