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The Warrior - A Devotion

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Romans 8:31-37 (NLT)
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

I am watching the life of a warrior before my eyes each day. As our son moves from victory to victory in his battle against cancer, I see God’s Hand holding him. It is obvious. He does not fear a disease that taunts him with each relapse and recurrence. As poison is pumped through his veins, he laughs and jokes about death. Late in the night as the second bag of deadly chemotherapy drugs are flowing into him with each soft click of the infuser, I am on my way out to refill his water when he stops me and says, “At my funeral, I want snacks, games and a real party!” My heart immediately melts to the floor. Is he thinking that death is an option? No, he is chatting with some friends online about what kind of funeral they want one day but it has nothing to do with him or his current situation. It is then that I see he is still far removed from death as an option and I am relieved. Warriors are not afraid to die for what they believe in and consider it an honor just to be in the fight. I know because I have not one warrior in my family but two.

Our eldest son chose to enlist in the US Armed Forces in the middle of his junior year of high school. He attended boot camp the summer of his senior year. His entire attitude changed with purpose. He found his calling. He is a warrior who will willingly lay down his life for his country and every one in it. He is not afraid to die but welcomes the opportunity to fight for what he believes in. The only difference is one chose to fight and the other has no choice. But in the end what I have discovered is that we are all warriors in the Kingdom of God. Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us.

Colossians 2:13-15 (NLT)
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

Jesus Christ handed you victory on the Cross. He disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities (satan and all his cronies) so all you can do is win. Just because they have lost their weapons does not mean that they will give up – but you have the power and authority to win every battle you engage in if the battle is the Lord’s. The problem is we do not know who the enemy is in this world filled with distractions. Dissatisfaction causes agitation that causes us to lash out at everybody rather than staying focused on our objection and living victory to victory as instructed. Just because they are disarmed doesn’t mean that the demons of hell will not make mischief or wreak havoc in our life, but we have been empowered to end such struggles and walk in victory. Trouble is we use all of our energy in wasteful wars and wanderings. Sin is stole our life from us, the one that God intended. He has a plan with a future and hope for every single person who He created. (Jeremiah 29:11) If we seek Him wholeheartedly, we can have that hope that seems so elusive because He hands us the victory time and time again. Victory in the life of the believer is a done deal. But do you believe?

I John 5:4-5 (NLT)
For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

Warriors believe in the cause. Do you believe? There are many so-called Christians who do not believe. They call on the Name of Jesus Christ seeking a Savior but never go so far as to make Him the Lord of their life. You cannot cut the character or divine identity of the Trinity. You are not handed a menu and asked what qualities and characteristics of God you desire, no more than a new mother gets to pick the traits of her unborn child. God is a total package. He is Father, Son and Spirit. It is all or nothing which means if you accept God but reject Jesus you have nothing. If you want Jesus but refuse to remain in the Righteousness of God by His Grace – you lose. You cannot ignore the Holy Spirit and expect to get anywhere in the race of faith and war against the flesh because you have rejected the empowerment of God through Jesus Christ to live in His Service. Every Child of God defeat this evil world. They achieve victory through growing faith in Jesus Christ that establishes confident hope that it is worth the fight!

Deuteronomy 9:1-3 (NLT)
“Listen, O Israel! Today you are about to cross the Jordan River to take over the land belonging to nations much greater and more powerful than you. They live in cities with walls that reach to the sky! The people are strong and tall—descendants of the famous Anakite giants. You’ve heard the saying, ‘Who can stand up to the Anakites?’ But recognize today that the LORD your God is the one who will cross over ahead of you like a devouring fire to destroy them. He will subdue them so that you will quickly conquer them and drive them out, just as the LORD has promised.”

