When I was a young teen I thought the solution to every problem was to fight about it. I had a punching bag in my basement that I would take my aggression out on as I played scenarios out in my head that might require a warrior with callused knuckles to take a stand. Now as a middle aged man, a husband, and father I realize I’m not as invincible as I once was. Sure, I still sometimes feel the urge to fight, but my offense these days looks a little different. My fights now are of the spiritual nature.
So how do we fight in the world today? Are we supposed to be powerful, or are we supposed to be gentle? Are we supposed to be strong or are we supposed to be weak? When I see pictures of Jesus He’s portrayed as a meek and mild, poor Galilean that was good with sheep and kids. And yes, he is full of love, and he is full of mercy, and he is full of grace, and yet, at the very same time, is the fiercest spiritual warrior who has ever lived. In fact in Mathew 10:34 Jesus said “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword”
There’s a story in Luke 4:29 where Jesus had just gotten back from being tempted by the Devil in the wilderness and now He’s in Nazareth full of the Holy Spirit, reading and preaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath- when the people in the synagogue became furious and started to drive Jesus out of the town. Luke says they took Him to the top of a hill where they were planning to throw Him off a cliff. And all we know is Jesus turned to look at the crowd, and when he looked, the crowd parted and He walked through the crowd. We don’t know why the crowd parted, but here’s what I think: Jesus was a carpenter, and I’m guessing on that day he was wearing a sleeveless robe, and maybe He flexed and the crowd parted, or maybe it was just the look in His eye, but whatever it was the crowd opened up and just let Him walk through. Jesus was a warrior, and it’s safe to say He won some battles. Do you want to be a warrior like Jesus? Here are three things God has given you to be a warrior like Christ.
- God gave you someone to fight for. Who are you protecting? If you’re reading this today close your eyes and picture the people who are closest to you. What are some of the pitfalls they can fall victim to? I’ll tell you what I’m fighting for: I’m fighting for my family, I’m fighting for our home, I’m fighting for purity, fighting for spiritual victory, fighting for generosity, fighting for righteousness. Who are you protecting? “Be courageous! Let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. May the LORD ’s will be done.” (2 Samuel 10:12)
- God has given you a Kingdom to advance. Mathew 6:33 states “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Seek first His Kingdom. You have a kingdom to advance. This is your ministry, your contribution. You are called by Jesus to be a heavenly ambassador to represent the love of God, and He has prepared good works in advance for you to do. Jesus sent out the 12 in Luke 9: “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”
- God gave you a battle to win. Your faith is a battleground, and we battle not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities of this dark world. There’s a fight in you. Just let it come to life. I hope that you recognize you’re called to it, there’s more in you, you’re not gonna sell out, you’re not gonna sit back, you will engage in the battle.
How do you, as a spiritual warrior, step into your mission pleasing your heavenly commander, and living for His purposes to glorify His name? How do you become truly victorious? Victory isn’t always what you conquer later, but is being faithful and obedient today. It’s not the moment of victory when you finally throw the stone and take the giant down. David was victorious when he showed up and served the brothers with snacks before the battle. Victory isn’t just what you conquer in the future. True victory is honoring God, being faithful, and obedient today.
Think about Jesus. The greatest warrior of all time. He wasn’t just victorious when he gave his life on the cross and God raised him from the dead. He was also victorious after he’d fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. He was victorious when he protected a broken woman from an angry mob that wanted to stone her. He was victorious when he walked into the temple and it was being misused, and he overturned the tables. Get it? Sometimes you turn a cheek, and sometimes you turn a table. Jesus was also victorious when he said, “Yet not my will, but your will be done.” Jesus hanging on the cross, taking abuse, people spitting on him, dying slowly, and he was victorious when he did not retaliate. He could’ve called down legions of angels, but instead, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, please, have mercy on them. “Forgive them, they don’t even know what they’re doing.” And Jesus was victorious when he said, “It’s finished.”
In other words, every day, every moment, Jesus was faithful and obedient. Not just in the moment where he gave his life, but in every day, ordinary days, he was faithful and obedient. And then he said, “Into your hands I commit my spirit.” And he gave his life. God raised him from the dead, and he was victorious on that day because he was faithful to his assignment that day.
What’s your battle? What’s your heavenly assignment? Someone to protect, a kingdom to advance, engage in ministry, a battle to win. What’s your battle?
Name it. Defeat it.