In addition to all his this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flamming arrows of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16 NIV)
How dented is your shield?
This is the last in a four part series on being a Warrior For God and being Comabt Ready. Any modern day warrior who goes to war wears a shield. The shield is what protects the body. The sword takes the life, the shield preserves the life. Your shield is part of your body armor. Your shield in addition to the breastplate of righteousness is part of the full armor of God. To go to battle without your body armor on is simply a foolish idea, one worth of death.
So I ask...how dented is your shield? Let me ask the question like this...How strong is your faith? What a powerful question! Too many Christian brothers and sisters are full on religion and low on faith. Where do you stand? When was the last time you had faith in God... enough to let God validate your faith? This is what happens as ChristIans, we get tired of waiting on God to act on behalf of our faith, so we decide to move God to the side and fight battles in our lives on our own terms and in doing so, act as God of our own life. Here is what happens when we act as God of our own life...our shield of faith in God gets dented. With enough dents over time, our shield of Faith becomes ineffective at perserving our life. Our shield of faith is useless because it is nonexistent, as we have over time replaced our shield of faith in God to our shield of faith in ourselves. The enemy looks at our shield of faith and tests it to determine if our faith is in God or in ourselves. When the enemy finds that your faith is really in you and not in God (not saying you don't believe in God, as there is a difference between belief and faith) he knows how to attack because he knows you have no way to protect yourself.
Let me tell you a secret the enemy knows...your faith in yourself and your abilities is really an invisible shield only you can see and nobody else can...and heres the truth of this fact that Satan knows, everybody else who can't see your shield is right. Because the sad matter is this, you don't have a shield your carrying other than in your mind. And your mind is Satan's battle ground. It is a battle ground Satan knows better than other battle ground. He has set more land minds and more traps in the battle ground of your mind than any other battle ground.
If you find your shield of faith, pray now to God to strengthen your faith. To give you the patience to wait on God to validate your faith. Have you noticed how easy it is to have faith in God, when you have zero control over a circumstance or situtation? For example, waiting on God for life saving healing. Your shield becomes dented when you have the ability to influence the outcome thru intervention.
Today I am going to leave this blog open for comments. I welcome them with open arms and pray for a renewed faith in Christians everywhere.
A Warrior in Arms, REACTING2PURPOSE
"Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17 NIV)
How sharp is your sword?
Have you ever tried to cut something with a dull knife? It doesn't work out so well. The same is true with being "A Warrior For God, and being Combat Ready" If your sword is dull, your effectiveness in combat is dull. Way back in the day when it was common to carry a sword, the sheath the sword was in was lined with stone. In the movies you get the "shing" sound when a sword is drawn from its sheath. That "shing" sound is the blade of the sword sliding against the stone on the inside of the sheath. Back in the day, you could tell how regularly a sword was drawn by how sharp it was. The more a sword was drawn from it's sheath the sharper the sword.
So back to the original question...how sharp is your sword? Your sword is the word of God. The word of God is the best weapon you have against enemies you face in combat. If you dont' know the word of God, your carrying around a dull sword; for some of you, your in battle without your sword at all!
You have to regularly call upon the word of God, even when your not in a combat zone. You have to regularly call upon the word of God simply to sharpen your sword.
I used to police officer back in the day, and one of the exerices we used to practice was drawing our weapon from our holster. We did this thousands of times. The reason...was so that the act of drawing our weapon was second nature to us. It is called building muscle memory. Over time, I accomplished two things when drawing my weapon. I became faster at it, and it no longer felt akward. The same principle applies when drawing your sword...the word of God.
It is critical as a Warrior for God to draw your sword daily, to build your muscle memory. To become quicker at drawing your sword for battle and so that you don't feel akward doing it. If it helps, think of it this way... The last person to draw their sword or weapon in my case as a former police officer, was thefirst person to die.
REACTING2PURPSOE, A Warrior in Arms....
Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, " We should go up and take possesssion of the land, for we can certainly do it."
But the men who had gone up with him said, "We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are." And they spread among the Israelites a bad report abou the land they had explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak com from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes and we looked the same to them." (Numbers 13:30-33 NIV)
Do you have the scars to prove you have faced previous battles successfully or have you run from past battles?
To successful REACT to your purpose requires battles. To fullfill your purpose requires battles scars. These scars show you have been thru it. Notice in the verses above that Caleb was ready to go to battle with giants to fullfill the purpose and promise God had given him and the Isrealites. However, his fellow soldiers opted to flee instead of fight. The choices you make in the moments before battle shows the character of your relationship with God. Do you believe in the promise and purpsoe God has for your life is worth the fight you are facing or getting ready to face? Is your faith in God greater than the size of the advesary you are facing?
As a warrior, you need to be combat ready. To fully step into your purpose you need to be battle proven. The same is true for who you connect yourself with while aligning yourself and your life to your purpose. You may soon find yourself looking at your fellow soldiers and realizing they don't have any battle scars. You have to ask yourself, is this really the group of warriors I want to be in battle together with? Are my friends in life really the warriors I can count on?
Think about how Caleb must have viewed his fellow soldiers after they wimped out on the battle for God. You may find that you have some major changes to make in your life for you to begin to fully REACT to your purpose for you life. Do not be afraid of change. Change is sometimes the first step in right direction on the road to your purpose.
Don't be afraid of the battles or the giants you may be facing. Choose to stand up on the front lines and fight. Your purpose for your life is your promised land. The battles you go thru while on your way to your purpose makes you stonger to survive in your purpose.
REACTING2PURPOSE, Warrior in Arms...
Every Christian must be able to, at a moments notice, stand ready for battle. It is not a matter of if you will need to fight, but when, and how often. For some the fight is daily, for others a bit more sparatic. Whether you have to fight often or not is not the question. The question is are you ready for the fight? How are your battle skills? Do you have the scars to prove you have faced previous battles successfully or have you run from past battles? How sharp is your sword? How dented is your shield?
How are your battle skills?
If you ask any military person, they will tell you without hesitation that as a requirement for survial in combat they must rigoriously maintain their battle skills. How they REACT to certain situtations must become muscle memory where it is second nature to respond a specific way. As a Christian you have to continually practice your battle skills for your survival as a Christian. There are only two ways to practice your battle skills. Either you go to battle often, or you practice in simulated battle. For Christians we don't have the luxury to practice our battle skills on the play ground in a simulated environment.
Our only option is the "real deal". This means for our battle skills to become second nature, to become programmed muscle memory for us, we have to go to battle often. Everytime the enemy presents it's self we have to willing to go and fight. This is the only way to improve your battle skills. Will there be scars, and pain, and hurts...absolutely! But you won't grow until you experience pain. As a Christian fighitng on the front lines for Jesus, ask yourself this question, do you want a seasoned combat veteran by your side? Somone who has the battle scars like you? Someone who has been thru the pain and hurt like you? Or do you want a Christian that consistantly runs from the battlefield when its time to fight leaving you on the front lines alone?
I encourage you to choose today to stand and fight and fight often. Pray to God to send you to battle daily.
Warrior In Arms...