What is a Warrior?
Excellence is important for people of all ages who want to follow God; whether it's in studying or in sports, your decisions determine who you'll be in 5 years. Being a warrior requires aggression, a fiery heart and an enemy to attack with violence; that enemy is SIN.
What is a warrior? Implied in the word warrior is a certain amount of aggression. To be a warrior you have to be aggressive, and there has to be an enemy. It’s very difficult to be a warrior without having an enemy and without being aggressive against that enemy. The word doesn’t make any sense in a vacuum. A warrior requires a fiery heart and an enemy that you are attacking with violence.
What is the Enemy?
You have to decide what kinds of enemies are appropriate, and there are only a few enemies in the spiritual realm. Of course, you could say satan is the enemy, but that is awfully vague, don’t you think? Even though he’s not vague and he’s a real person. It’s still a little vague because it’s hard to know what you are shooting at. But if you say, “I am going to hate everything that is sin, and I’m going to hate every sin that affects people around me,” then you truly have an enemy that you can target. When you approach it that way, you’re a warrior against sin in your own life and you’re a warrior against sin in other people’s lives because you don’t want them to be victims. I don’t want them to be hurt. I care about them, so I’m not going to let them be hurt by sin. What other kind of warfare is there? What things would we be on a rampage against, except the sin in our own lives and the sin that is hurting other people? There really isn’t much else out there.
My sole reason for existing is to honor and bring great joy and pleasure to my loving Father! I want to be an obedient child and worshipper in EVERY circumstance, whether difficult or easy. And in so doing, we’ll fall in love with His Son, and be drunk on His Spirit, living in His Life, instead of our own! This being the case, my sole enemy in life is to battle the sin in my own life and the sin in other people’s lives. Why? What’s the connection? Because sin is robbing people of the Life they were Intended, and blinding them to the Father’s Love and Glory, shriveling their hearts’ ability to worship! Sin diminishes us and suffocates the flow of Life and Peace and Hope and Love for God and others. So sin, since it’s inspired and empowered by satan, is my enemy. And even the so-called little sins (such as the little white lie of Ananias and Sapphira) are DEADLY and that “leaven” must not be allowed to ruin the “batch” of our hearts. Satan is obviously behind all sin, but if I’m going to take out the stuff that he’s changing lives for the worst for, other people’s and mine, then I’m going to be on a rampage against him. I’m going to be a warrior. There’s going to be violence there and the goal of my violence is to deal with sin in my own life and to help other people be free from sin.
What are our Weapons?
So, now that we have defined our enemy, what are the weapons that we are going to attack sin with? You have to have weapons if you’re going to be a warrior. Somehow you have to do something if you are going to be a warrior. So, what kinds of weapons are available? What would you do if you were a warrior and you hated sin and what it does to you and to other people? What weapons are you going to pick up? What was Paul referring to when he said “I have weapons of righteousness in my left hand and my right”? What kinds of weapons would we have in our battle against sin’s rampaging other people’s lives or diminishing our own lives?
The Weapon of Truth
Truth is one weapon we have available. If I’m going to battle against sin, then that means I’ve got to know what sin is. I’ve got to care deeply about what sin is. “The righteous are as bold as a lion.” If I’m sinning in my own life, I’m not liable to care that much or notice that much or have enough conscience left to do anything to help anybody else. I’ve already seared my own conscience, so I’d be a hypocrite to try to help anybody else, wouldn’t I? I’ve totally immobilized myself if I’m not dealing with stuff in my own life. I don’t have any passion for anybody else’s life. I don’t care. I’m blind. I don’t have the discernment I need. I don’t have the love that I need. I don’t have the conscience that I need. I’m not seeing; I’m not feeling; and I’m not going to do anything about it. I really have to be in both arenas at the same time, dealing with sin in my own life and in the lives of others.
