Tag Archives: Spiritual Warfare

Work Up a Sweat

1 Sep

Sometimes our experiences don’t really count in the military.

One soldier, shortly after joining the army, stood in line as the sergeant stepped forward with the day’s assignments.

After handing out several tasks, the sergeant asked, “Does anyone here have experience with radio communication?”

The young inductee—a longtime ham radio operator—quickly and proudly shouted, “I do, Sir!”

“Good,” the Sergeant said. “You can dig the hole for the new telephone pole.” *

LOL!

The military does provide excellent, tailor-made training to prepare recruits for the many facets of serving and the possibility of battle. At boot camp they push recruits to their limits, trying to build in the character and stamina heroes are made of.

We’re all familiar with the stories of soldiers and their tough drill instructors. They aren’t trying to destroy recruits; they’re trying to break them down so they can build them up in strength for a strong military response.

I’m reminded of the Navy Seal Maxim. According to SEAL Team 6 commander Richard Marcinko, ** Seals say,

“The more you sweat in training,

the less you bleed in combat.” 

[Some argue the quote came from General George Patton who actually said, “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.” And Patton was supposedly quoting an old Chinese proverb.’

Regardless, the point is the same.

If we wait until the war starts to prepare for battle, we’re in trouble!

In a practical sense, once we enlist, we’re already IN the next war because we’re being trained to fight.

Let’s take a lesson from drill instructors. They have a purpose in mind.

So does the Lord. He wants to teach us how to be strong IN HIM.

Sometimes we may not like the “drills” God takes us through.

In a spiritual sense, Christians will face many battles over their lifetimes. They have a strong, deceitful and vicious enemy, out to destroy every child of God.

We can’t wait until we’re in the heat of battle—facing tough temptations or hurtful circumstances—to prepare for the fight.

Sadly, many Christians do not even realize there’s a spiritual war. God’s children have faced-off against the enemy of our souls since the book of Genesis and we see evidences of warfare throughout the Old Testament.

(Actually that war against God and His followers began before Adam and Eve when Satan fell from heaven.)

We see the continuing truth about spiritual warfare as Jesus was tempted by Satan and in His encounters with demons before the cross. And we see the battle in many of the early stories in the church.

Others who DO understand we’re in a war don’t understand the weapons needed to fight Satan’s schemes and win. 

The Apostle Paul wrote about spiritual warfare and the divine weapons we’re to wield in Ephesians 6:10-20. James encouraged us to resist the devil. Jesus and Peter warned about our adversary too.

But it’s one thing to know all this truth. It’s quite another to PRACTICE it. Practice as in “be trained.” To walk in wisdom and train in truth. To be ready. 

We cannot fight our battles alone. We need the strength of the Lord.

We also need teachers and mentors who will help us understand how to walk in a manner worthy of our calling (Ephesians 4:1) and be good soldiers of Christ—determined to do whatever it takes to honor Him (2 Timothy 2:3-4).

And we must remember we’re not only fighting the devil. We’re also fighting the worldly culture and our sinful flesh—which Satan also uses to attack us (Ephesians 2:2-3a; James 1:13-15).

My point is. We need to be watchful, prayerful and ready. We need to work up a spiritual sweat now so we don’t “bleed” later.

 * Adapted from Military Jokes and Truth (clean humor).

 ** from Rogue Warrior by Richard Marcinko with John Weisman

Graphic adapted, courtesy of skeeze at Pixabay.

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Privacy Issues

5 Feb

I’ve sighed many times at all the “privacy issues” that come up with social media, but Pam Farrel sent me something she saw on Facebook that made me LOL!

“New privacy issue with Facebook! As of tomorrow, Facebook will creep into your bathroom when you’re in the shower, smack your rear end, and then steal your clothes and towel. And it’s all gonna happen when you have soap in your eyes.

“To change this option, go to Privacy Settings > Personal Settings > Bathroom Settings > Smacking and Stealing Settings. Then, uncheck the Shenanigans box. Facebook kept this one quiet. Copy and Paste on your status to alert others.”