Jesus Christ overcame the world. But the enemy still wants to steal, kill and destroy us. There would be no victory if there was no war. You would never look for faith, learn to believe, or build confident hope if you did not face struggles. Who wakes up hoping for adversity? Who expects to wait so gets prepared? Who says I hope I encounter a situation that builds my character? No one. We all like carefully constructed comfort zones. And whoever told Christians that the fight ends at the Cross is a liar. Let me say that again. WHOEVER TOLD CHRISTIANS THAT THE FIGHT ENDS AT THE CROSS IS A LIAR. Victory begins at the Cross but you must still fight to have it and maintain it. But the Word of God says the battle is the Lord’s. (I Samuel 17:47) Yeah well I hate to burst your bubble but why would we need God’s Armor if there wasn’t going to be a fight. (Ephesians 6:10-12) We are claiming victory and those who lost are sore losers. They will not just hand it over. You will need to go in the Name of the Lord and exercise His Power and Authority to attain all the promises and blessing hoarded by the enemy. The good news is that Jesus Christ walked straight into hell snatched keys to death and the grave from Satan himself and walked out of the tomb handing us the Keys to His Kingdom including all the power and authority which now belongs solely to Him. We come in His Name and take what belongs to Him. This is the power that is given to us. The Holy Spirit is the emblem we wear on our heart that marks us as a Child of God and gives us the right to walk into the enemy’s camp and take back what the devil has stolen from us. But only the confident will be victorious in this endeavor the rest will be too busy running and hiding from the giants in the land. The most dangerous warrior is the one who is not afraid to die.

2 Samuel 22:31-36 (NLT)
“God’s way is perfect. All the LORD’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. For who is God except the LORD? Who but our God is a solid rock? God is my strong fortress, and he makes my way perfect. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow. You have given me your shield of victory; your help has made me great.”

In 2 Samuel 22, we see the picture of a warrior unfold. For those of you thinking, I am a lover not a fighter – I am pretty sure that’s what David thought at one time too. Sitting in the field tending the sheep strumming on a little harp writing Psalms, please understand this image is from my own recollection not the Word of God but you get the picture. When Saul came to anoint the next king, his father did not even bother to call him in from the field. The visit of a prophet to one’s home was a big deal but David was forgotten until he ran out of sons. He wasn’t his family’s first pick or the prophet’s either but David was God’s Man and the one who was after God’s Own Heart so the Lord picked David to be victorious. He became a warrior in every sense of the word. So it is in his writing that the image of a warrior unfolds. It begins with a covenant. (Verses 26-28) David made a commitment to the Lord. The Lord honored his commitment and anointed David the next king of Israel. To be a warrior in the Kingdom of God requires a covenant relationship with God. All that I am for all that you are. Nothing less will do or you will never be committed to the fight of faith or rely on confident hope. You will run from every fight even the one for your flesh. To be in the Lord’s Army requires surrender. You can never step into righteousness outside of faith in Jesus Christ. To each believer, He gives the Holy Spirit who is the Power of God invested in man. But the Holy Spirit cannot live at war with our flesh or nothing is accomplished. We must surrender our life to God. (Verse 29-31) Just as an American soldier commits his life to service for His Country, we as believers commit our life to service for God. In that moment, the world is no longer our home. We become residents of the Kingdom of God and must learn to live daily in His Presence. (Verse 32-33) Where else would we get marching orders each day? Who would tell us our next objective or mission? We are walking His Way now so we will need direction. We will make mistakes so we need His Mercy. We must maintain right-standing with the One True God and that will requires grace, grace and more grace. But with such a commitment comes this promise, you will live from victory to victory. Yes, you must train your body. You will have to discipline your flesh. But God works from the inside out to make you a warrior in His Kingdom. (Verse 34-37) It is a process and not an overnight change. You move from glory to glory as your life begins to resemble God’s Goodness and manifest His Greatness covered in His Grace and Mercy and lifted by His Overflowing and Unfailing Love. You must never give up! (Verse 38) You are a warrior even if in the early training stages – but God is faithful to complete the good work that He has begun in each of us. (Philippians 1:6) His Word never returns void. (Isaiah 55:11) His Word for you is “victory” and it is definitely worth fighting for!

