Summary: We Can Learn a Lot from a Veteran
In the movie Glory, Col. Robert Shaw (Matthew Broderick), a determined, demanding military man, volunteers to head up the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, one of the first units of the United States Army to be made up entirely of black men. Joining Shaw in battle are Private Trip (Denzel Washington), a hardened, escaped slave, and Sergeant Major Rawlins (Morgan Freeman), a leader amongst the black soldiers. Together, they did not only contend with the hatred and prejudices of the enemy, who had orders to kill commanding officers of blacks, they also had to deal with the distrust of their own fellow Union soldiers.
The ultimate event of the movie is when Col Shaw volunteers the 54th infantry to lead an assault on Fort Wagner after nightfall. The film displays a series of graphics stating that Fort Wagner was never taken. It also notes how news of the regiment's courage spurred the recruitment of numerous black volunteers; and by the end of the war, there were more than 180,000 African American men in uniform; a fact which President Lincoln considered instrumental in securing a victory for the Union.
My brothers and my sisters, today, God is using his word and our Veterans, to remind us that we are all still at war. We are at war physically, mentally, and spiritually. Ephesians 6:12 states that, “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.” Ladies and gentlemen we are in spiritual warfare. And one of the ways we can win this battle, is to figure out “What We Can Learn from a Veteran.”
A. A VETERAN FOCUSES ON WHERE THEIR PROTECTION COMES FROM (V.1-8)
1. One of the greatest mistakes we can make in spiritual warfare is to not be protected for the battle. The time for direction and encouragement is before the battle begins.
(Example -- Praise Before Battle Scene)
2. A Veteran knows that the natural life is preserved from dangers which are very threatening, but by faith, a Veteran chooses God as their guardian
(Examples of what people choose to guard them)
3. A Veteran knows that their spiritual life is protected by grace from every temptation of Satan
TRANS: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for, and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)
B. A VETERAN FOCUSES ON PROMISES AND NOT PROBLEMS (V. 9-13)
1. A Veteran is not afraid of the arrow because they know that, though it may hit them, it cannot
2. A Veteran knows that they are being watched by holy angels, so they never have to go it alone
3. A Veteran knows that they will succeed over their enemies, so they walk in total God confidence
TRANS: In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. James 2:17-18
C. A VETERAN FOCUSES ON DOING THEIR PART TO ACHIEVE VICTORY (V.14-16)
1. A Veteran will make sure that they know God and by any means necessary, they will make sure that God knows them
(Nicodemus and Examples from dating)
2. A Veteran will show their love towards God with pleasure and will fix their love on him so much, that they will never let anyone or anything, get in the way of it
(Examples of what’s coming between you and God—Uncured Demons, No Love or Respect for Husband/Wife, Bad example as a Father/Mother)
3. A Veteran will call on God through prayer, keep constant correspondence with him, and in every difficult situation, defer to God
In closing, remember this:
WE ARE ALL IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE AND WE NEED TO LEARN FROM THE ULTIMATE VETERAN—WHICH WAS JESUS CHRIST
HE FOCUSED ON WHERE HIS PROTECTION CAME FROM -- HIS FATHER
HE FOCUSED ON THE PROMISES -- THAT RESULTED FROM HIS ACTION ON THE CROSS
HE FOCUSED ON DOING HIS PART TO ACHIEVE VICTORY -- THRU THE RESURRECTION; HE ROSE AFTER 3 DAYS WITH ALL POWER, AND GAVE US AN OPPORTUNITY FOR SALVATION.
God Bless You, God Bless Our Veterans, and God Bless the United States of America.