I need you to do something before I begin; actually it is something God wants you to do. I want you to clear your minds of any distractions, and prepare yourself to be open and honest. Take a deep breath in and slowly exhale. Get rid of any tension—slowly roll your neck and shoulders; shake your hands and feel the tension just leaving you right now. Today I want us to look at something that maybe some of you have never thought about. Your mind and thoughts need to be open to something that I had not given much thought about until recently.
I want us to begin with a thought that we can all agree upon. It’s rare when everyone agrees on anything, but I think we can on this: Let’s agree that God is so holy, so awesome, so magnificent, so glorious, so powerful that there is no way we can contain Him. Can we all agree on this? Here is the question we need to really think about: When you think about God, what are some of the images that you think of? Maybe one of your images is God is our Shepherd. David understood God that way in Psalm 23 when he wrote, “The Lord is my shepherd.”
Maybe you think about the time when Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac, and you see that God is Our Provider. Maybe one of your images of God is Father as you think about Jesus gathering the children around Him and blessing them. Maybe your image of God is Compassion—as you remember Jesus healing lepers. Maybe your image of God is The Judge—as you remember what He did to Sodom and Gomorrah. When you think about God, what’s that word or phrase that almost immediately comes to mind?
Hopefully, one of those word images you have for God is Savior—as Jesus died on that Cross for you and me. But we need to remember that there is no single image that defines or describes who God is. God is bigger and more than any single image we may have about Him.
Furthermore, if we put all of our images of God together, collectively they still would not express who God is. Now, if you can define your God completely, then maybe your God is too small. Now that you are thinking about how you would describe God, have you ever seen God as Warrior? Does that image of God even come to mind?
God is not just a warrior, but He is the Ultimate Fierce Warrior. Now before you think that writer and teacher John Eldridge has corrupted me, listen to Exodus 15:3—“The Lord is a warrior; Yahweh is his name!” The reason I bring this up is because our world is looking to us, who go to church, who profess to be Christians, who are viewed by this world as disciples of Jesus, to show them what our God is really like. In every human heart is the desire for a God that is two things: 1. That He is bigger than they are; and 2. That He can be counted on to be there for them.
Think about it, the person who loves money wants it because money will get them things bigger than they are; but it always disappoints them because it is never enough. The same holds true for the drug addict, the alcoholic, and those who crave pornography, power and prestige. It is in our spiritual DNA. Solomon testified to this when in wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:11, “He has planted eternity in the human heart.” And because all this stuff out here always disappoints them, they are looking, even longing to find a God who will satisfy that deepest longing of the heart. And our text today is all about that and much more. It’s found in Psalm 68:1-10 (NLT)
1-10 Rise up, O God, and scatter your enemies. Let those who hate God run for their lives. Blow them away like smoke. Melt them like wax in a fire. Let the wicked perish in the presence of God. But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy. Sing praises to God and to his name! Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds. His name is the Lord—rejoice in his presence! Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; He sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. O God, when you led your people out from Egypt, when you marched through the dry wasteland, the earth trembled, and the heavens poured down rain before you, the God of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel. You sent abundant rain, O God, to refresh the weary land. There your people finally settled, and with a bountiful harvest, O God, you provided for your needy people.
In any moment of every day, we are expressing our image of God. How we act, the ways we react, the priorities we set, the words from our mouths, and the attitude of our mind are all expressions of the God we are following. And our world needs to know that the God we follow, the God we profess our allegiance to, is among many things, Our Warrior God! And can I let you in our a secret? I’ll share that secret with you in the next edition!
Love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the glory goes to Him!