What is a Battle Hardened Heart and Mind? Soldiers who have experienced war understand this concept and therefore are effective at fighting battles.
2 Timothy 2 3Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.
This blog has repeatedly addressed the modern emphasis in the Church and how we have gone a few directions in what we are teaching that need a course correction. You may be Blessed to be in a Church where this may not apply, but the majority of Churches have made some major blunders in what they are teaching. Let me illustrate a few.
1. We have been talking about Spiritual warfare for some time in the Church. At least it is referenced. Yet, where are the boot camps that enlist the Disciples to teach them what that really means? Battle hardened veterans know the sadness and the victory of war, and they are not surprised by what they encounter on the field. I would say that most Christians are not field wise, but they are idea wise.
2. Another way of illustrating this is through the concept of form and function. The Hebrew emphasis is always on how do I do my Faith? How then should I act? This kind of thinking is based upon Righteous action, not only the concept. Christians often will focus more on what we think about Scripture which can be more focused on an intellectual and emotional interaction with God. At the end of the day, our question should be, “How do I live out what I know to be True?” Do I go to Church only to be inspired to learn more of what I already know, or am I going to Church to learn how to apply what I know and be encouraged to learn and do more?
3. When the emphasis of the Church focuses on learning the psychological and emotional elements of life, we lose the weightier application of the Spiritual. Jesus taught us to Love God, to Trust God, and to Obey God. After all, He told us to go into all the world and make Disciples by teaching what He taught. The question to you is simple … when you hear the emphasis of a sermon today, is it focused on what Jesus taught or is it trying to help people emotionally and psychologically? I know an argument can be made that it all ties together in who we are as humans, but I am still not seeing this argument overwhelmingly made from Scripture. Even the Apostle Paul made this declaration:
Romans 12 1Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Battle-hardened Christian Soldiers are those who are not afraid to tell the Story of Jesus anywhere and at any time. They are not afraid to address the Evil in the land and call it by name. The world likes to call abortion ‘women reproductive health’ but battle-hardened Christian Soldiers knows who the Enemy of children is, and they are not fooled by the language; they call it murder. Does that bother you to call it murder or killing our children? Some push back on me for saying it that way, but if you talk to a soldier who is fighting the enemy on the front line, they call that enemy by name, not by what our politically correct language wants it called. The soldier knows who their enemy is, they know how dangerous that enemy can be, so they are vigilant in preparing for battle. That soldier prepares the mind and heart for the task of war, and nothing deters that soldier from achieving the goal of victory.
So, my question again is simple. If we are in a Spiritual war, how are we engaging the battle? Is Spiritual warfare just a term we use to satisfy our need to feel like we are engaging? There are people who talk about being a soldier, and then there are those who really are soldiers meeting the enemy where they show up.
Friend, this is a blog that wants you to look seriously at the issues that are raised. I was challenged recently by a conversation that inferred that most Christians are weak in faith, weak in their thinking (mind), and weak in their Spiritual understanding of God. I was offended at first, and then reality set in and I realized we are weak in these areas. If so, then perhaps we need to evaluate our Spiritual lives in light of being a Soldier engaged in Spiritual warfare in our community.
We cannot win Spiritual wars with good thinking, good theology, good practices, or good leadership. All of these elements are helpful, but the weapons of our warfare are not based upon the obvious things we use as a means of measurement.
I want to end with an abbreviated article by Ray Stedman on Four Weapons of our warfare. These Four Weapons are how our battle-hardened minds and hearts become the Soldiers for our Lord.
The full article can be read at this link:
I shall list for you Four Weapons of Christians by which we can face the battles of life, and which, if facing them with these Four Weapons, will win the battles.
1. The First Weapon is Truth. Truth is the Chief Weapon of the Christian.
2. The Second Weapon is Love. I know this is the most overworked word in our vocabulary today, but let's be specific … I am talking about Biblical Love, the kind that requires no return from the individual loved. That is Love, the kind that is described in First Corinthians 13, the kind that Loves for Christ's Sake.
3. The Third Weapon is Righteousness. Fundamentally, that means Obedience to both Truth and Love. It is what we call integrity. It is the refusal to yield to expediency.
4. The Fourth Weapon is a compound one. I shall put it this way: Faith-Prayer. I put the two together because they are almost indistinguishable. Faith is reliance on the direct activity of God in human life. Prayer is the request for that activity.
Keeping Life Honest and Truthful … Larry Kutzler
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