How the Lord Uses His Warriors to Bring Victory

11.29.20 Nathaniel Wall

  1. Five Reasons Success is Spelled Surrender
    12.06.20 41m 54s
  2. How the Lord Uses His Warriors to Bring Victory
    11.29.20 41m 30s
  3. Finding Self Control
    11.22.20 39m 17s
  4. Rising From Our Greatest Failures (part 3)
    11.15.20 37m 05s
  5. Rising From Our Failures (part 2)
    11.08.20 41m 48s
  6. Rising From Our Greatest Failures
    11.01.20 36m 44s
  7. Fighting Loneliness
    10.25.20 31m 39s
  8. Great Grace
    10.18.20 30m 49s
  9. How to Become a Better Dancer
    10.11.20 34m 56s
  10. Life-changing Mercy and Forgiveness
    10.04.20 38m 46s
  11. The Wilderness
    09.27.20 35m 13s
  12. Why Friendships Matters
    09.20.20 39m 17s
  13. Escaping Envy’s Destruction
    09.13.20 33m 30s
  14. Courageous Faith in Adversity
    08.30.20 38m 54s
  15. How to Build a Godly Future
    08.23.20 39m 10s
  16. Learning From Failure
    08.16.20 43m 20s
  17. Transformed in Struggle
    08.09.20 41m 01s

How the Lord Uses His Warriors to Bring Victory

11.29.20 Nathaniel Wall Pursuing God's Heart Series

I want to jump into 2 Samuel, and I want you to know that the title of today in 2 Samuel 23, the Lord uses warriors to bring victory. The Lord uses warriors to bring victory, and one of the things I just loved in jumping into this text, this is an interesting text. As I got ready for this, Coronavirus has been a really weird time to be a pastor. When I went to Bible College, they didn’t put this in any of the classes. This is the year not for schedules, but the year for pivot leadership, which is like you make a plan and then five minutes later you pivot off that because a new mandate or the virus spreads, or I don’t know. You’re doing a building project in the middle, why not just make it crazy?

Just do a building project and all this, and it’s been an interesting time of year where you look at the church you think, “Okay, God what are metrics to measure how we’re doing in this? How are we healthy? Are we healthy? Where are we going?” I read some Doomsday articles this week in a Christian magazine that talked about by 2021, 20% of churches in America will close, and a lot of churches are suffering financially and just not being able to make it through the season, and in trying to figure out where our churches and how we’re healthy. When I read those articles I thought, “Man.”

It made me thankful because it said to me God has created ABC with some grit, and what I mean is our giving has not suffered during this time period, which has been wonderful to not have that stress on there, and I know our numbers aren’t back to where they were when this virus started as far as attendance goes, but one of the things I’m so thankful is that we’re still seeing new people come to church, and we’re still reaching our community. This hasn’t stopped us from doing that. Even this past Tuesday, being able to hand out food to our community and just loving on people, and watching the church pray for people, and seeing some familiar faces come through the door now each week, and being able to be the hands and feet of Christ to them.

It doesn’t stop us, and that’s an incredible thing to be a part of. In a valley like this to make a difference and knowing there’s some challenges, but still trying to figure out solutions for the glory of God to the benefit of people here in our area. It’s a wonderful thing to be a part of. So when you start a sermon series saying or a lesson today saying the Lord uses warriors and the Lord brings victory, it’s a great thing to say in an affirmational a way towards our church. I don’t have to get into this text and say, “Hey, let’s guilt ourselves to be this, because this is what Jesus used.” I don’t think guilt works anyway, but I love that we’re coming to a text like this looking at a church body that loves Jesus, and wants to make a difference for Jesus.

And so 2 Samuel 23, let me read this portion of the text. This section of scripture is actually a reflection passage of the Bible, meaning it records first in the very first few verses of chapter 23, the last things David says before he dies, and then it goes on after this, and it’s starts to reflect back on David’s life, and that’s where you find in chapter 23. This isn’t in a sequential order. I think when you read the Samuels you’ll see a story unfold really in a sequential order, but when you get to chapter 23, David’s life’s sort of been written, and now they’re reflecting back on some things that made David’s life great, and when you get to verse 13, that’s where I’m going to pick up, and it starts to talk about the idea of warrior in Scripture.

