And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. Matthew 11:12
All good things in life are based on the foundation of love. The love of Jesus Christ touches everything good. God’s love is life’s “secret sauce” for spiritual growth and fruitfulness, true happiness, joy, peace, fulfillment, and harmony with others (a short list). The reverse is also true. Evil, base things, the beggarly elements, works done in darkness and the like share a commonality – a lack of true love.
When Jesus stepped upon the stage of this earthly drama he knew the odds were stacked against him. God understood it would take something very special, unique, radical, “out-of-the-box”, disruptive, paradoxical and above human calculation to break through sin-hardened hearts, walls of prejudice, evil spirits and hopelessness. Jesus was up to the challenge. Jesus conquered the works of darkness and the sin of mankind with a full frontal assault with an amazing strategy; approach it with the weakness of a Lamb as The Love Warrior.
The Call For War
There was a serious problem in heaven. Imperfection surfaced within the perfect eternal realm we know as heaven (Ezekiel 28:15). God, being the perfect, eternal Being (Deu 32:4, II Sam 22:31, Ps 18:30), engaged the plan to restore order in heaven. The Word is not clear how long that took, but no doubt long enough for the rebellion to complete its course. The Lord works that way (Gen 15:16, Dan 8:23).
So, Lucifer, Heaven’s premiere worship leader, and one-third of his worship team were expelled from heaven and exiled to a realm encircling earth’s lower atmosphere:
In the sphere of which trespasses and sins at one time you ordered your behavior as dominated by the spirit of the age in this world system, as dominated by the leader of the authority of the lower atmosphere, the source also of the spirit that is now operating in the sons of the disobedience, Ephesians 2:2 (Wuest)
Church splits (and sometimes individual exodus’ for that matter) are always centered around worship. Always. How is that? Because people decide to worship the “god of self” instead of the God of Glory. Okay, let’s move on.
Now that heaven was rid of its rebellious blotch, the Lord encountered the dilemma of now dealing with the fallen archangel and his cohorts. And God, who is never confounded, confused, dismayed or dumbfounded had a plan for that too. In fact, His plan was ordained before the foundation of the world (John 17:24, I Peter 1:20, Rev 13:8). Enter front-center stage the One for whom all things were created (Is 40:21-28, John 1:3, Eph 3:9, Col 1:16, Rev 4:11) – the perfect God-man, Jesus Christ.
God rolled up His sleeves and went to war. Why? For love.
God who “is love” never knew what it was like to “be loved”, until now. God as the man Christ Jesus came to earth to fulfill and perfect what the law could not do – set the captives and prisoners of the earth free with the love of God (Is 43:10-13, Is 61:1, Lk 4:18, Ps 68:18, Eph 4:8).
Jesus Christ is The Love Warrior.
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:10
And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. John 17:26
And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. Luke 23:33–34
Jesus’ Love Warrior Boot Camp
Jesus has a knack for turning disciples into love warriors. One of Jesus’ prime examples was a man named John. John was a potential warrior, but his weapon of choice, his passion for revenge, needed some tweaking:
And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? Luke 9:54
Fire? From Heaven? To scorch the poor guys? Not Jesus’ MO, at least not yet. But, as usual when Jesus begins a work of grace, mercy and love on a subject they might as well surrender because love never fails (I Cor 13:8). And John did not let Jesus down.
John held one of Jesus’ three inner-circle gold cards. John had passion. John wanted to be close to the Master’s heart, so close as to hear what emanated from Jesus’ heart before it exited his mouth:
Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? John 21:20
You are going to hear some pretty amazing things when you are that close to God’s heart. What did John hear while living a life close to Jesus’ heart? It must have had a lot to do with love because John went on to write and reference more about love than any other writer in the Holy Bible:
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. I John 4:7-8
Jesus saw John was a good candidate for becoming a Love Warrior.
There was another subject that showed some promise for becoming a Love Warrior. His name was Peter. Like John, Peter had passion and also packed some maligned, artful grit:
Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. John 18:10
Peter was aiming for Malchus’ head, not his ear. Peter was a changed man after the Day of Pentecost and went on to join the esteemed ranks of one of Jesus’ Love Warriors:
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: I Peter 1:8
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: I Peter 1:22
Jesus saw Peter was a good candidate for becoming a Love Warrior.
We cannot forget another one of Jesus’ love warriors. This one was a women named Mary Magdalene. The Bible refers to Mary as the women “out of whom went seven devils”. I guess if one were to be demon possessed, seven devils might be the perfect number of choice. It is also noteworthy that Mary is referenced exactly twelve times in twelve verses in the KJV of the Holy Bible. Seven and twelve. Interesting.
Whatever Mary did in her past was now forgotten and superseded with a present and future centered around the Lord. Mary was a member of Jesus’ entourage of women who followed and ministered to Jesus (Luke 8:2). Who was there at Calvary? Mary (Jn 19:25). Who was one the first ones to visit the tomb after Jesus’ crucifixion? Mary (Jn 20:1). Who was the first person Jesus appeared to after he rose from the dead? Mary (Mk 16:9). Who informed the disciples that Jesus had risen from the dead? Mary (Lk 24:10).
Jesus saw Mary was a good candidate for becoming a Love Warrior.
Am I A Love Warrior For Jesus?
In conclusion, I need to ask myself: “Am I a love warrior for Jesus?” Are my thoughts and the meditations of my heart focused on the Kingdom of God, on the saving of souls, compassion towards the broken and weak, or does my life evolve around my needs, my wants and the pleasures of my flesh? Have I determined to seek “God’s own heart” like King David or the Apostle John?
Love Warriors always have a price to pay.
“Well, the Lord has not called me to be an apostle.” Maybe not. However, Jesus has called his church to an even higher calling – Kings and Priests unto God:
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:5-6
One thing is certain, Jesus came to this earth as a lamb, but he is not returning as one. Jesus will visit the second time as a lion, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. And he is coming as a warrior to judge the earth of its sin.
Until then, the Lord searches the earth looking for human hearts that will respond to his call to join him with his army of Love Warriors in The Name of Jesus. Be Blessed.