This week we celebrate Veteran’s Day…the American holiday that recognizes the service soldiers give (and gave) for America. We thankfully honor those who give their lives to protect freedom. The brotherhood of servicemen awes me; the commitment to fellow soldiers is beautiful to behold. Soldiers who have battled together especially treasure the bond they share. Young people enter the military as civilians; they are built into a bonded unit over time and through battles. They learn to obey commands to save the lives of one another. Working as a unit, they protect the masses. Our appreciation is right and good!
Contemplating our military offers us needed insights as Christian soldiers. We come to Christ as sinners, enemies of God, and begin the process of being built into a cohesive unit with Christ as our head. Like the American military, faith warriors are not born; they are built. Christians serving together, enduring battles and growing in trust of the commander are soldiers sent to protect other citizens of the Kingdom. Just as godly wisdom is imparted line by line and precept by precept, warriors grow bit by bit. We learn and grow together…with examples of scripture to help us.
Consider Gideon: one who became a mighty warrior but one who was hiding when God first spoke to him. The ‘building of Gideon’ inspires me when I do not feel like a mighty warrior!
“Then the LORD’s angel came to the village of Ophrah and sat under the oak tree that belonged to Joash…His son Gideon was threshing some wheat secretly in a wine press, so that the Midianites would not see him.” Judges 6:11
God does not give a spirit of fear; the fear in Gideon was not from God, nor was it the plan of God! Fear is the opposite faith and something we never want to be our driving force!
“The LORD is with you, brave and mighty man,” announced the angel.
God knows our frailty and meets us where we are at. However, He speaks Truth from His point of view. The reality that exists when we are in the presence of God is what we as soldiers need to hear. It gives us the courage to move in His direction!
Our own lacks are always the doorway God uses to enter into our earthly reality. Just like Gideon, we frequently find ourselves asking, “If God is with us, why are we facing these awful things?” God is glad to give us the answer, but it always involves us stepping out of our comfort zone, out of our excuses, and into His ways.
When we pray, ‘thy kingdom come, thy will be done,’ God says “GREAT, I’m with you! Now you go bring my Kingdom to this situation you face. Do my will and let me show my glory through you.” He expects us to be willing to be the vehicle that answers the prayers we pray. We must be willing to have Him do in us what we are asking Him to do in another. Our surrender to His work becomes a miraculous work that paves the way for His work in another.
Often we protest that we wanted HIM to do the work in them, not us. We fail to understand that we are a unit, a body that becomes healthy together. The challenges we face are the faith strengthening exercises He knows will build us into the mightiest warrior we can be…and help us bring life to others. Every battle we face has the potential of making us mightier because it helps us know God more. As we probe the depths of our inadequacy, He always proves Himself able and prayer requests become realities.
And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness. Therefore, I will rather gladly boast in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may overshadow me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Embrace those battles because they are the doorway to the presence of God. Be a great warrior. Let Him work in you to reveal Himself to others. Our world needs more Christian warriors. Consider that as you honor a soldier who makes the freedoms we enjoy in America possible! Here is a sweet honoring that is sure to touch your heart!