The Daily War Zone

Today's guest blogger is Karen Gaul. Karen has been a biblical counsellor since 1994 and is certified by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). She is dedicated to bringing the Word of God to light in the lives of his hurting children.  She considers it an awesome privilege and honour to be able to walk with brothers and sisters in Christ to find healing, contentment, joy and peace in the Lord. This material is reposted with permission by the author. You can find this post and more of her writing here

I would expect that if someone was going into battle to fight for our country they would have the proper equipment. I would know they would have the proper camouflage clothing and footwear and the necessary head gear.  I would be certain they would have the proper weapons for the battle they were facing.  I would also be sure they had been properly equipped for the task that lay ahead of them.  And I would hope they took their training seriously because to them or a comrade it could mean life or death.
Why is it that as followers of Jesus who are in a war for our very souls we are so lax in our battle preparations?  We take life so lightly that when trouble comes we duck and run or hide or our reactions are so out of character for a CHRIST follower it would almost  seem we were on the wrong side.  We often live as though we have no arsenal at our disposal.

We are in a war zone.

Every day we fight battles that have the ability to give us victory or defeat.  We embrace the world so eagerly and willingly and without reservation or hesitation.  We do that without lining it up with what our Lord, our King says about it.

We seem to be living as though we are in the Garden, so we easily embrace every new whim or trend thinking that it “seems right”.

Last week’s article was on our feelings ruling.  That is what gets us into all sorts of trouble.  We embrace the world’s way of thinking.  Romans 12:2 commands us to “not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
We are sometimes so oblivious to living in a war zone, we are sometimes not thinking that what comes out of us is saying something about Who we follow.  We aren’t thinking about how our actions are grieving the Spirit because we have not thought biblically about what is happening around us.

We are exhorted to be alert and dress for battle.

(1 Peter 1:8; 1 Samuel 17:34)

Satan desires for us to live a joyless, defeated, hopeless life, a life that resembles the world.  Satan desires for us to live a life that won’t give testimony to Christ’s goodness, love and mercy, a life not desirable to imitate.  A life that is no different from anyone not following Jesus.
It’s interesting to me that when I repost articles that the responses vary so widely.  I can have non-believers and believers have the same stand on a most controversial issue.  How can that be?  Who are we conforming to?
Godward Focus
Because God is so gracious and merciful we are to offer ourselves to Him, holy and pleasing to Him.  We are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  We are to imitate Christ.  We are to love our neighbours, but not to condone sin.  We are to be wise. We are to be filled with the Spirit daily so we can discern what is honouring to Him and what is not.  We are to dress for battle.
Here are the instructions from Ephesians 6:10-18
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  11 Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. [and the foolishness in this world]
Why do we need Gods armour every day?
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
What to wear.
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Going prepared
Going into battle prepared with the entire arsenal that God through CHRIST Jesus has provided means we don’t fight alone and we don’t fight in our own strength but in His truth, with His Spirit.  It means the Word is part of our daily life giving direction and instruction and encouragement.  Going into battle prepared means my emotions – my feelings, my thoughts, my deeds are protected with righteousness and truth.  I have protected my mind from being too self-absorbed, I have protected my emotions, my feelings and myheart so I practice godliness more today.  I persevere because the battle has really been won!
It means we have the ability to respond differently when darts are thrown at us.  When life happens unwanted and unexpected we have One who goes ahead of us as well as One who equips us for the day.  When things happen in the world around us, controversial things we have One who will help us respond biblically to them.
What do you need to do to prepare for battle each day?  When another law that leads us down a slippery slope comes along how does God want us to respond?  How does the law line up with biblical truth?  Am I daily renewing my mind?  Is Truth leading me or is “what seems right” charging ahead?