The Heart of a WarriorAug 12, 2021
Most of us live pretty cushy lives compared to our forebears. Relatively speaking we are pretty wimpy.
When was the last time your life was threatened in the pursuit of your daily bread? Or your shelter and family was under attack by someone trying to kill you to take your food and land?
Many of us have not seen real combat, nor even been in a fistfight. Our idea of soldiering is related to the gym or business accomplishment.
So how do understand our roles as protector, priest, defender in this age? Why do we need armor? What is our fight? What is St. Paul talking about using soldier language?
Men need a challenge, we have a desire to prove ourselves, to establish our capabilities, but our culture has lost initiation rituals; so how do I prove myself as a man?
Below are some thoughts about a primary headship challenge that all men, especially fathers face, but many are not fully aware of.
Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women, there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
And what does that mean?
1. Spiritual Warfare-Unseen Warriors
This is a longish story but worth reading. Spiritual warfare is real.
Daniel 10:1-21 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had an understanding of the vision. In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
(The warfare of asceticism)
And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel; then I lifted my eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: his body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.
(The fruit of the ascetic discipline)
And I Daniel alone saw the vision (literally: saw the seeing) for the men that were with me saw not the vision, but a great quaking fell upon them so that they fled to hide. Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face and my face toward the ground.
And, behold, a hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and the palms of my hands. And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
(A re-orientation is occurring and a mission, clarification)
Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. Dan 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
(Now we understand that this was a member of the heavenly host, that there is celestial combat going on, a rebellious spiritual being is in combat with the Archangel Michael.)
And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.
(A common response to a heavenly vision is full prostration, the face toward/on the ground)
And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is their breath left in me.
(This is similar to the vision of Isaiah in Is. 6)
Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, and said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.
Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.
(Nations/regions/cities have spiritual powers over them)
Here is another passage to consider, these are essential passages to bring into our hearts for future combat.
2 Kings 6:8-23 Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp. And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down. And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice. Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel?
And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber. And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan. Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night and compassed the city about.
And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, a host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
(The prophet, the man of God, sees the people surrounded by an army that is vast, far outnumbering them)
And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
(A spiritual army is revealed)
And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria.
And it came to pass when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. And the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. And the king of Israel said unto Elisha when he saw them, My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them?
And he answered Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master. And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.
(There is more to spiritual combat than ourselves, our temptations. There are spiritual forces also that we should be aware of and side with)
Job 1:1-5 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. His substance also was seven thousand sheep and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.
And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
(The patriarch, the father, sanctified his family and offered sacrifice in case his family members sinned)
This is a protective-redemptive act of intercession for the family, progeny; another form of warfare.
The Man of God and Waging War
My brothers, on the previous pages you have three examples of the type of war we are to wage as men of God, heads of our households. Here are some New Covenant references.
2 Cor. 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
1 Tim. 1:18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightiest war a good warfare;
1 Tim. 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
2 Tim. 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Eph. 6:12: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
(Principalities, Powers, Dominions, etc., are spiritual powers in the Kingdom of God that are part of the celestial order that co-reign with God and carries out His dominion. They have counterparts who rebel against God and are demons, evil)
Rom. 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Eph. 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Col. 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col. 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Tit. 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, obey magistrates, and be ready for every good work.
Due to the Rebellion, there are currently those ranks of celestial beings who joined the ranks of the rebellious ones; as well as those who remain true and only obey the God who created them.
So, good angels, evil angels (demons); good principalities, evil ones. Good powers, evil powers.
There are 9 ranks of these beings in God’s army, angels being one rank. The names refer to duties, what they do.
So cherubim, seraphim, etc. all have celestial duties as part of the Rule and Dominion of God; as do their evil counterparts in their services to the Evil One. This understanding has a huge impact on our place in the war.
Men of God work at becoming aware that these forces are part of our armor, the armor of God, that we use in OUR co-reign with God, obeying Him we re-enforce and establish, and extend His Rule and Reign; we magnify God.
We must remember the existence and the presence of these invisible (most of the time to most people) forces for good and evil.
We realize that we have been appointed a Guardian Angel, the Saints are all around us;
Heb 12:1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Who are these witnesses? The list of saints is written in Hebrews 11, for starters; and all the holy ones who were well-pleasing to Him in every generation. The imagery here reminds one of the Roman Coliseum.
There are varying levels of faith; even a small amount will suffice. What separates us is Faithfulness to our God. The rebelling ones are faithful in their obedience to the rebellion and the Evil One. We must remain faithful to our Loving Creator and carry out his commands in the battle of our lives and for souls. To be faithful is to obey and be true to the calling of the Sons of God. Our combat against the rebellion is our faithfulness.
The darkness of our age is not an indication of how the war goes, only a battle. We must be faithful through the dark, waiting for the dawning of The New Day, The Eighth Day when our commander will bring the final victory.
When we pray for our families, the heads of households interceding for them as Job did, we are entering into Spiritual Combat for their souls. When we fast, pray, and give alms we strike a blow against the rebellion. When we cross ourselves and call on the Name, we burn the enemy.
We know the Saints, Celestial Beings, and all The Church are joining with us when we do this.
We are never alone in this sometimes-trying life. We are praying this way following the express will of God and for His Glory.
So, what is the violence that is spoken of by St. Matthew?
Maybe it is the violence we need to defeat our own will, overcome our passions, wrestle against vainglory, just get up and pray, not eat that, and not indulge myself. This takes internal violence.
We cannot stop, we cannot grow weary. We have all we need. If (better, when) God is with us we cannot fail. He cannot fail, we cannot give up!
Fr Stephen Lourie
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