Summary: M Day...remember those who gave their lives in the fight for freedom. It is a very appropriate holiday...one that deserves our reverence and respect. As a veteran, I feel a very strong sense of appreciation for those who sacrificed their all for me.
CASUALTIES OF WAR
M Day...remember those who gave their lives in the fight for freedom. It is a very appropriate holiday...one that deserves our reverence and respect. As a veteran, I feel a very strong sense of appreciation for those who sacrificed their all for me.
Many of you also served and some have seen the horrors of war. I served during the Vietnam War, but never really had as great a sense of reverence for this holiday until I went to the Persian Gulf. There I found out what war really is. There I saw the price of freedom.
I found out that the old adage "War is Hell" is about as accurate as we could make it. And I was so glad when it was over...and finally I was able to come home. I was able to put at least most of it behind.
But there was also a lot that I learned about life...and even more about my faith while I was over there. I learned that warfare in the natural is not unlike spiritual warfare in many ways. And for a few moments I want to share from Ephesians where it talks about the Christian soldier.
Because we are in a war that is every bit as real...every bit as destructive...and we are called to fight the good fight of faith. In fact, when you accepted Christ as Savior, you didn't join a retirement club...you enlisted in the army God's Army. And we are called to serve...we are called to fight.
Now there is one piece of bad news I have for some of you...this is one army from which you never retire...at least not while you are here on earth. Some get to a certain age and say well, I've done all I can do...it's time for me to retire and let someone else take over. And I find that many who do that aren't any older than I am.
You may change your ministry...maybe go to something less strenuous or physically demanding...but you never retire. My great grandmother was 93, confined to a hospital bed unable to move...and she prayed and interceded for her family in a way that would stir the hearts of all… And that is one of the greatest ministries there are.
We need to know that we are in a war...and we're in it for the duration. So the word about spiritual warfare is for all. Let's read Eph 6:10ff
Now I could preach a half dozen sermons on this passage...but this morning I just want to touch on this just briefly...just to set the stage for the heart of what I want to share.
The first thing I want to take note of is found in v 10...spiritual strength and courage are absolutely essential for us to be able to engage in warfare with the enemy. The problem is that we have no sufficient strength on our own.
Last week I spoke about Pentecost and the endowment of power that is absolutely necessary for us to be effective witnesses. And we can see here that our strength does indeed come from the Lord. We must not... we cannot rely on our own ability and our own sufficiency.
We must put on the whole armor of God so that we can stand against the devils schemes. This means that we must be protected in all vital areas...Paul then goes on to tell us what the armor includes.
But first he tells us the most important thing we need to know about the spiritual battle that we face as Christians...the battle is not against flesh and blood.
Mike Warnke said it so well, "Christians spend the vast majority of their time....." We are not to be fighting each other! That's the first rule of warfare...know who your enemy is!! It's not your wife or your husband...it's not your boss...it's not your pastor.
Our enemy is unseen...he's a deceiver and a liar who works most often in subtle ways...He's a master in the art of temptation, and his one great ally is our fleshly desires.
He comes only to steal, kill, and destroy...he's after your soul. He desires nothing but to prevent you from heaven, and all it's blessings and to obstruct your communion with God in heaven.
But God has given us the means to stand strong in the face of the enemies worst onslaught. We've been given the means to withstand the devil's assaults and those things he uses to attract us.
I could go on about each element of the armor, and about the offensive weapons we have...but the point I want to make is that we have at our disposal the necessary means to withstand any temptation, any attack, and deception that Satan can throw our way.