So two points I want to make today, the Lord uses warriors and the Lord brings victory. Verse 13, look at this. “Then three of the 30 chief men went down and came to David at harvest time, to the cave of Adullam.” By the way, you can YouTube that later if you want to just take a tour of the Cave of Adullam. While the army of the Philistines was camping in the Valley Rephaim or Rephaims. David was then in the stronghold with the Garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem, and David had a craving and said, “Oh, that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate.”

So the three mighty men forced their way into the camp of the Philistines, and drew water from the well of Bethlehem, which was by the gate and carried it, and brought it to David. Yet, he would not drink, but poured it as an offering to the Lord and said, “Far be it for me, Lord, that I would do this. Should I drink the blood of the men who went out at the risk of their lives?” So he would not drink it. These these things, the three mighty men did. You see in this text very plainly the Lord is using Warriors for a particular reason, and ultimately, he does bring victory, and I’ll share about that a little bit, but the Lord certainly uses warriors.

Now, when you come to a text like this here’s the challenge, and I want to hit it strong for us, but when you look at a text like this, I think passages like this in the Bible are a reason some people don’t like to read the Bible. What I mean is there is warrior. There is warfare. There is bloodshed, and what do you do with that? These guys went into battle for just some water, and they’re likely killing people along the way. How do you handle a text like that? Well, if I just gave us a little bit of explanation to understand this passage of scripture, I’ll dive a little further to help us think through passages like this in scripture, but it starts off with the mighty men.

At least three of these might men, and the might men were a group of men that surrounded David. David had a little over three dozen of these mighty men. In fact, the last verse of Chapter 23 says, “David had 37 of them.” He had these might men, and these mighty men came around David, if you remember, during the time King Saul pursued David’s life. King Saul wanted to kill David, and one of the things that helped spare David’s life was that God surrounded him with these mighty men, these mighty warriors that protected David during this time period where Saul wanted to kill him.

Shortly after King Saul dies, David takes the throne, and these mighty men are still with him. The Philistines perceived David’s rise to king as a threat. They saw Saul’s kingdom, and they think to themselves, “David has this momentum and we don’t want him early on in his reign as a king to gain that momentum and expand his kingdom.” So what the Philistines do is they cut through the heart of Israel. They go right down the middle of Israel, and they want to divide Israel so that David’s kingdom is weakened.

They want to prevent David from expanding, so the Philistines go right into the heart of Israel, and they come into Bethlehem, which is just a few miles out of Jerusalem, and what happens to David is right after he becomes king is David now has to flee to the cave in which he hid in during the time that Saul pursued him for his life, the Cave of Adullam. So now, David is hiding and as he’s hiding, he gets this thirst for this water in Bethlehem, and three of his mighty men hear David’s desire, this craving it says in the scripture, and they sneak out, and the reason we know they likely sneak out is based on David’s response in verse 17. He refuses to drink it. David’s not going around and saying, “I need some guys to go do this.”

David just makes the statement. Three of the men hear it, and they slip out, and when they get to Bethlehem, they would have had to ascend up a hill, and they fight this battle up hill around this garrison just three of them. They come back, and I can imagine the moment. They come back with this water and they just slam it down before David, and they beat their chest, and they’re like, “I am man!” Right? They’re like, “We did this!” You can imagine the rest of the guys around them. They were seeing these Philistines take over Bethlehem, and they maybe had some fear in their mind over whether or not they could handle this battle, but when they see three guys doing this, they know that they can take them. Right?

This really becomes a turning point for the battle where they think it’s just a matter of time before all of us just go up, and we reclaim victory, and David goes back to Jerusalem. This action turns this moment around. None the less, there’s a battle. There’s war. There’s bloodshed. You just can’t cut out the battles in the Bible and ignore them. Right? I know some people do this. They like to say, “Well, there’s the God of the Old Testament, and then there’s the God of the New Testament, and I don’t like the God of the Old Testament. I like following the God of the New Testament.” Right? Because he’s all about love, but here’s the problem with that guys. It’s the same God. Right?