If I’m on a rampage against that which diminishes my life and hinders and hurts and destroys other people’s lives, then I need to understand what the Truths of God are. I need to comprehend in great detail exactly what God thinks about various things. What is the right attitude? What is the right vision? How does one who is living in Jesus carry himself? What is faith? What is unbelief?
When I see unbelief or some other sin, is it my enemy? It is if I’m a warrior. If I see unbelief in someone…if I see a depression that is not turning toward God…if I see idle chattering that seems to have an absence of Christ-centeredness in it (yak, yak, yak)…if I see emotional flip-flops…if I see an egocentric person who is just obsessed with some carnal, earthly, temporal thing (someone who is far more obsessed with reading the sport’s page or a business book and I would never catch them reading their Bible or on their knees)…if I see those things, then it matters to me. If one of my main priorities and reasons for living is to be a warrior and to vanquish the enemy’s strongholds in the lives around me, then seeing those things in my life or in other people’s lives WILL MATTER TO ME!
If ripping the enemy’s roots out of every person that I can possibly get close enough to do so with is important to me, as it was to Jesus, then I’m going to have to know exactly what the enemy is, and I’m going to have to be passionate about it. I have to be passionate about unbelief in somebody’s life. “See to it brothers that there are no unbelieving hearts in your midst.” “See to it brothers….” That is a command. And so I have to “see to it.” I have to have some comprehension of what is going on around me and then be passionate about dealing with it.
I must have a deep knowledge of Truth—what God thinks about things. I need to have passion about that which contradicts God’s Thoughts and Mind and Personality. I need to care about the overabundance of things that are inappropriate in people’s lives. I also need to really care about the absence or lack in various people’s lives. I need to have some sense of the people around me. Is there a lack of prayer in their life? Do they really pray? And if so, are they talking to themselves or are they connecting to God? I need to have some sense of that. If I’m a warrior, then the thing I want for them is fullness in Christ. “I’m in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.” I must have that sort of passion that says I have to know what God is after and I have to be passionate about those things that are inappropriate, wrong, or lacking. I have to care. I have to notice. I have to be discerning. And that requires a base of knowledge of who Jesus is, what He thinks, and what He wants. And then I have to compare or discern the things around me to that baseline of who Jesus is and what He wants for our lives. So, as you can see, we have to have Truth.
A Warrior Prays
A warrior also needs to pray. Prayer is not something you are going to do out of your own mind or out of your own determination. It’s going to have to be something that is a communion with God. It’s very arrogant to be a person who prays very little other than in public settings or over meals. It is extremely arrogant because, even though you’d never admit it, the lack of prayer means that you are not dependent on God. You are self-absorbed and you are self-satisfied. Your prayer is just external and religious and, one might add, hypocritical.
If prayer is not something that we do when nobody is watching, then there is a definite arrogance in our life because we are self-satisfied. We are self-absorbed. A person who is very dependent on God is going to feel that dependence and their eyes are going to keep turning towards Him. It’s not, “Oh, I should have a prayer time.” It is, “I feel my need so desperately—to be a warrior, to accomplish anything meaningful, to have fruit that will last rather than be burned up. I feel my neediness. I can’t do it. I can’t do it.”
I’m sure nobody reading this feels all that confident that they can do the work of God. That’s fine. That’s good. “Not many wise or noble….” That’s fine. That’s perfectly all right. But, somehow you’ve got to turn that into an understanding that God desperately wants change through you, in you, and around you. That’s our purpose as warriors. And I’m not going to mess that up. Of all the things I might mess up in life, it might be my golf game, but it isn’t going to be that.
If we are passionate about helping change lives, then we are going to absorb all the Truth we can so that we understand what it is we are looking for in our own lives and in the lives around us. And then we are going to be very desperate, very persistent, and very consistent in our prayer because what we want to be able to do we can’t do and we are sure we can’t do it. So I have no choice but to say “God, help me! Show me! Somehow, someway, do it. I don’t see how I can even participate in solving that kind of problem, but please, make it so.” Ask God to dispatch angels to the task. Ask Him to send people into the task. Ask him to send circumstances (car crashes, financial crashes, sickness, or whatever it happens to be) in order to make the point with them.
