I wonder if, as believers, we ever grasp a full sense of what God is really calling us for. Many preachers like to say, “we are born in the church”, but often, like the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26), people confuse it to be a natural birth. Many of us tend to think we have a special place in Heaven and there is nothing that is expected of us. The truth is, we have to be baptized and be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is the process of being born again, according to St. John 3:5. But this is only the first step in answering God’s call.
In the military, the recruitment process may take months because of all the criminal checks that have to be conducted to ensure one’s history is verified. Before an individual can come on board there is a physical test, an aptitude test and a medical exam (blood test, eye sight, etc) that has to be passed.When the criteria is met, military gears are issued- everything that is needed is provided- clothes, shoes, helmet, socks, underwear, bra, water bottle, rucksack, bayonet, bayonet carrier, the list goes on. These are not given, they are issued. Therefore if you fail to return these items should you be discharged, you will pay for them because they were signed out in your name.
What I’m trying to say is that, when we chose to be baptized and be filled with the holy spirit, many of us didn’t read the fine prints or better yet, we ignored it. Or maybe we signed up blindly. What we signed up for was to join the Lord’s Army. Do not associate this army for the Lord’s Resistance Army. This is a militant group operating in northern Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic. It has been accused of widespread human rights violations including murder, abduction, mutilation, child-sex slavery, to name a few things.
What the Lord of Host is calling us to do is nothing of the sort, but instead to defend against those things. These things are called the wiles/schemes of the evil one. This is not a battle for the flesh but it is a spiritual battle that can only be fought in the spirit. God called us to “put on the whole armor of God, that [we] may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” We signed up to fight but many of us didn’t bother to collect our equipment when we signed up. God gave us the full armour at the beginning: He gave us the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God and prayer (Ephesians 6:14-17). On top of the fact that we are not equipped, we are also not prepared.
In the military, the basic training can take anywhere from three months to a year. This is only the basic training to turn a mere individual into a soldier. When he/she passes, the individual receives a chevron, just a small piece of material that is added to the uniform to show that we are now fully trained privates. It is rigorous and mentally challenging so many have dropped out because they couldn’t handle it. The same way, in order for each of us to prepare for our spiritual battle we also have to prepare, through prayer and fasting and knowing the word of God. When Jesus was being tempted, the devil (evil one) twisted the word of God against Jesus, but Jesus stood firm and He quoted the scriptures back to the devil. He resisted the devil, and the devil had to flee.
Our battle is much the same, except the devil comes in the form of spirits. T.D Jakes calls these spirits “disembodied” and as such they have to find a body to reside in. In other words, the evil spirits will take residence in our bodies, so when it appears on the surface that a friend is persuading us to do something we know we shouldn’t, remember we have to resist the devil. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. This is not a battle we can fight with our words, so getting angry at the other person isn’t the answer. What we are doing is fighting the spirit with our own flesh. We are not going to win because we are using our own minds and our feelings and our words to defend ourselves. The equipment we were given are far more tactical and excellent to defending in a spiritual battle, but majority of us have not even look at the weapons that the Lord has given us. Most of us don’t know how to use them or we were never prepared spiritually. The church is our home base, this is where we train. But do not think that when the soldiers go home that they stop training, so neither should we. Training for battle, whether it’s physical or spiritual, requires the same endurance and perseverance which comes through preparation.
According to one soldier in the Lord’s army, we need to be prepared, equipped and be ready. The Lord has already provided the equipment, we now have to get ourselves prepared and ready for battle. Therefore we cannot sleep or slumber, neither can we put ourselves in a state of mind where we can easily be tempted. We have to guard ourselves and be strong in the Lord. There is much work to be done in the vineyard. The devil has punctured a hole in governments, the laws are corrupt, he has made his way in the churches, in our homes causing our families to be tormented. Our youth are confused and so are the men. If we don’t take our places in the army, by the time the devil is done, we won’t be able to recognize who we are. The good news is: this battle is not ours, it’s the Lord’s and the end is already proclaimed- the Lord of Host will win. So let’s pick up our weapons and fight side by side with the Lord!
Categories: Spirit and Soul