It’s just a way of just getting around the more difficult way of addressing what’s happening in this passage of scripture, but in this context, let me just show you one of the things that helps us understand why these men are even going to the battle. Why do they even raise a sword against the Philistines? Why don’t they just say, “These guys are really passionate about Bethlehem. Let’s just give them Bethlehem. Always play nice. Everyone needs their space. You have your space. We have our space.” Why didn’t they just do that, right? Well, it tells you in verse 13, at the very beginning of verse 13. It tells you that the three men went down and came to David at harvest time.

When the Philistines are going into Bethlehem, they’re being very intentional as to the time period of the year into which they’re going into Bethlehem. Not only are they trying to weaken David’s kingdom or maybe even stop David’s kingdom, they’re doing it at a time where it’s going to not just kill the people they fight in battle. It’s going to starve Israel. They’re going into this land, and they’re stealing all the food. Now, what are you to do in a moment like that? Do you realize if you don’t do something immediately, that the lasting consequences of this are going to have an effect on all of your friends and family. So you see, David’s intentions here in going into this battle this is not just a blood thirsty leader.

This is for the protection of his own people, which I think David as king has a right to do. So he goes in during this harvest time, but when you deal with battle in scripture, this is not something that you can just sweep under the rug. In Exodus Chapter 15:3, it says to us very clearly, “The Lord is a warrior.” Or another common phrase that’s used in the Bible Isaiah 13 it says here, but it’s used multiple times in scripture. He’s referred to as the Lord of hosts. In fact, the first time this phrase Lord of hosts is used I believe it’s in I Samuel Chapter One, I think it’s versus three. The Lord of hosts is a Hebrew way of saying, “A king dressed in his battle armor prepared to make war.”

It even goes on and says, to create that illustration, it says, “The Lord of hosts is mobilizing an army.” God makes war. Against what? Against sin. To sort of unite the idea of God being a warrior in the Old Testament to the New Testament, even Revelation paints that picture of Jesus. It says in Revelation 19, “I saw Heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it called Faithful and True, and in Righteousness he judges and wages war.” That’s God. Even in the New Testament, for you it uses an illustration in the book of Ephesians in Chapter Six. Put on the whole armor of God so you’ll be able to stand firm against the schemes of the Devil. A war illustration towards the Christian life, how do you deal with that?

I think sometimes people tend to go to extremes in response to this, and I don’t want to go to extreme in response to this. I want to find a healthy answer, but if you think in extremes of response to this, I could say there’s been plenty of people in life who have gone into battle wrongfully claiming God was on their side. You can just think of that in the immediate future or excuse me, the immediate past. If you just go to New York City where the towers used to stand, claimed in the name of God, right? That’s extreme. Or you have other people that respond in a different way.

They have such a distaste for the kind of military abuse that’s portrayed of God that they reject God altogether and say, “You know what? There is no God, therefore, there is no ultimate moral value to life. It’s sort of might makes right, and so a group of people determine what’s right or wrong because there’s no ultimate figure for which we have truth, and ultimate morality, and, therefore, we are the morality of life.” That was the lie in the Garden of Eden. Right? You eat of the fruit, and in that moment you tell God what’s right from wrong. God no longer tells you from right or wrong. Men have been doing it ever since.

We’ve just become more sophisticated. What does that do for places like Auschwitz? Are we really becoming better people? If there is no more right or wrong, how could you even possibly respond to atrocities like that? Because there is no morality to gauge it you. Might makes right. Countries should be sovereign. They should do what they want. That’s not really a healthy answer, either. How can we walk with a healthy answer to make sure we’re following God in a healthy way, and understanding the battles that God truly calls us to? If we aren’t careful, we attack the very people God wants us to rescue. Right? Or ignore the cries of the very people we’re supposed to save, like the Towers or Auschwitz.

I don’t want to ignore the cries or the pain of people by being a coward. I don’t want to become a warrior claiming God’s on my side when he’s not, and destroy things that God wants me to be a part of his rescue plan. So what is your battle? In the Old Testament, God did work through a physical group of people calling a physical army. You ever wonder why you have the armies in the Old Testament, but you don’t see God calling people in the New Testament to his army? In fact, Jesus says in John 18:36 if… He says, “If my kingdom were of this world, I would tell my people to fight, but my kingdom is not of this realm or not of this world.”

