When I was in 5th grade, I signed up to serve at an early morning church service. Because it was my first time serving,  I was simply told to observe the other kids who had already been trained. On the day of the service, my dad drove me to church, and we arrived with plenty of time to spare.  To my dismay, I discovered that none of the other “trained” kids showed up—only another boy who, like me, was told to watch and learn.  To put it mildly, the service was a nightmare, and the presiding minister was the closest thing to a Pharisee that I have ever seen in my lifetime. During the service, the man continually yelled at the other boy and me in front of the entire congregation and berated us for our lack of knowledge as he barked out orders like a heartless drill sergeant.  We were both humiliated and prayed that the service would end soon so we could escape the torture we endured.

I’ll never forget what happened in the pastor’s office after the service. My dad waited until all the people had left and had me wait in an adjacent room, even though I could still hear the conversation he had with the pastor. To this day, I again hear my father’s voice as he spoke to the pastor with both passion and self-control.  At the end of the conversation, my dad told the man, “With all due respect, don’t you ever talk to my son or any child that way again.” 

That day I saw my dad for the real warrior he was. He took my battle and made it his own.  He stood up for me and fought a battle I couldn’t have taken on myself.

I’m convinced this is a picture of God, the Champion Warrior of His adopted children. Warriors fight on behalf of those they protect. They don’t go looking for battles but step up and tenaciously defend those they love when the enemy threatens them.

Yes, God is the author of love and grace. It is also true that He offers forgiveness and restoration for all who turn away from their past life and receive new life in the person of Jesus Christ. Yet, God is also the defender of the widows, widowers, orphans, oppressed, downtrodden, abused, forgotten, and powerless. But don’t just take my word for it.  Many Scriptures reveal the heart of our Warrior God:

“The LORD is a warrior. The LORD is His name.” (Exodus 15:3)

“The Lord will go forth like a warrior, He will arouse His zeal like a man of war. He will utter a shout, yes, He will raise a war cry. He will prevail against His enemies.” (Isaiah 42:13)

“The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

I’ll never forget that my dad also took me out for a donut that morning, and told me I didn’t have to serve in that role again if I didn’t want to— and I never did!  That Sunday, I was delivered out of a battle by an advocate stronger than me, whose love compelled him to stand on my behalf. 

In the same way, God hears the cries of all who are in battles, both physical and spiritual.  He is eager, powerful, and ready to step in to fight on our behalf. As the Bible states, 

“If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

I invite you to bring your battles to God. Cast those battles—and yourself—at God’s feet and let Him take on the enemy. There’s a line from a song that still applies today:

 “When the enemy presses in hard do not fear The battle belongs to the Lord…”

Finally, Jesus Christ is the Ultimate, Champion Warrior who will one day return and put an end to all who oppose Him and God’s rule— including the enemy and deceiver of our souls, Satan, whose objective has always been to steal, kill, and destroy. Along with this monster, sin and death will also be destroyed by our Warrior God. In these troubled times, there is a sure hope for an eternal future free from the battles and pain of this world. 

Are you in a battle today? If so, I invite you to turn to our Champion. Warrior God and watch His victory unfold in your life.

God bless you.

Chris Atkins