As you make yourself available to God by being passionate, by being a warrior, you will be surprised at how He can put a word in your mouth to sustain the weary, when you really didn’t have any. You didn’t plan it, you weren’t all that bright and you couldn’t duplicate it to save your life, but somehow you were there and did what you had to do. And what seemed to you to be trivial, if not stupid, coming out of your mouth, they reflect on as having changed their life. Good. “Lest any man boast.” That’s how God likes to do His stuff. : )
So obviously, prayer is an extremely important part because it makes a very strong statement to God that He gets all the Glory. We are warriors and we are passionate, but we are worthless apart from His intervention. We are not the ‘prime movers’ and all important ones in God’s Plan. We are willing servants, but we sure don’t take it upon ourselves to think that we’re going to actually change lives and tear down satan’s strongholds in people’s lives by ourselves. That is out of our league, in and of ourselves. But when we are turning in dependency toward God in constant prayer, that is a whole different issue.
Daily Admonishing—a Necessary Weapon
Then there is a third weapon: talking to others. If we are admonishing one another daily so that we aren’t hardened and deceived, what would be the opposite of being hardened and deceived? Being tender and very knowledgeable of the Truth is the opposite of that. Discerning, very tender, very soft, very touchable by God and not deceived. In other words, very aware, very perceptive, very discerning of what exactly is there—not just the illusions that surround everything.
If we are hardened and deceived, it is in part because we are not admonishing one another daily. If I really want to be tender, soft, discerning, knowledgeable of the truth, connected to God, useful to God, aware, able to violate satan’s space because I can truly see it (the opposite of hardened and deceived), then I want people to intrude in my life. I’m going to put myself in a situation where I can be admonished daily because I want that input. I’m not afraid of it. Daily admonishing and talking with one another is a third “weapon of righteousness in the left hand and the right” in order to be warriors—in order to make a difference in the world!
Be Hard on Yourself
Keep in mind that “the righteous are as bold as a lion.” For me to be running around thinking I’m going to do God’s will when I’m not even doing it in my own life is a bit of a contradiction. Therefore, I’m going to have an expectation in my own life.
If you can read more than three paragraphs out of the Scriptures without stopping and being very reflective, then shame on you because your conscience is dull. Anytime you pick up the Scriptures and read three paragraphs, it ought to stop you in your tracks to the point that you are feeling like, “God, that really isn’t me. I can see stuff there that I can’t even relate to yet. God, you’ve got to change me in this area. I don’t feel like I should feel. I don’t see what I should see. I don’t know what I should know. I can think of three or four times just in the last couple of days where I was too impatient, where I responded to something dumb by overreacting. God, I don’t want to be that way.”
If we are not hard on ourselves, we are not going to be soft and discerning enough to be of any use to anybody else either. You are going to tend to come across, at best, as legalistic and harsh and animated by your own self-righteousness to manipulate other people. That is about the best that you could ever come across as—unless you are dealing with yourself.
So, somehow, the call is to have integrity inside of our own heart, and to call the young ones and others in our lives to look within and deal with that stuff when nobody’s eyes are on them. Their ability and willingness to do that allows them to be clean vessels and allows them to be more useful in being warriors outside of themselves. When I say we need to be hard on ourselves, I don’t mean hard on ourselves as in morose, downtrodden and berating ourselves with condemnation. I don’t mean anything like that, but I do mean that somehow we are so sensitive that we are willing to read the smallest paragraph or see the slightest situation around us and take it to heart personally. And in doing that and helping others to do that too, we become sensitive.
Do you want to honor and bring joy and pleasure to Father? Do you want yourself and those around you to be worshippers in EVERY circumstance? Well, it is sin that is robbing people of their Life with Father! Do you see the connection? Be a Warrior!