Meaning he does have a kingdom, but he doesn’t build an army in the New Testament. In the Old Testament you see that picture. In the New Testament you don’t. Why not? I think in the Old Testament God was very clear in saying through one people group he was going to bring a Messiah, which is another way of saying, “And Satan, here’s the target.” Right? What you find as you follow through the Old Testament… I know this isn’t the only answer to talk about every battle that happens in the Bible, but what you find in the battles in the Bible is that God’s people are continually fought against by various people groups, through the Egyptians, through the Assyrians, the Babylonians, through the Persians, through the Greeks, through the Romans.

God preserves them. God even allows them to think during times of Esther to rise up and fight. Why? Because the Messiah was to come to them physically, and God wanted to preserve them from being wiped off the face of the earth so that we could have the promised Messiah that he would deliver to us in order to forgive us of our sins, and help us reunite with him in relationship by giving his life for us on the cross, and then when you get to the New Testament, Jesus spiritually frees us, and now no longer is God a part of one people group to which he would bring the Messiah, but through the Messiah has blessed all people group everywhere, all tribes, tongues, languages.

The Messiah has come to rescue us, which is why it tells us in Ephesians Chapter 6:12 it identifies for us our battle. It says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness into heavenly places.” Meaning yes, in the Old Testament, physically there were battles, but in the New Testament we still have a battle, but it happens for us in a spiritual sense that God desires to reach the hearts of people, that we don’t come against flesh and blood. We’re not physically fighting people in this world, but rather, God’s called us on a rescue mission for them.

Scripture even says they’re enemies of God, just as we were. You think about what is your battle. Men, I think there’s a part of us, and I’m not saying this exclusively to ladies, but I want to share this with men for just a moment, and ladies this’ll apply, okay? But men, we like the idea, I think, of heroism. You think, “If it ever comes down to it for me, lay my life down for my wife, and my kids, I will do it. I will make that ultimate sacrifice, and I will go out as a hero, and I’ll give myself.” You think that’s a beautiful illustration of the demonstration, whether for your kids or for wife, or for family, or whatever.

You’re willing to lay your life down, but here’s the reality. Statistically speaking, that’s highly unlikely you’ll ever have to do, but if you think about the idea of your battle for a moment in the day to day of life, and you go back to the first battle in scripture, to the Garden of Eden. God tells Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit. Satan tells Adam and Eve, “You should eat of the fruit.” The truth is the way the story goes is that God tells Adam, “Don’t eat of the fruit.” Right? He doesn’t tell Eve. The scripture says he tells Adam, but when you get to Genesis Chapter Three, who’s Satan talking to? Eve, right?

Satan whispers in her ear, “Surely, surely, God didn’t say,” and then she takes of the fruit, and she eats, and in verse six what happens? It says to us, “And she turns and just gives it to her husband, who’s just right there, just right there.” Adam lets Eve take the fall. You look at that story and you think, “Well, how awful was that? How awful was that that Adam would do such a thing?” Because think about this. Where in that passage does it say Satan stops speaking into the ear of your wife? I think Satan has just continued to whisper throughout the centuries, and you stand right there with her.

You think about what are those whispers. If she were only prettier, if you were only skinnier, if you were only smarter, if you were only a better mom, if you were only a better wife, if you only kept a better house, over and over, the whispers of an enemy. Now, I don’t want us to go crazy with this and think every bad thing that we hear in our life is Satan directly doing that to you. I think Satan is seen as the ultimate authority in scripture because he represents what darkness is about, but what I want us to recognize is while the enemy plays those words over in our lives, I mean, he’s the Great Deceiver, the accuser of the brethren.

Whatever he can do to bring your past and highlight your failures, that’s where he wants you to live. You think about the battle. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. Can I just tell you something? When it comes to Jesus, the Bible says if we confess our sins, he’s faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That’s I John Chapter 1:9. Because God’s interested in putting the past in the past so that you can walk in the beautiful future with him. God cares about where you are right now and being renewed in Him right now, and Jesus tells us he separates our sin from the east to the west, as far as the east is from the west.

