We are called to be warriors of the most high God and yet we are also called to be ambassadors of God’s love. Two seemingly opposite yet foundational themes, found throughout the scriptures, which describes our role as children of God. If we have been called to be ‘God’s Warriors of Love’ it would be best that we have a practical understanding of what that entails.
First we are warriors because Gen 1:28 says, God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” The question is; ‘What is it that must be subdued?’ The definition of the word ‘subdue’ is to conquer, defeat and overthrow by force or strategy so that we can gain mastery. In other words what we are to subdue would be anything that is inconsistent with or in opposition to God’s values and goals.
It is not difficult for us to see the benefits that would be ours, either by our subduing an attacking force, overcoming a behavior that is destructive to our wellbeing, or by stopping a natural disaster from destroying a city. But what attacking force or destructive behavior is God talking about in Genesis 1:28, when mankind, it would seem, is surrounded by nothing but perfect peace, love and harmony?
Secondly, we know that God is love. All of us would agree that God is the perfect definition of the word ‘love’. 1 John 4:8 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Further in 1 John 4:19 it says, “We love because he first loved us.”
Love is the key that enables us to enter into the Kingdom of God for it unlocks the heart of God. God from the very beginning chose to create beings capable of having loving relationships, however, for love to reign pure in the heart of man it must be entered into with the same intent as it was given. God gave mankind the ability to choose, but freewill isn’t just about man’s ability to choose, but the ability to choose well and to choose rightly.
The desires of the sinful man defines ‘freedom’ as that which gives us the right to act and speak or think in any way we choose without hindrance or restraint. However, Godly freedom was never meant to be a democracy; it is not ruled by the changing mores of the majority or by what makes us feel good at the present time. Within man’s freewill there are the choices that have the potential for self-destruction. When our Father in Heaven gave each of us the freewill to either choose or not to choose God’s unconditional love, God was fully conscious that we may end up choosing evil over good, a very risky thing for God to allow.
Born for Battle
Since the beginning, mankind has lived in an environment that was subject to an ongoing warfare. If one fails to take into account that before the creation of man God and his angels were in a cosmic warfare against Satan and his fallen angels we will fail to see the significance of the charge God gave to Adam and Eve in Gen. 1:28-30. Neither will we fully comprehend the insight we need to be the warriors who will fight for the love God has made available to us.
I encourage you to do a study on what our postapostolic fathers said may have possibly transpired between (Genesis 1:1 and 1:2), where there appears to be a gap in the narrative. Gen. 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Gen 1:2 goes on to say, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
Many of our postapostolic fathers, prior to Augustine, were inclined to attribute pain and suffering to the evil purposes of Satan and demons whereas Augustine was inclined to attribute pain and suffering to the mysterious ‘good’ purposes of God. Therefore the early church had a warfare theology, which is often missing in the present day church, this theology spoke of their being a natural gap in the narrative between the first and second verses of Genesis. This gap gives us the needed reference to a time when the earth and heavens were created and when a significant number of the angels in heaven revolted against God causing a cosmic battle to ensue. The second verse speaks of what the condition of the earth was like after the cosmic battle. “Now (at this present time) the earth was (had become) formless and empty, darkness over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” From this point forward we continue on with the six days of creation with the seventh day a day of rest.
We know that Adam and Eve did not choose correctly when, they believed Satan’s lie and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The choice they made had a major repercussion on all who came after. We also know from the scriptures that Satan, who had been one of the highest ranking angels also did not choose correctly when he set himself up to be ’equal to or greater than God’, and led a large number of angels in a cosmic rebellion against God and creation. From reading the scriptures it is not hard to see that this uprising took place before mankind or for that matter in the seven days of creation found in Genesis 1:2-31 had taken place.
How Love Battles and Defeats the Warlord of Hate
This would give us an understanding of the role Satan plays as ‘god of this world,’ ‘the ruler of the power of the air,’ and ‘the ruler of this world’ (2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2; Jn. 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). He is portrayed as possessing all the kingdoms of the world, and is explicitly said to have control of the entire world. (Lk. 4:6, 1 Jn. 5:19). He is the one who is behind murder, lying, persecution, and even physical sickness and disease (Jn. 8:44, 1 Jn. 3:12; Lk. 13:16; Acts 10:38); Eph. 6:12-13 Satan and his demonic hierarchy are portrayed as having supernatural powers that they use to obstruct kingdom work, manipulate crowds, demonize people and keep people in spiritual bondage. There is a cosmic struggle that is taking place all around us and as children of God we are admonished to stay alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Eph.6:18
The Good News is that Jesus came to destroy the devil and his works and to redeem us from the realm of darkness by providing the way for us to be adopted into the kingdom of God. We ‘subdue the enemy’ by accepting God’s love and forgiveness and by constantly submitting ourselves to His word. The degree we submit to God dictates the level of our resistance to Satan’s attacks and subsequently his ability to find anything within us that he could use against us. Our measure of commitment and the level of respect and honor we have for God’s authority over our lives gives us the ability to subdue the enemy causing him to flee. James 4:7
We are called to subdue the evil desires which war against us so that we can stand against the devils schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and authorities, the rulers and powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Perhaps then we will realize the importance in these last days to put on the full armor of God so that we will stand strong as warriors in the Lord’s Army. Eph. 6:10-18
Our prayer is that the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.