Summary: Playing on the theme of Veterans Day next week, we will use the idea that we are spiritual warriors and will be "Veterans of Spiritual Wars" as our predecessors in the faith.
1. I come from a long line of US Veterans and Patriots -- War of Independence; War Between the States; WWII; Korea -- people who cared about the great experiment called, "America" -- My Grandmother was named America
2. Origin of Veterans Day
On May 13, 1938 the 11th of November of each year became a legal holiday - - a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day."
Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen in the Nation's history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting the word "Veterans."
With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. And we are more than happy to honor all our armed service veterans. They deserve both recognition and honor. God bless all our veterans!
3. It Is the Veteran
It is the VETERAN, not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the VETERAN, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the VETERAN, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the VETERAN, not the campus [or community] organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the VETERAN, not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the VETERAN, who salutes the Flag,
Who serves under the Flag.
4. We know about the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars). There is another type of veteran -- VSW (the veteran of spiritual wars).
a. We think of the saints who are veterans of spiritual battles before us -- 2 Timothy 4.6-8
b. The spiritual battles in which we engage will make us veterans like those of whom we read in scripture
I. Our LORD is a Warrior in Battle
[LORD of Armies occurs 280+ times in Bible; LORD of Peace -- once in Judges 6.24
A. He Fights on Our Behalf for Our Good -- Exodus 14.13-14; 15.3
1. The Exodus
2. Our Redemption and daily care (intercession for us)
Always Interceding -- Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25
Menwith Hill, in a Yorkshire moor in the north of England, is the largest eavesdropping station in the world. There, American and British intelligence officers monitor worldwide electronic "chatter" coursing through the air, hoping to pick up clues to terrorist and other harmful activity before it happens. While terrorists talk on their cell phones, satellite dishes intercept their conversations.
Warfare is always going two ways--offense and defense. The same is true in spiritual warfare. While Satan is luring and tempting those he can (1 Peter 5:8), Jesus is in heaven interceding with the Father on our behalf. Luke 22 gives an example: Jesus knew that Satan wanted to trip up Peter and the disciples and "sift [them] as wheat." But Jesus said to Peter, "I have prayed for you [plural], that your faith should not fail" (Luke 22:31-32). While Satan was attacking, Jesus was interceding.
The next time you are tempted to sin, think about Jesus praying for you in heaven--praying "that your faith should not fail." And praise Him that He is your partner in prayer.
B. He Fights with Powerful Weapons at His Disposal
1. The Power of His Right Hand to turn raging seas to his advantage -- Exodus 15.4-10
2. His Power of Intimidation -- Edom-Moab-Philistia-Canaan -- Exodus 15.13-16
a. Challenged Jesus -- three temptations +
b. Challenges the Church today -- the place where God's power is to be displayed
II. Our LORD Leads Us as Warriors into Battle
A. He Trains Us for War
Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
who trains my hands for war,
and my fingers for battle;
2 he is my steadfast love and my fortress,
my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield and he in whom I take refuge,
who subdues peoples under me. Psalm 144.1-2
1. ABCs of Adversity
If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Proverbs 24:10