Our lives, if we bring that to God, and you like to churn up the past, I think as people in Jesus, we think about our past way more than Jesus thinks about your past. When Jesus hung on the cross and he says, “It is finished. It is finished.” What that means when you put your faith in Jesus is that Jesus takes it all to the cross on your behalf so that in Him you don’t live in the past anymore, but you walk in the newness of life in Christ. That becomes our spiritual battle as people. I know I said this to you as men and thinking your family, and what Satan could be speaking into your family or at least represented as the headship, and the lies that could be communicated into your family, but the reality is we all struggle that way.

So we think in terms of our battle, the freedom that we have in Jesus is important, and like the Philistines, Satan wants to cut right through the center of your life, and wreak havoc on the harvest that you have in Christ, but God wants you to walk in the newness of Him, so what do you do about it? Well, Ephesians is saying this, “Make war. Make war. God’s made you a warrior. He is the Lord of hosts. Make war.” How do you make war? That’s what Ephesians Six is.

Every time you put on the armor of God, of faith in the Gospel, and you pick up the Word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit, and you let the Truth of God resonate in your soul, you’re doing that battle, and when you speak that truth to other people, you’re doing that battle for the kingdom that God could deliver people in the identity that he puts on them, rather than what Satan says about them. The Lord uses warriors, and the Lord brings victory. I hope that helps you understand a little bit better the Old Testament, and the way battles happened, and the New Testament, the way that we do that, but the Lord brings victory.

Now, when we talk about this idea of victory, if I dig just a little bit deeper, I want to understand two things in this passage in 2 Samuel Chapter 23 or I want to understand two things about one thing, really, in this passage of 2 Samuel Chapter 23 because David does something interesting here. It tells you that these three mighty men they go up this hill in Bethlehem, and they get this water for David because David had a craving. It’s like a pregnant lady when you’re… No. I’m just kidding. Don’t tell the wife I said that, but he’s got this craving, right? They go up on this hill, and they get this water, and they bring it back to David, and then David drinks it. No. He doesn’t. He pours it out. He pours it out.

David pours it out. Why in the world does David pour out the drink? Well, I just want to consider the significance of why David is taking that sort of posture towards the water he just told people that he wanted so desperately. Number one, David pours out the water be he wants to give God the praise first. He understands it’s the Lord that brings the victory, and he wants to draw the attention of all of his men on where that victory would be made now. This water isn’t mine to get. It’s God’s to give. Bethlehem belongs to God’s people, and therefore because we have this water that’s a part of Bethlehem, guys we’re going to remember the Lord most of all, and so he offers it.

It’s as if to say the men… You can imagine the men coming back from this battle, three guys taking them all on, winning. “Aren’t we the best? Rah!” Beat my chest. David says, “Guys, it’s great that you did that, but let’s be honest. The only reason you were successful is because the grace of God.” Out of all the people in Israel, why these 37? Is it maybe perhaps they’ve got some physical stature that other people don’t have? Everyone else running around during the day is 5′ 3″ and here David’s got these 37 men that stand over six feet tall. Did you do that or is it only because the grace of God?

You think about your own life in this circumstance because why is it that you’re born here in America during this time period, and why not North Korea? It’s because you’re great? It’s just the grace of God. Think of all the blessings that you have where you are in life, not just monetarily, but what you’ve been able to experience in life, and just think before the Lord. What have you done with it? When you think about God, is it at the very end? Let’s do all these things and, oh, yeah. Let’s do our God thing. Or do we realize it’s because of the Lord? It’s because of the Lord. The gifts and abilities that have been given to me I had nothing to do with. It’s God given.

I think David, as he gets to this place with the Philistines, and he knows he’s going to go into battle again that he is reminded in his own heart that whether it’s success or victory, it’s on the Lord. It’s in God’s hands. So he starts every one of these moments, at least when it’s in a healthy David moment, by honoring God first, not last so that the people around David can see at the very forefront that the place that we give the glory and the recognition in the end always goes back to God, that God was the center of all of this. Number two, the reason I think David poured out this water, and number two has a subpoint to it, but there is nothing. David would pour out this water it’s because David’s heart longed for home.

That’s kind of a weird thing to say, but let me just… You know David is from Bethlehem. If you don’t know David’s from Bethlehem, David’s from Bethlehem. Something else that’s important here is the Cave of Adullam has water. David’s not sitting around thinking, “Man, there’s nothing here to drink. All of you, you die of thirst, but me. I want it from the Well of Bethlehem.” That’s not what David’s saying here. The Cave of Adullam has water. David’s saying something much deeper than just, “I need a glass of water.” David’s heart’s longing for home. David’s from Bethlehem, and why would David long for home.

