Summary: A Veterans Day message urging us to not only honor Veterans but to also recognize that we are all veterans of spiritual wars and in need of preparation and confidence in facing those battles.
Please Join the VSW, A Veteran's Day Message
On Veteran's day we honor all those who have served their country in the military. Typically such veterans are members of the American Legion or the VFW. I'd like to suggest today that we broaden the scope of those we honor and make a special effort to honor the VSW, the veterans of spiritual wars, and if you are not yet a member of the VSW, I would certainly encourage you to join.
Not all veterans, yous see, have served in the military. There are other battles being fought daily. Members of the VSW have stood against an unseen enemy for many years and have sacrificed in an effort to protect you from the hand of that enemy. They have stood watch over the boundaries of this church and have been vigilant, always ready to go to battle. Its a good organization to be a part of, and I hope you will consider joining.
America has many enemies domestic and foreign who are constantly looking for ways to weaken our nation. There are even more enemies of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of our Lord is in a constant danger of attack by enemies domestic and foreign and I hope that each of you are ready to fight in defense of this kingdom, ready to bleed for it, to sacrifice for it, and that you will have the zeal to triumph over the enemies of God's Kingdom.
The apostle Paul encouraged Christians to “Pray without ceasing”. He urged constant preparation because our spiritual enemies, those who know neither the scripture nor the power of the Lord, are relentless in their attack upon God’s Kingdom.
In order to effectively resist these attacks, we must first of all recognize that the Kingdom under attack. Secondly, we must, as Soldiers of Christ, prepare for warfare and dedicate ourselves to victory over the enemies of the Kingdom. Just as no enemy of United States can be can be considered to be a friend of its citizens, so too, we must learn to recognize that any enemy of God's kingdom cannot be our friend. In short, we can no longer be friends with the world if it is at war with God. Our loyalty and dedication to God's kingdom must be absolute. There can be no appeasement. There can be no peaceful co-existence. There can be no reconciliation until this enemy is defeated. But no battle is won without preparation.
Take the example from nature of the Alaskan bull moose. The males of this species battle for dominance during the fall breeding season, going head-to-head with antlers crunching together as they collide. Often the antlers, their only weapon are broken. That ensures defeat. And so it is that the principle of the necessity for preparation is illustrated. The strongest moose, with the largest and strongest antlers, triumphs in battle. Therefore, the battle fought in the fall is really won during the summer, when the moose eat continually. The warrior moose that consumes the best diet for growing antlers and gaining weight will be the heavyweight in the fight. Those that eat inadequately will be poorly prepared having weaker antlers and less bulk. Here is a lesson here for us.
As citizens of God's kingdom we are called to its defense. The battle call has sounded for we are under attack. Those Christians of us who wish to enlist in the army of the Lord, those of us who wish to prevail against the enemy, must be prepared. who will stand with the victorious are those who have prepared.
The principle of the need for preparation is taught in the parable of the 10 wise virgins and the 10 foolish virgins told by the Lord. We read this parable in Matthew 25:1-13. Here Jesus said,
25:1 "... the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 25:2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 25:3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 25:4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 25:5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. 25:6 And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!' 25:7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 25:8 And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.' 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, And those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. 25:11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' 25:12 But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.' 25:13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.