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We Are Soldiers

Some of the imagery I like to use can involve something along the lines of battles or wars. It’s important to look at our lives in these new ways, because it gives us perspective in who we are and what we’re doing. Among all the things we are, those of us not occupied in the military don’t generally consider ourselves soldiers, but–you guessed it–we are the empowered defenders of Christ’s name.

Most people will be familiar with the characteristic Roman armor poster they probably had in their Sunday school class, displaying the Armor of God. Google image search for ‘armor of God’ and you’ll see what I mean. But believe it or not, there’s a little more behind the whole illustration than we think.

First of all, if not for Sunday school classes and VBSs worldwide, why was this famous passage in Ephesians even written? Well, the answer to that one is pretty easy if you read the passage.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Ephesians 6:10

The author, or rather, writer, of the book Ephesians, the apostle Paul, wanted us to know something. He wanted us to understand the power of Christ when applied to our lives. We are shown how, when virtues of our faith are used, God will bring us the strength we need.

It’s a bit of a reverse proof here, but this imagery of armor tells us exactly what we need to understand the empowered nature of serving Christ. Paul understood that ordinary people can understand concepts like a shield or a sword and their purposes, so why not use that prior knowledge to explain how we are empowered by our faith? The concept is simply that we must, by our righteousness, faithfulness, understanding, and readiness, be prepared to fight for God’s kingdom.

It’s a more fun way of saying the exact same thing. Follow God; fight for God. We have to be soldiers in defense of the kingdom, protecting the weak, the hungry, and the helpless, and preventing the world from blotting out the truth.

So don’t be afraid, oh fearless soldier. You’ve been given the armor, and that’s all you need to start fighting back. Get started by reading more about the armor of God.

(It is important to note, though, that the whole ‘fighting the world’ thing is not to be taken literally, especially not in physical violence–at least, not in most cases.)

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The War

We all love epic stories. The epic characters, sagas, and conflicts of movies, shows, and games fascinate us. All of these things are cool and compelling, but when it comes to wars of gigantic proportions, no historic or fictional conflict can compare to the one we are a part of every day.

Many people have a very wrong understanding of angels. These heavenly creatures were created to glorify God, but also to be his warriors. These folks are for real. No wimpy Cupid nonsense. And every minute that goes by, people around the world are making the choice between good and evil–something which spiritual forces on both sides attempt to sway. God’s faithful warriors protect his followers as they go about. We can’t even see all that goes on because it is so beyond our understanding. But at the same time, all of this takes place right here on Earth. This is because these angels are in a different part of our world: the spirit world. This other part of our world, that we can’t see, contains the very literal part of the war.

But just because we can’t tell, doesn’t mean we aren’t in the middle of a battleground.

The Israelites fought for God constantly throughout their history. God simply told them to go and they did (though maybe after some complaining). One such example is below:

He shall say: “Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them.”” Deuteronomy 20:3

It’s not as if good and evil just fight for the heck of it. The war that goes on has a huge purpose–or why would it occur? It’s not just about power, it’s about power over the souls of humanity. As much as that sounds like something out of some old horror movie, this is real. The great part is the power over our heart is ours to give. We still have the choice. The war is deciding in our lives and in everyone’s, the victories mean lives saved by Christ, and losses are those without.

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