Well home, this is early in David’s reign as a king. Home to David is a reminder of all of God’s promises. This is where God met him as a boy. This is when God has… David’s called from this location where he then goes on to discover that God says through his kingdom the Lord would bring a kingdom that would last forever, and all people would be blessed with this kingdom. Now, David’s cut off from his land, and when he’s cut off from his land, he feels distant from the promises of God, and now his soul just longs for home. “If I could just taste of the goodness of that water”… Do you have those kind of places where when you go back to what you might call home that you just want to try that?

You want to be like… I can think when my family make a trip back to where we’re from, we have this list of restaurants we got to hit every time. It’s that taste of home, the reminder of something that’s precious to you. In Samuel Chapter Seven, it reminds us of the promises of God. Can you give me it? There it is, 2 Samuel Chapter 7:12. “When your days are finished and you lie down with your fathers,” God’s saying to David, “I will raise up your descendants after you who will come from you, and I will establish this kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”

Verse 14, “I will be a father to him, and he will be son to me.” In verse 16, “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before me forever, your throne shall be established forever,” but shortly after taking the throne, David finds himself a fugative again hiding in the cave. What kind of king can’t get water from the well from his own hometown? A dead one, a defeated king, and so David in these moments he’s not just longing for water, but he’s longing for the promises of God and the feeling of home, and not only that, David isn’t just wanting this for him. He’s wanting this for all of his men, which is why it says, “Far be it from me, God, to drink this water by myself. It’s on the back of the blood of these men.”

So David’s longing for this promise that’s bigger than himself, but it’s for all those that he cares about, all those that are with him, and so he pours it out. You think about God’s calling for our lives as warriors. It’s not about doing this independently, but doing this with the Lord. Even Jesus when he would call his disciples, he’d always send them out in groups. It’s about seeing what God does, not in just you, but in us, and so David offers this thinking about that, “God this is yours to give, your promises that you’ve made. I’m not putting myself before these people. I’m here to serve these people. I’m here to live what you’ve called me to live, and so I’m offering this living for your promises to the benefit of others in your glory.”

Something interesting happened to me over the years as I’ve lived in Utah. I’ve lived in Utah longer than I’ve lived anywhere. I think during my teenage years I lived… By the time I was 20, I had lived in more homes than I was years old, and so I bounced around a lot as a kid, but I get to Utah, and I’ve lived here longer than I’ve lived anywhere, but every once in a while, I would get this desire just to want to go back and be in that home setting, that place of comfort that you had as a child with the people around you. Something interesting happened over the last years as I’ve traveled back to where I’m from to be with family.

I started to realize as I go back that what I longed for wasn’t there because everything had changed. It’s funny when you live away from a place for a while and you go back. You sort of think everyone should stay frozen where they were when you were gone, but you get back, and everyone’s gotten older, and everyone’s moved on, and things aren’t the way they used to be, and you can’t get back there. I used to long, I thought, for what was a place, but then I realized it was more of a time, and the reason it was more of a time it was because it contained certain things that brought me comfort, brought me peace as a kid where you didn’t have the worries that you have as an adult.

You just want to let go and just be that for a minute, but it was gone. I think as you read this story you see the same thing here with David. It’s really ultimately not about being in that location that David was even after because if he just wanted the water, he would have just had the water, but it was what it represented. Thanksgiving morning, I’m kind of tying these stories together. Thanksgiving morning I remember I went downstairs with my kids. I’m helping Stacey doing Thanksgiving things. I really just do whatever she says because she’s so much better at cooking than I am, but I’m down there and all of a sudden, I walk over to the TV and I turn on the TV.

As soon as I turn on the TV, it’s the Lion’s game, and I just quickly blurt out because all my kids are downstairs, I’m like, “Oh, man. I used to watch the Lions every Thanksgiving for the first 25 years of my life.” I remember watching the Lions with my grandfather, and I just said that. I said, “Man, I used to watch the Lions game every Thanksgiving with my grandfather.” Well, I watched the first five minutes with my grandfather, and then he would fall asleep, and then we’d sit there together and I would watch the rest of the game, but we always watched the Lions lose, every year, the Lion’s lose, right? I just said that to my kids, and I remember my kids going, “Oh, wow, Dad. Really?”

