I was not in the military, and I have not fought a physical war for a country. However, I have the uttermost respect for those who have, and all those who are currently serving.
However, did you know there is a war going on every day, 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year? Have you been Battle Tested? Do you have a Battle Buddy? Do you know what a Battle Buddy is?
As a man, I can say I have been Battled Tested Physically, Spiritually and Mentally. I have been in physical fights, and I have had to defend myself an others. I was a rather skinny and tall lad growing up. I may have weighted 145 lbs when I graduated high school and stood six foot . I went to what was called a Middle to Lower Class Blue Collar town. I was told later that it was a “tough neighborhood” and a “tough school”. It puzzled me at the time as I never considered myself middle class, lower middle class, or poor. At that age, I thought most people lived as we did, and several fights a week at school was normal. I had a good roof over my head, always had food on the table, and amazing friends that are still friends to this day. However, I did have to learn to take care of myself and others that I loved, quickly. I refused to be a victim, but a victor. So I trained hard and often to be able to defend myself, and those I loved. However, I also learned to use my brain and words well, proactively, and effectively. I learned to “get along”, make friends easy, communicate in a way not only most others of all classes or cliques understood, but to deflect or calm down animosity, or conflict. I became more of a peace maker in an effort for all to get along without the need of physical altercations or violence.
Learning and knowing how to defend yourself and others is also biblical.
“From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.” Matthew 11:12
“Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;” — Psalm 144:1
“He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” — Luke 22:26
“When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.” — Nehemiah 4:14
“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” — 1 Timothy 5:8
“When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe” — Luke 11:21
Let’s talk about Mental War. If you have ever been around a toxic person, or let’s say a bully, unkind, harsh and malicious words are spoken. Let’s say you are in a relationship and the person you are dating or even married too is verbally abusive. Let’s say you are around so called “friends” and all they do is speak against you, or about you behind your back. They are not encouraging or inspirational, they are rather negative or harsh. Or lets say you are too hard on yourself, over taxing yourself, and taking set backs or failures too personally. Let’s say you dwell on the negative, become pessimistic, seeing every challenge as impossible, then become filled with anxiety and depression. All of this is a Mental Battle, and a Mental War.
It is biblical to identify this mental war, take captive your thoughts, and work well to change your way of thinking as well as distance yourself, or remove yourself, from toxic people:
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” — 2 Corinthians 10:5
“Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” — 1 Corinthians 15:33
“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.” — Romans 16:17–18
“Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.” — Proverbs 22:24–25
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” — Proverbs 16:24
“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” — Colossians 3:2
“and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.” — 1 Peter 3:16
“rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,” — Romans 12:12
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” — Philippians 4:4
Let’s talk about Spiritual War. This is a battle that has been raging since the Fall of Man, well even since the expulsion of Satan for that matter.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” — Ephesians 6:1
There is an enemy, the advisory, lucifer, whom seeks to devour and destroy. He is a Master Manipulator, Deceiver, and War Strategist who wants to consume the souls of humanity to get at God for God’s beloved Creation. Satan knows we have a free will, and he seeks to capitalize on that free will. Yes, if angels walked and walks among us, there will be the advisory and his demons too.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” — John 10:10
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” — 1 Peter 5:8
This is where I intended to invest the majority of my time with this devotional on the Spiritual Battle, and ask, “Have you been Battle Tested, do you have a Battle Buddy, and how do you defend yourself against an enemy that you may not be able to physically see? Or if it is in the form of a physical presence, how do you handle that?”
First of all you were Battle Tested the first time you were tempted away from the things of God. How did you weather that battle? How did you weather the following battles? How do you weather future battles?
The bible is rather clear in this area. The Christian common sense is to be in the Word and Pray Daily. I would also add listen to inspirational music and be cautious what your eyes see, and your ears hear, and partake in Fasting. There is also something called, “The Full Armor of God”
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” — Ephesians 6:10–20
We were created by Father God Almighty with a natural instinct to typically determine what may be harmful, or not, which also includes what is wrong, and right. It is the enemy whom seeks to convince and manipulate us otherwise just as the serpent said to Eve, “surely you will not die” Genesis 3:4
The best way is to, identify the evil and wickedness, and rebuke it in Jesus name.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” — James 4:7
In the military people are trained very well in hand to hand combat as well as with weapons. In fact the drill sergeants tend to teach that their rifle becomes a part of them, and they are to keep it well cleaned, in excellent operational condition, and always be with them. If we are all in a Spiritual Battle why would we not have a Spiritual Weapons and Armor with us, cleaned, polished, operable, and ready?
Would you go to war without your sword or rifle? Then why would you be without the bible in a Spiritual Battle? Especially in church or a bible study. You do not have to carry around a 6 inch thick King James Study Bible, as bibles are made in just about any size, and many translations. In fact, there are free bible apps for the smartphone which most everyone has with them most of the time.
Would you go to war, and not be trained well? Why then would you not go to church to gather with others to learn, serve, worship, repent, get equipped, and go out? Why would you not seek after someone that is more trained, well versed, wise, and learn from them?
If the enemy seems overwhelming and much stronger than you are, would you go into battle alone? Then in this ongoing Spiritual Battle, why wouldn’t you get read up, prayed up, and feed the Holy Spirit to go with you? in addition to having a Battle Buddy you know, trust, and admire for their faith, to battle with you and have your six?
In closing, we all have been Battle Tested, but how well did we do in the past battles, the present battles, and are going to do in the future battles, may be the question. Battle Tested can make you stronger and refine you like gold if you let it.
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith — more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” — 1 Peter 1:6–7
We all need to put on the Full Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10–20), and have a Battle Buddy whom we trust, whom is wise in the Lord.
“Two are better off than one, because together they can work more effectively. If one of them falls down, the other can help him up. But if someone is alone and falls, it’s just too bad, because there is no one to help him. If it is cold, two can sleep together and stay warm, but how can you keep warm by yourself? Two people can resist an attack that would defeat one person alone. A rope made of three cords is hard to break.” — Ecclesiastes 4:9–12
So get out there and make it a great day. Because you truly have a choice in making it a great day. You can take captive of your thoughts to overcome negativity, pessimism, fear, and doubt. You can choose the right relationships and distance yourself from the bad ones. You can win against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places by being in the Word, Praying, Fasting while putting on the Full Armor of God. Besides we know Who wins, and if you are saved, you are already on the Winning Team.
Enjoy this gift of life and launch each day with Purpose, navigate with Principles, and explore with Passion!