Psalm 118:15-17 (NLT)
Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things! The strong right arm of the LORD is raised in triumph. The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things! I will not die; instead, I will live to tell what the LORD has done.

How do I know that I will be victorious? How do I know that I will always win? You will have victory over everything that God hates. Marinate and let that simmer for a moment. When we align our heart with Jesus Christ we begin to hate what He hates and love what He loves. Our thoughts and desires line up with the Kingdom of God. We war against anything that would come against His Kingdom if we live in right-standing in His Kingdom. Those who live in the middle of the road, gray areas or on the fence will not have victory because they have not picked a side. There is no allegiance so you are not in the fight. We do not win the battle or experience victory as a result of anything that we do or do not do. Victory has been established when Jesus overcame the world. All that we do as believers is go into the enemy’s camp and claim the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ. You better not try to do that without the Power of God on your side or you will be taken captive. The Grace of God given through Jesus Christ allows us to live in victory, experience it’s joy and claim the reward. It has nothing to do with us, who we were in the past or what we did. Our victory is solely because of Jesus Christ so we cannot mess it up as long as we remain faithful to the Lord. In such cases, your victory is inevitable thanks to God’s Justice which is systematically putting His Enemies under His Feet as a footstool. (Hebrews 10:12-13) This should change your perspective of the battle you are fighting instantly to realize you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. “Though hostile nations surrounded me, I destroyed them all with the authority of the LORD. Yes, they surrounded and attacked me, but I destroyed them all with the authority of the LORD. They swarmed around me like bees; they blazed against me like a crackling fire. But I destroyed them all with the authority of the LORD. My enemies did their best to kill me, but the LORD rescued me. The LORD is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.” (Psalm 118:10-14)

Psalm 98:1-6 (NLT)
Sing a new song to the LORD, for he has done wonderful deeds. His right hand has won a mighty victory; his holy arm has shown his saving power! The LORD has announced his victory and has revealed his righteousness to every nation! He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel. The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God. Shout to the LORD, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy! Sing your praise to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and melodious song, with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn. Make a joyful symphony before the LORD, the King!

If God’s People do not learn to celebrate victory on a regular basis, we will live in defeat. I have learned this valuable lesson over the last three years vividly. If I had waited for cancer to be completely gone and our son’s heal fully restored to celebrate the Goodness and Grace of God in this process. I would be discouraged. I would be distracted. I would be dissuaded. Those who do not celebrate victory live in defeat. Learn to live in victory by celebrating even the smallest ones like making it through the day without losing it or finding an open lane at the grocery store without having to wait in line. There are many warriors who are prisoners of war in their own disappointment and despair in self-imposed cells. Break free from your pity party and celebrate victory in Jesus Christ today! In this moment, in this hour, in this day, month, year and season of your life. Don’t wait for the end of the battle because you are fighting for faith. It is a lifetime endeavor from here to eternity.

Psalm 62:1-2 (NLT)
I wait quietly before God for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.

You have are warrior for the Kingdom of God. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal. We do not fight like the world does but we win every time. When we face our fears and opposition with the Power of God in the Name of Jesus Christ believing that we always have the victory – it is then that we live victory to victory. It is not easy but His Grace is sufficient. We must use godly wisdom to pick and choose our battles not wasting precious time and energy on things already resolved – we find the answers we need in His Word, by His Spirit and by living in constant communication with the one who secured our victory – Jesus Christ. The only way we lose this battle is to forfeit our faith. (Psalm 118:10-17) The enemy is good at rattling our cages hoping to flush us out of the Presence of God. As long as our faith is secure and we remain unshakable and uncompromisingly righteous in confident hope, He can never take our victory from us. We are warriors. We have nothing to lose. We have everything to gain.

Psalm 20:4-5 (NLT)
May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God. May the LORD answer all your prayers.

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