There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind now that we are in a war. Not a shooting war … yet … but we are very close. Evil has been given a season to attack, and those that stand purposely in faith are in the crosshairs of the enemy. Many are being tested and tried by the fire. When we are attacked how do we know when it is time to take out the sword? This process of learning how to love mercy and do justice is the major question for believers today.
The time of testing
No person who deliberately chooses faith will escape the onslaught of the enemy. These attacks are used by the Father to strengthen and harden us to difficulty so we learn how to stand in the day of evil. We are not to shrink away from these challenges but are to learn how the nature of Christ is to come through us at critical moments.
Jesus, our guide and example, came to this earth and demonstrated for us the nature of the Lamb. His lowly, loving, gentle and forgiving manner is what we need to emulate. Jesus loved mercy. However, soon Jesus will return as a Lion. He will have to do justice. At that time we will see the warrior side of Jesus that we have not seen before. Both the Lamb and the Lion are the nature of God, but a critical question arises from these two opposing natures.
Which nature are we supposed to follow?
The nature of the Lamb
In walking the lonely trails of the wilderness we saw both sides of Jesus on the journey. Although we enjoy the Lamb nature of God more, the Lion nature was necessary to confront the evil ‘self’ in us and in others. What was interesting, however, was that we saw the Lamb nature far more often than we did the Lion nature.
From our large number of experiences we have learned a key truth. Our default nature must be that of the Lamb which is to love mercy. This means that we should continually be transformed into Jesus’ character; lowly, loving, trusting and forgiving (Matthew 18:3), as we walk in faith. But occasionally we, like Jesus, must take out the sword to do justice and confront an attack by the enemy. It is rare, so Jesus memorialized this truth into a memorable quote for us.
The sword is sheathed most of the time.
When to love mercy and do justice
In this podcast we are discussing the lessons we learned about the when it’s time to take out the sword. Critical to this lesson is the principle of loving mercy and doing justice as opposed to loving justice and doing mercy. When we get the order right Jesus can come through our actions as the Lamb, and when the time is right, as a Lion.
The refining process that brings us to this place of maturity and proper balance is one only Jesus can lead us on. It is His character He is forming in us. Only when we fully yield our will in obedience to Him will we know when it’s time to take out the sword.
Homer and Wanda