Summary: The message focuses on the believer gearing up for battle. Veteran’s day message.
Pastor Don Jones
We know what we are to do. The past two weeks we looked at the core commands of the Bible, the Great Command. It tells us what to do and to whom. Seems simple enough, love God and love others. Then why do we fail so often if it is that simple.
A battle hardened veteran stood before his troops one day. He told them his secret to victory over his enemies and staying alive in war. His words were easy to remember and so simple they are hard to forget. He said, "Men, never take ten minutes of ammo into an hour long minute battle".
Most of us get the idea. Be prepared for the battle you are going to fight. The scriptures describe our battle and may offer some understanding as to why we sometimes fail. Turn with me to Ephesians 6:10-19 and let’s begin looking at what the Lord would have us to do.
Know Your Enemy
First, know your enemy. Do some recon. Most of us know the people that irritate and annoy us. Those are not the ones we are in a fight with. Paul tells us our battle is with an enemy much more sinister in nature. He says,
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Our enemy is not the people but the evil encompassing this world. We get upset and angry with people all he time. They are not our enemy. Paul says our enemy is the spiritual forces of evil. Why do we not love others? We think they are our enemy. They are not. When we realize we are fighting spiritual forces then we can begin to prepare for the right battle. Remember, 10 minutes of ammo....
Next, set up the proper base of operations. Modern technology literally allows not only the soldiers to be in contact with each other but with the command center as well. When in doubt, the soldier communicates with the commander and gets further instructions.
Our base of operations and command center is the Lord. Verse 10 says,
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Most of us fail in our heavenly mission because we go out in this world under our own power. Like a lone soldier in battle, we are soon captured or killed. I am convinced this is why most believers are not successful. We cannot be victorious without going in the presence and might of the Lord.
Our next step is to make sure we are ready for the fight. We know our enemy, we have a command center, now we need to personally prepare for battle. It is the Lord’s battle and only by following him to we stand a chance against the enemy.
Twice, in verse 11 and 13 we are told,
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
We will be under attack. Before your feet hit the floor be geared up. Most of us would consider a soldier to be an idiot if he went to the front lines without any equipment and yet day after day we walk through life without a second thought to the battle between us and the devil’s schemes. How foolish that is of us.
The first piece of equipment we are to put on is the equipment belt.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist
The belt of old was used to hold everything together. Modern day belts are used to hold everything from knives, ammo, grenades, and small arms. It is a vital piece of equipment for no other reason than it holds your pants up.
We are to put on the belt of truth. Not only does this ground us in Jesus but the truth gives us all of the tools necessary with which to work. We are to walk in the convictions of scripture, the truth. Our actions and words are to be in one accord with God’s word. He gives us all we need in it.
One vital piece of equipment for the soldiers of today is the Kevlar vest. It is used to protect the vital organs of the body. Without this one piece of equipment there would be more injuries and fatalities in war. Paul says,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
Roman soldiers used to wear a bronze or iron breast plate for the same purpose as Kevlar vests are worn today. 1 Thessalonians describes this breastplate we are to wear. It says,