Recently, in the USA, we have experienced a very different involvement in war than in the past. We would fight , win then move on through peacetime, call our troops home and settle down till the next war. Now, it seems, our troops are fighting overseas a never-ending war. This requires a very different approach, a very different soldier, and very different supports.
This new war is very similar to the old war between good and evil, God’s kingdom and the devil’s. This war started long before we were born and will continue till long after we die. Fought in our own strength, we would soon grow weak and be defeated. My wife Lois has pointed out that the side of evil seems to have more stamina in our country than the godly forces. They fight to pull down marriage, to allow everyone to have sex with everyone, to discourage frugality, to encourage whining victim mentality, to encourage us to look to the government for security and not to God or his kingdom. They fight and lose, fight and lose, fight and win a little, fight and win a little more and soon we just give in. We want to do battle and then coast. It is a long distance race, a lifelong battle and we should make up our minds to be good to the last drop.
Often my view of the average Christian soldier is someone wandering the battlefield with no training, no sword, no support team, no battle buddies, no instructions, no goals, clad in bermuda shorts and a Hawaaian shirt, sipping lemonade and when the enemy shoots at them, they throw their glass of lemonade at the enemy and whine about how they did not sign up for this.
When we become Christians we are in a war and have joined an army and the enemy will certainly want to shoot at us.
So what does it take? First put on the armor and get up each morning by reminding yourself that your thoughts are protected by the helmet of salvation and we overcome the devil by declaring that we belong to Jesus and are purchased by the blood of the Lamb and we do not fear the devil though he arrange to have us killed. When he attacks and accuses us brethren, that is his job, we remind ourselves and him that we have our hearts protected by the breastplate of Jesus’ righteousness. When he temps us to be wishywashy on “does the Bible really say?” Maybe we should trust the secular scholars who say don’t spank children and have lots of sex before marriage in order to be better prepared to commit long term. We respond that we have the belt of truth in God’s word and will trust that. When he temps us to judge others and wall ourselves off and be defensive rather than tearing down the gates of Hell, we assure ourselves and him that we have our feet shod with the good news of Jesus death and resurrection and that Jesus died for ALL and we will attack his kingdom with this good news. We will train ourselves in the use of jour weapons the quoted word and spoken prayer and witness. We will seek and reward feedback from our brethren as iron sharpens iron, we will let others know of our struggles so they can come to our side, and we will continue to build while fighting the good fight till we finish the lifelong course and receive the prize.