“The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”
How is it that God is a warrior? Who is He at war against? Yes, Satan. But is Satan’s strength and power any match for God’s? Does God have to struggle to overcome Satan? No, the Lord could thump him out of existence with one finger – or a single word.
So why is He at war?
We need to understand what the war is over, and what victory looks like. The battle is over the hearts of men. Satan seeks to kill, steal, and destroy. He wants to bring destruction, imprisonment, and death. God is fighting for our life, growth, and freedom.
Satan uses the weapons of domination, manipulation, deception, and fear.
God’s weapons are the exact opposite.
God certainly has the sheer physical and spiritual might to destroy all of His enemies in an instant – He just chooses to limit His use of that power because it is not consistent with His goals.
His goal is a love relationship with each person on earth, and to create the atmosphere for that love to grow in. He wants to prove that light displaces darkness, life overcomes death, mercy triumphs over judgement, truth exposes the lies, the fruit of righteousness is more desirable than that of evil, and that love is more powerful than hate. These goals cannot be achieved with the weapons and tactics that we normally equate with strength and power.
Picture this: you’re standing in front of the City Coliseum before the big fight, and the marques is lit up with the words: “Rambo vs Mother Teresa”. Now, who do you think would win that confrontation? Doesn’t the answer depend on how you define ‘victory’? How many people do you think would enjoy seeing Rambo beat the pulp out of Mother Teresa? Who would call that a victory? What would a win look like?
That’s a ridiculous hypothetical, but consider a real example from history: Gandhi vs the British Empire. Gandhi won precisely because he did not use the weapons of those in political power – weapons of force. His weapons and tactics were a total mis-match for his opponent, and yet he triumphed over a dominant world power.
Our God is a warrior, and we are living in a world at war. The battle is the Lord’s (1Samuel 17:47), but we are involved and play an essential role.
In the coming days it will be a temptation for Christians to fight fire with fire: to seek influence and power – both physical and political. Some among us are called to the battle in the political arena, but we must not attempt to use the weapons of our opponents. Any time I pick up a weapon of force, violence, manipulation, control, etc, I am picking up one of Satan’s weapons. And in spite of what my stated goals and purposes may be, I am fighting on his side when I use his methods. It was the mistake of the Crusades, and of the Apostle Peter when Jesus responded to him with: “Get behind Me, Satan!” (Matthew 16:23)
Yes, we must take our places in the battle, but a Godly result is not possible when using the wrong weapons or tactics.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.”
2 Corinthians 10:4
Honeybee on a Fall Aster blossom.