William J. Brown
"O.K. Christian soldier. Hit the line. It's time to see what we've got! Chin up...shoulders back...look sharp. We need to look good for the Army of God!"
Well...alright...I have to admit...that isn't exactly the way it is to be a Christian soldier in the Army of God. But I can say this with confidence...
If we approached our Christian faith the way a real soldier does...with dedication and persistence...this world would be a whole lot different.
Imagine a soldier who walks away from his duty because he has to eat army rations or doesn't feel he's getting enough rest. With soldiers like that, you don't need enemies. The soldiers themselves are their unit's own worst enemy.
Unfortunately, most of us in the Army of the Lord approach our duties to Christ that way. This needs to change if we are to find success against the world, the flesh and the Devil. But we seem to act as if we are defeated before we've started sometimes. Why? What steps do we need to take to remedy this "weakness" in our ability to serve in God's Army and be a better Christian soldier?
Paul shows the Christian soldier a few ways to improve spiritual battle savvy in Ephesians 6:10...
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Notice the confidence he shows. There's no defeat in this verse. Why?
Because, very simply, Paul knew Christ had already won the victory. Not only for him, but for all Christians. Christ has already won the victory!
It's in the power of "his might" that we fight the battle. I Corinthians 15:55-57 says this...
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ has given us the ability to make choices to do what is good. Before we came to Christ, we did wrong because we didn't know any better. Now, Christ has freed us to choose to do what is right. But, the thing is...
We must choose to do right. It's not always easy. But it's always within reach. Why? Because...
Christ has given us the victory over the war already. We must choose to do what our Divine Commander, Jesus Christ, orders us. Remember...
We're in the Lord's Army now...
Unfortunately, the battles still rage. Just like earthly enemies who lose wars, Satan is a sore loser. Even though Christ won the victory on the cross, Satan still causes problems. He fights against us.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12...
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
We need to keep in mind that the true war is waged against Satan and his demons. They're the real troublemakers.
Though sometimes it seems like we do "wrestle against flesh and blood" we need to keep in mind it's actually Satan working in the background. Our job is not to fight "flesh and blood" but to win them to Christ. We can't show them the love of Christ if we're hacking away at them with our weapons of warfare.
No, it's Satan that should be bludgeoned into submission. How do we do that?
Paul gives the Christian soldier instruction on that as well. In Ephesians 6:11,13, Paul says this...
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil…Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
The key is in the word "stand." We are told three (3) times to stand and one (1) time to "withstand" which has the same basic meaning. What does this mean for the Christian soldier?
We must entrench ourselves and be always ready to fight. To stand means to be faithful. No matter what happens, we need to stand firm on what our Commander, Jesus Christ instructs us. Remember...
He's already won the victory. It's our job to continue the fight.
But what happens when we drop our guard? Paul tells us in another place, I Corinthians 10:12, what happens to the sloppy soldier...
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
We must be careful that we are reading God's Word, staying faithful in prayer and growing spiritually so that we continue to become better soldiers for Christ. After all...
This is war! And we must fight faithfully in the Lord's Army.
In the next few lessons, we'll find out how to better battle the enemy and become a better Christian soldier. God has given us heavenly armor. We call it "The Armor of God." He didn't just tell us to hold out. God gave us these things to wage war. We'll find out how in the next lesson when we learn about the Belt of Truth. We hope you'll join us for that lesson and find out how to become a better Christian soldier.
We also have a companion volume:
Successful Strategies for God's Soldiers
Click the image above to find out about it!
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