That’s funny, but for many, real privacy issues are no laughing matter. With all the “hacking” and viruses trying to invade our privacy, many of us are searching for ways to guard against those who want to destroy our computer efficiency or, worse, steal our identities!

This made me think ~ how like Satan, the enemy of our soul. He wants to destroy our effectiveness for God, and he is the “Father of Lies” (John 8:44) constantly feeding us lies about our true identity.

Like a sneaky cyber worm, Satan “hacks” into our lives for weaknesses, foolish choices, and sinful behavior that he can throw up against us at the most inconvenient times.

  • He invades our thoughts and tries to shut down spiritual growth.
  • He relishes opportunities to make us feel guilty.
  • He rejoices when we feel unworthy to follow and serve Christ.

Temptation of Christ - Scheffer

We need to establish some strong “privacy settings” by changing the options Satan has in our lives.

Just as Jesus made the enemy flee by quoting appropriate scripture zingers (Matthew 4:1-22; Luke 4:1-13), we need to know and skillfully use the Word of God to guard against Satan’s tricky attacks. We need to be alert and guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23) with biblical truth so the enemy cannot steal our joy in Christ and we can experience true freedom (John 8:32).

We reinforce those settings every day as we spend time reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on the truth of the Bible. We also are wise step up our protection by putting on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).

If we have some “privacy issues,” it may be because we’ve failed to be faithful in saturating our hearts and minds with the heart and mind of Christ ~ loving the things He loves, and obtaining His wisdom.

So ~ quick check ~ are your “privacy settings” up to date?

Stay Sharp for Your Battles

20 Jul

Bill Carlson, our friend on Facebook, is such a comedian. He loves all women in Jesus, but he does love to tell an occasional clean blonde joke. He recently shared this one on Facebook:

Two blondes were sipping their Starbucks when a truck went past loaded up with rolls of sod.

“I’m going to do that when I win the lottery,” announced Blonde #1.

“Do what?” asked Blonde #2.

“Send my lawn out to be mowed.”

“Pastor Tim” at Cybersalt.org tells another story about a woman and a lawn mower:

“I was trying to mow the lawn before my husband got home from work,” a woman said, “but our electric lawn mower refused to cooperate. It would run fine for a few seconds, then cut off, run again, cut off. Finally, I gave up and waited for my husband.

“He had a good laugh when he diagnosed the problem. Instead of plugging in the mower using a three-prong adapter, I had hooked up the cord through the Christmas-tree light blinker.” (1)

Old Lawn MowerI (Dawn) love to watch my husband try to crank up our old lawn mower. He pulls the starter cord over and over and over again. He stops and wipes his brow. He repeats this process several times. Finally, the mower starts purring (or growling, actually). One good thing about that mower is that it still cuts grass like a champ.

Not at all like my Grandpa’s old push mower. That mower must have had the world’s dullest blades! Not only did it glide over the overgrowth of weeds in the yard without cutting them, that lawn mower hardly snipped the tips of the grass.

A lawn mower with dull blades is just about useless.

Not unlike a Christian with a weak “sword.”

The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17b). As part of the armor of the believer, it is Sword of the Spirit _ Biblepotentially powerful in spiritual warfare. But many Christians ~ by lack of use or not caring to “sharpen” this powerful tool in their hands ~ aren’t very effective in cutting down the “overgrowth” of sin.

We are in a real battle today for souls. We are in a war against those things in the world and culture that want to destroy us. And we can’t fight the powers of darkness with a dull sword.

Remember, it is the Sword of the Spirit. He gives the sword its cutting edge; and the Word cuts deep and discerns the intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). The Spirit will teach us how to use the scriptures, too.

It is our sword when we learn to use it.  It’s not enough to simply read the Word, although that’s a good start. We need to study it, meditate on it, memorize it, and use it. We need to stay “sharp” … a ready tool for God to use. We need to learn discernment ~ how to apply the Word’s wisdom (perspective) to everyday circumstances. We need to know how to “wield” it to lead others to Christ.

So we must pick up our swords with purpose every day, because God is calling us to stand for Him. Knowledge and wise use of the Word of God is power! STAY SHARP for your battles!

(1) http://www.cybersalt.org/clean-jokes/mowing-the-lawn

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