Soldier At War

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1 Thessalonians 5:17 (ESV) – “Pray without ceasing,”

My nephew recently enlisted in the Marine Corps. As we speak, he’s being trained (physically) in the ways of a fighting military soldier ready to defend our nation and our interests at a moment’s notice. He will receive special weapons training; learn to be proficient in hand-to-hand combat. He’ll be taught mental toughness techniques; learn to use his fear as a self-motivating tool to press forward. The military will teach my nephew to become a man ready for war.

My cousin recently made the decision to give his heart completely to the Lord. As we speak, he’s being trained (Spiritually) in the ways of a fighting Christian soldier ready to defend our beliefs and our faith at a moment’s notice. He will receive special weapons training; learn to be proficient in apologetics combat. He’ll be taught mind-renewing toughness techniques; learn to use his own fear as a catalyst to seek the help of the Lord and press forward. Jesus will teach my cousin to become a man ready for war.

I am a Christian soldier. I do not use an assault rifle; I use fervent prayer. My frontline is not a physical land border, but a spiritual realm plane. My sword is not a sharpened blade, reserved for close encounters. It’s my bible, and I use it in daily battle. I’m not trained to push my body to its physical limits through rigorous physical activity. I’m trained to push the physical limits of my aging knees, as I assume the prolonged posture of prayer.

My brothers and sisters in arms are with me–and I with them–as we stand in the gap for those in need, just as our respected veterans stand beside one another in defense of the weak and helpless. Military soldiers muster courage in the face of insurmountable odds. Christian soldiers stand fast in the face of overwhelming hostility. Although our battle is not against flesh and blood enemies–but against rulers of the spiritual realm–we are ready to fight against our adversary at any time.

I am a Christian. I believe Jesus is the son of God. I believe He died on the cross and was resurrected. I believe I am saved by grace through faith in Him. I am a saint of heaven’s army. I am a soldier at war.

 

 

Point And Pull The Trigger

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Hey Christian, you do realize you’re a soldier in the Lord’s army, do you not? Yeah, that’s right! You are a soldier, fighting among the ranks of the greatest army ever known to creation. Soldiers have a purpose. Soldiers have a task. Soldiers pull weight among their brothers and sisters.

I’m sure we’ve never heard of a soldier training his sights on an enemy combatant, watching that enemy raise his own weapon in the direction of our hero, and the hero stops to think, “Huh, maybe I should pull the trigger before he shoots me…or maybe I’ll just wait to see what happens.”

Idiot, point and pull the trigger! You don’t sit around and wait for the enemy to steal from you; to take your life and possessions freely; to bully and intimidate you without retaliation. That type of soldier is not a hero. He’s a victim. He’s a liability adding dead weight to the unit as a whole.

When put in these terms, doesn’t it seem obvious that this type of person is not fit to serve? And yet, we as Christians behave the same way every day. Here’s what we have a tendency to do.

“Lord, please fix my problem. Amen. Somebody pass me a beer!”

Okay, maybe that example was a bit extreme, but it was meant to convey our attitude toward the Lord. Some of us will toss a single, simple prayer up to God and expect him to pull a miraculous blessing for us. That’s not even the worse part. That single prayer, is the only prayer we throw at the problem; no bible reading; no meditation on the word; no diligent and fervent prayer; no increased church attendance; no fasting; just that single simple prayer. We sit on our blessed assurances, waiting on the Lord to come knock on our door to deliver the miracle.

~ KNOCK KNOCK ~

“Hey, how’s it going? I have a delivery here, from God. Can you just sign at the bottom? Who’s winning the game by the way?”

“The Lions. Thanks chief. Give my regards to the Lord for me, will ya?”

Do you know what the word “fervent” means? The dictionary defines it as, “having or displaying a passionate intensity.” James 5:16 (NKJV) says, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another that you might be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Now, in the context we’re discussing, healing and trespasses aren’t on the table. But, what I really wanted to point out is the latter portion of this scripture: “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Family, we cannot expect God to act on our behalf if we’re not doing what we’re supposed to do. Studying scripture and fervent prayer are the basics for developing a relationship with the Lord. If you are not partaking in those two very basic activities, you’re nothing more than a dead-weight soldier carrying a gun around the battlefield for show. Point and pull the trigger! The enemy is firing at you, and you’re literally standing around waiting to be killed. Soft prayer and random bible reading does nothing for the kingdom. You’re going to have to get deep down in the mire of prayer life; in the thick jungles of the bible’s environment.

It’s a new year. It’s a new month. It’s a new day. Make today the day you step up your action plan for your walk through the Christian faith. You are a soldier! Strap on your boots, get off the sideline, pick up your weapon (the word), and start firing consistently at the enemy! When you get behind God, I guarantee He’s going to get behind your needs.