Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Greatest Warrior

The Colonel has embarked on myriad journeys over the course of his ride 'round ol' Sol.  

Many took him by routes carefully planned to destinations fully expected. 

Some took him physically to new climes and places.

Other journeys required the Colonel to climb new mental heights.

The latter were always the most challenging journeys, given the Colonel's dearth of usable grey matter.

The Colonel's latest journey -- one of the heart -- may be the most difficult yet.

When one takes a spiritual road trip, the heart is where the rubber meets the road; and the Colonel's heart is dry-rotted, deflated, and inelastic.

It's going to take some supernatural strength to stretch the Colonel's heart back into large enough shape to provide room for more than just the Colonel's concerns.

It's also going to take a fierce warrior to drive out the demons of destructive desire filling every nook and cranny.  

Luckily for him, the Colonel serves a Savior God who has authority over EVERYTHING, with the infinite power of creation at His command.

For over a year, now, the Colonel has been praying intentionally and specifically for spiritual revival in his church and nation.  As his prayers have become more and more fervent, the Colonel's own sins and shortcomings have become more and more manifest. 

It has become painfully clear, and please don't take this as a lack of humility, that any revival must begin in the Colonel's heart first.  The Colonel is now convinced beyond a reverse-slope defense of doubt in his military mind that the spiritual revival of his church and nation is entirely dependent on the condition of the Colonel's heart.

Not the condition of your heart.

Not the condition of any political leader's heart.

Not the condition of any one's heart, but the Colonel's.

Further, the Colonel has been convicted of late that his spiritual revival (and, subsequently, yours) will not happen until he sees God for who He really is.

The Colonel has always had a healthy respect for Jehovah God, and a personal relationship with Jehovah God through Jesus God (Jesus is the Christ -- the Messiah -- but Christ is not Jesus' last name).  But lately, the Colonel is beginning to see Jesus God in a whole new light.  

And, this newly understood Jesus ain't your Grandmother's Jesus.

Jesus is first and foremost, a warrior.

Jesus is the "man" who appears to Joshua prior to the Battle of Jericho (Joshua, Chapter 5).   

13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”

14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”

15 The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

How do we know this is Jesus?

Well, He identifies himself as "commander of the army of the Lord."  That's Jesus.  John tells us it's so in Revelations 19: 14.

11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice He judges and wages war.

12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on Him that no one knows but He Himself.

13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God.

14 The armies of heaven were following Him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.

15 Coming out of His mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. [The Psalmist prophecies (Psalms 2:9)] “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”  He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.

16 On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written: King of kings and Lord of lords.

How else can we know that this is Jesus and not just some angel appearing to Joshua?

Look back at Joshua 5: 14.  Joshua falls on his face in reverence.  Any other time an angel has appeared to men, the angel has refused to accept worship. 

Not this time. 

In fact, the "man" appearing before Joshua uses language with which Jehovah God addressed Moses from the burning bush: 

"Remove your sandals.  You are standing on holy ground.

Commander of the army of the Lord. 

Accepting worship.

That's Jesus.  

Jesus, God's only Son, the commander of the army of the Lord, humbled himself to be the once and for all sacrificial lamb, whose blood covers the sin of the world.

Now get this.  Jesus was, and is, no pacifist.  He was, and is, the greatest Warrior.  He humbled himself  -- from commander of the army of the Lord...

... to crucified Christ.

No one took His life.

He gave it.

Then, he whipped death in mortal combat.

Don't know about you, but the Colonel is looking forward to his ringside seat at Armageddon.  Hope to see you there.

On the Colonel's side of the ring, of course.   
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