Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Onward Christian Soldiers ...

In the hum drum of every day life it is easy to forget that we are locked in a deadly spiritual battle. Charles Haddon Spurgeon, that Prince of Preachers, reminds us correctly "The Christian life is a battlefield, not a playground." But we forget that. More than that, we seem to think that Satan limits his attacks to single forays into our lives, then we believe he backs away to look for another chance to attack us again. But that is not the way it is.

When I was in the Air Force, I studied Tae Kwon Do Korean fighting. I noticed this about the difference between the white belts (beginners) and the black belts (experts). The white belts would set themselves against each other then fire off an attack and back up to get set again. That is the way they fight. One technique each hoping to execute it fast enough to actually land it on their opponent. Black belts move around until they believe the moment is right then launch a barrage of techniques ... 5 ... 6 .. 10 ... a dozen until either they are countered or they score against their opponent or drive him backwards out of the fight. They attack and attack and attack until they get through.

That is the way Satan is. Our warfare is not limited to the occasional skirmish. It is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week barrage of assaults against our living holy lives. Satan and his demons are always attacking us and he never ever stops. Every minute of every day he is after us. He attacks us through our spouses, our children, our neighbors, our bosses, our employees, our circumstances, our TVs, our computers, our bills, our greed, our lusts, our emotions, even our good works are moments Satan tries to get a foot in the door to work against us. Nothing is off limits to him. he is a master of warfare, both open and covert. Nothing is too high or too holy for him to try to twist. Nothing is too low for him to use. He is vicious and plays by no rules.

Until we get this idea through our heads we are not going to be effective soldiers in the army of the Lord. We are sleepy and complacent. We need to be awake and alert. Woe to the soldier who is found sleeping on duty. Stop thinking like a white belt and realize the kind of opponent who is out to make you ineffective for the kingdom of Christ.

While Satan has hundreds of thousands of strategies, maybe millions available to him, there is only one strategy the Christian has that we know for will work against the wiles of the devil. James 4:7 says "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." Only as we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, being obedient to Him do we find victory over the devil. The devil will do what he can to get us to commit unholy acts and fall into sin. Therefore, as we are obedient to God, growing in holiness and Christlikeness, then the devil will fail to defeat us. Here is the Christian secret to victory over the devil.

But make no mistake about it, just because we know how to win does not mean the devil will not try to keep us from achieving that victory. As I said before, he is always after us every second of time trying to lead us away from God. We, on the other hand, spend every second trying to grow to be more like Jesus. And that battle between sin and holiness rages on in vicious combat every second of our lives. Until we realize that, we will always be beaten because we are not (really) even in the fight. The true Christian soldier girds on the armor of God, takes his weapon in hand, and goes forth under the banner of the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ ... Prophet, Priest, and King, and carries the name forward .. prevailing over the gates of hell. Everybody these days seems to talk about spiritual warfare. Isn't time we actually got in the fight and starting battling the enemy ... the real enemy? Hmmmmmmmmm?

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