Warrior

Two Wonderful Songs
There once was a medley of two songs that spoke of the Lord Jesus in a unique but totally accurate way: “Lift High the Lord Our Banner” and “Mighty Warrior.” I was a worship leader in those days who liked to use a full choir and orchestra as a worship team. I was also trained as a band director and I loved marches. These two songs were presented in a Grand March style. One might say “My heart was stirred by a noble theme!” I was in heaven as two parts of my heart (marches and praise) came together in my ministry.

It was more than the wonderful music—it was the truth—a rare truth that I had never celebrated before. Jesus is the “Lord Our Banner” and He is the “Mighty Warrior!”

We often sang about Jesus as Friend, Shepherd, Savior, Soon-Coming King, Lover of My soul, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We declared Him to be Holy, Worthy, Wonderful, and Sweet. I could not remember many songs who declared the Lord to be the Mighty Warrior—we had songs about His victory but very few about His combat.

Despite our lack of songs to the point, Jesus is the Mighty Warrior—He Is the Lord Our Banner!
In the early church, when the leaders we now call the “Church Fathers” were organizing the Christ-centered theology we enjoy today, the general understanding of the Atonement was Christ as the Victor over evil in all its forms. The term for this atonement theology is “Christus Victor.” When the late Bob Webber first told me about Christus Victor, it sounded like good preaching to me—it sounded like “Church!”

I have never forgotten an article I read in Billy Graham’s “Decision” magazine called “The Day Christ Rule from a Tree.” That was Christus Victor—

  • Jesus, while dying on the cross, reached through the streets of Jerusalem and tore the veil in Temple in two from the top to the bottom.
  • In death He was reigning.
  • While He was atoning for our sins, He was waging war or all sin.
  • While His holy blood was flowing down the cross to the thirsty earth, healing power was spreading to the world.
  • When somehow He was mysteriously separated from the Father and feeling forsaken, He was forging a bond of fellowship that would supersede race and wealth and language for all people who would turn to Him in faith and repentance.

We came pretty close to this when we sang the simple song of the Jesus Movement, (late 1960s and early 1970s) “He Is Lord.” His Lordship is a current, after-the-battle reality. He is Victor!

He is Victor because He is the Mighty Warrior!
Hell has no way to defeat Him; counter charge after counter charge is beaten back without a dent in the defense. We walk in His shadow and do battle in His might.

  • When we wield the Sword of the Spirit—He is the double blade!
  • When we shelter behind the Shield of Faith—His Promises prove true!
  • When we wear the Helmet of Salvation—He guides our thoughts!
  • When we buckle up the Belt of Truth—His veracity is on the line!
  • When our feet are shod with the preparation of the Gospel—it is His story we tell!

He did not lie to us—there will be trouble of all kinds, temptations of every description, and an unending parade of enemies—we live in a world that opposes us. However, He also said that we should be of good cheer for He has overcome the world! He is the Mighty Warrior, the Lord Our banner!”

Scriptures:
Psalm 45:1-6 NIV/NLT
My Heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the King, for my tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet. You are the most handsome of all. Gracious words stream from your lips. God himself has blessed you forever. Put on your sword, O mighty warrior! You are so glorious, so majestic! In your majesty, ride out to victory, defending truth, humility, and justice. Go forth to perform awe-inspiring deeds! Your arrows are sharp, piercing your enemies’ hearts. The nations fall beneath your feet. Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice.
Joshua 5:13-15 NKJV
And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.
Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
John 16:33 NIV
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, You are the Captain of the Hosts of the Lord! Your weapons are polished and ready; spiritual are they and not the weapons of the flesh. Mighty are these weapons to the pulling down of strongholds and anything that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ. Like David shunning the armor of King Saul, I will not wage warfare today with the weapons of men: chaos, deceit, destruction, and violence. In Your name I will face my foes, just as did David. I will march in perfect order; I will assault lies with Truth; I will rebuild and restore and I will wage peace. My sword will stay in its sheath while Your Sword—the proclamation of the Word of God—does its work. “Mighty Warrior, dressed for battle! Bring me to attention!” Amen.

Songs of the Mighty Warrior:
Lift High the Lord Our Banner
Words and Music: Macon Delavan

Lift high the Lord, our banner. Lift high the Lord, Jesus King
Lift high the Lord, our banner. Lift high your praise to Him sing

For He is wonderful, For He reigns on high.
For He is marvelous, The Lord draweth nigh.

Mighty Warrior
Lyrics and Music: Debbye Graafsma

Mighty warrior, Dressed for battle, Holy Lord of all is He
Commander in chief, Bring us to attention, Lead us into battle
To crush the enemy

Satan has no authority Here in this place. He has no authority here
For this habitation Was fashioned for The Lord’s presence,
No authority here

Mighty warrior, Dressed for battle, Holy Lord of all is He
Commander in chief, Bring us to attention, Lead us into battle
To crush the enemy

Jesus has all authority Here in this place. He has all authority here
For this habitation Was fashioned for The Lord’s presence,
All authority here

Mighty warrior, Dressed for battle, Holy Lord of all is He
Commander in chief, Bring us to attention, Lead us into battle
To crush the enemy

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer
For more on Pride: “The Invisible Mountain”

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

Worship Songs should teach us “More about Jesus!”

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