Monday, March 21, 2005

Lesson 5: The Battle

Lesson 5: The Battle

“The Lord is a warrior;
The Lord is His Name.”
- Exodus 15

How many men do you know could handle themselves in a fight - physically AND spiritually? This is the essence of John’s message. In today’s Christian culture, we and our boys, are not taught to be warriors; we’re taught to be ‘nice’. Our culture has come to expect us to be ‘nice’. And if we aren’t, then we’re shamed. Now let me be clear – I’m not talking about being a gentlemen or chivalrous. I’m speaking of being nice in everything we do. As John quoted Philip Yancey, “No one would crucify Mister Rogers or Captain Kangaroo.”

Men are wired for battle. Show me a godly major character, in the Bible, who didn’t fight.
Adam – fought against the hardships of becoming flesh: Exodus 3:17
Moses – fought against doubt that he could lead the Jews out of Egypt
David – fought against the Philistines and his own desires
Jesus – fought against Satan and hard-hearted, hard-headed Pharisees. He fought death.

Interesting that the Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, and Luke each quoted Jesus yelling at the Pharisees. He didn’t kindly call them hypocrites. Oh no. He yelled at them – screamed at them. In the video, Bart points out that Jesus knew his audience. The lepers, He touched them with his hands and words. To the adulteress, he defended and to the foolish Pharisees, well, let’s just say He ripped their souls in two.

Is this the Jesus we’ve been taught throughout our Christian lives? I wonder how many Christian teenage boys were taught, this past Palm Sunday, that Jesus tore up the Temple after his triumphal entrance in Jerusalem? Better yet, look at remainder of Matthew 21. Jesus is fighting battle after battle - the battle against cynics, doubters, and hard hearts. In Matthew 21:18, Jesus purposely withers a fig tree that doesn’t bear fruit. The disciples are “amazed”! Why? They had seen Jesus heal and restore, but never condemn a living being. Sure, He defeated evil spirits, but not a living, visible being. The tree did not serve a purpose. Ouch!

Physical and spiritual battles. Have you got what it takes to fight the good fight? Is there a battle in your life where you need to take up the sword?

Matthew 21: 21 – 22:
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Our next journey will take us to, The Adventure. We love adventure! Please read those chapters in your WAH book and answer the Field Manual questions.


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