I don’t know why this hit me. I don’t even know what happened, but all of a sudden, my eyes started leaking. What is happening to me? I just had that memory that longing in my soul, just sitting there with my grandfather. Those days are gone. Right? I remember Stacey starts yelling for me. She needed help in the kitchen. I walk in the kids’ playroom real quick. I’m like, “What’s going on?” I’m trying to dry my eyes. I didn’t want anybody know I was crying. This is football. You don’t cry in football. What’s wrong with me, right? But what are you longing for?

Can I just say I think the thing that my soul longs for in that and the idea of home, or sitting with grandfather during a Lions loss again, is something that happens even deeper in Jesus, the peace, the togetherness, the love, the joy. That’s Jesus. Jesus is home. David’s thirst for victory is in God’s promises. Home is the place he lives out that victory in the Lord. If you think about it, the ultimate warrior in all of this isn’t the WWE Ultimate Warrior, but it’s Jesus. He’s the ultimate warrior. In Colossians 2:15 it says this, or verse 14, “Having canceled the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us, like our enemy waging war against you, he has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”

“When he disarmed the rulers and the authorities, he made a public display over them having triumphed over them through Him.” So the Lord has been victorious. Your past is in the past. In Jesus, you have victory, walking in that identity in Christ, that place where you were called, the place of promise, the place of home. You think about today marks Advent, which is the return of Christ. The Advent of Jesus’s First Coming, and now because of His first coming, we live in the promise of his Advent for the Second Coming of Christ where all of these promises would be made new for us. I hope this morning that you find your soul resting in this Jesus.

Jesus didn’t come to make bad men good or good men better. Jesus came to bring dead men to life, and that’s what it’s saying here. The war that was waged for your soul when you were dead in the hands of the enemy, Jesus shows up, and he becomes your deliverer, if you would put your faith in this king for that deliverance. That’s Jesus. Now, belonging to that king and representing in this world, Colossians goes on further from that in Chapter Three, and this is the last part I want to share with you, but in verse five to 15, I just wrote it up here because I don’t want to give you the length of the text, but I’m going to read it for you. Listen to this.

Verse five, “Therefore, put to death,” and if I put in parenthesis warrior, “put to death warrior whatever belongs to your earthly nature; immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, idolatry, because of these the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways in the life you once lived, but now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these; anger, and rage, and malice, and slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other. Since you have taken off the old self with its practices and then put on the new self, which is being renewed in the knowledge, and the image of your Creator.”

“Here there is no gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, Barbarian or Scythian, of slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all; therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion and kindness, and humility, and gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another. If any of you has a grievance against someone, forgive as the Lord forgave you, and over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart, since as members of one body, you were called to peace and be thankful.”

You think about what this calling is. What God is saying to you is, “Look. You’re a warrior. You’re a warrior. Right? You’re tough. You’re strong in Jesus.” The Lord has done this for you, so how are you going to go? Not by anger, not by rage, but peace and love, peace and love for the benefit of others. Now how could you do that? That’s not the picture of a warrior. Warriors have angry faces. This seems more of a calm face, more like a grandpa face, really. How do you do that? Here’s what it’s saying. You don’t fight the battle because Jesus has already fought the battle for you. You walk in the victory.

The only reason you can come with this place of victory, and this peace, and this joy, and this love is because you’re not walking in your strength, but in the strength of Christ made known in your life. You don’t have to prove anything. Jesus has already proven it for you. I love in 2 Samuel 23 where it says, “And David had a craving, and his men broke through the garrison of the Philistines.” Do you know why they did that? Because they loved their king. They loved their king, and so because of that they were willing to break through.

Guys can I tell you? Religiously, you could kill people all day long, but that doesn’t work. It works for a minute, but it’s not the joy that Jesus calls you too.

What Jesus calls you to do is to respond with such delight, and the only reason we would do that is because of your love for the king, and the way that you grow in that love for the king is to see how much that king loves you. (silence)