Engaging Our Hearts for Battle

And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” - Matthew 3:17/Luke 3:22

For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. - Luke 19:10 NASB

If Jesus got to hear this from the Father, perhaps even needed to hear it, then the effect must have been gloriously settling. Why settling? Because both times, what happened next in Jesus’ life was unsettling. On both occasions Jesus went from validation into battle.

The first time, the Father validates the Son as he emerges, dripping wet, from his baptism, then off to battle. The Scriptures record what happens next:

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. - Luke 4:1–2 NIV

The second time after his transfiguration (Luke 9:25), Jesus comes down from the mountain and proceeds by instruction from the Father to go to Jerusalem, where at first he is greeted with palm branches but then is led to a garden, then to a crown of thorns, and finally to a cross.

These validating moments are more than pep talks; they are ceremonies…deeply significant occasions where one heart acknowledges and validates another. Jesus seems to have needed these moments, because the moments to come would question him at his core and erupt in a battle for his heart.

In the desert, Satan challenged his identity: “If you are the Son of God…”

During his trial, the crowds in the streets declared, in effect, “You can’t be the Son of God!”

Experiencing that Jesus’ Father’s heart towards him was good enabled the Son to endure whatever would come his way. Jesus’ heart was full and settled, and therefore his mission remained clear to the end:

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. - Mark 10:45 NIV

For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. - Luke 19:10 NASB

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10 NIV

If a man is going to enter into the battle for all that is dear to him, and he must… then he is going to need a settled heart and there is only one voice that must be heard and received…the voice of his heavenly Father.

In your time alone with God, ask Him:

Father, would you validate me? Would You show me I have what it takes to enter into the fight for abundant Life?

Jesus, would you train me up in the ways of the Kingdom, that I might know who I am because I know who you are and that I can stand in the face of the darkness that attempts to steal, kill, and destroy everything I hold dear?

Holy Spirit, would you teach and train me up in Kingdom “martial arts,” tactics of spiritual warfare and the strength from a settled heart?