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The weapons of our warfare

January 10, 2015

Thanks to my part time job, I got to take a closer look on the life of a real soldier (not the kind of soldier that comes from a country that is at peace and who basically has never fought battles in his life; but the soldier that has been fighting for quite some time). I got to listen to a few of their officers (and noncommissioned officers and few very simple warriors) speaking of their actual situation, their everyday life, their war strategies, their requests and few of the challenges that they face every day.

They’re people who are well organized and who follow orders to the letter. The matter of security is dealt with very seriously: from the uniforms they wear to those things they setup in the red zone and where they rest—they always think about the bullet flying in the air that can be fatal. And the thing I noticed and which got my attention is the way they’re constantly alert! There’s not a single minute that there aren’t men doing surveillance at the borders of their perimeter.

While considering the things that I saw in that place, my mind was spinning looking for a verse or a metaphor to get a lesson from this—and they abounded. It was interesting to hear Paul compare the Christian life to the soldier’s. He tells us to share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus (2Ti2:3).

The soldier doesn’t have a problem with living in extreme conditions. He is, as a matter of fact, trained for that; comfort is never his goal and his patriotic spirit gets him ready to suffer willingly and he thinks of it to be an honor, to please ‘the one who enlisted him’ (2Ti2:4). He knows no respite in times of war and he doesn’t speak —or think— of working hours while facing the enemy. He breathes to see the last enemy killed.

The soldier’s life is that of self-sacrifice, obedience and facing danger. It’s a life of self-denial, and love for one another. They fight for their lives and their fellow soldier’s. When his fellow soldier’s been shot, he runs to his rescue and never leaves him alone, even if he’s dead! They work in a team and help each other execute orders and strategies planned by their generals.

This is what is missing in this individualist culture that is only concerned about self, not realizing the danger of never looking out for others. We forget that even though our fellow soldiers in the kingdom’s army have to fight, we have to help each other and fight the common enemy.

The bad news is that we fight mainly against self, but again against the world and the devil. It’s then to be understood that our battle isn’t against flesh and blood and so we’re doomed to fail. However, we have a hope; to fight in the strength of his might (Eph6:1) and we put on the whole armor of God to stand against the scheme of the devil (Eph6:2).

A soldier without offensive weapons and defense equipment is just getting himself ready for disaster; he’s a joke to the enemy. That’s why we have to put on the whole armor of God (truth, righteousness, the readiness of the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and the Word of God: Eph6:14-16) and having done that, keep alert (watch, stay vigilant and being sober minded as the soldiers always prepared for battle) with all perseverance (it takes energy and discipline), making supplications for all saints (Eph6:18).

There’s something peculiar in ‘watching’ that even our Lord Jesus taught us that we have to keep on watching; never loosen up, till he returns. It has to be revived in our lives— at least in mine—and we have to accept the discomfort of always being alert and ready to fight. It is hard to stay in a state of alarm for a long time. It’s a time where endurance and patience is shaped. But our watch won’t matter if the battle is not fought by the Lord: the Christian soldier watches and rests upon the fact that the Lord is the supreme guardian over our souls; he’s our shield, protector and help in times of trouble. He’s the healer of our wounds, our peace and place of safety.

I leave you with the words of our Lord; they’re simple and yet profound, short and yet meaningful:

“Be on your guard and keep awake” (Mark13:33). “And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake” (Mark13:37).

Help us Lord…


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Laugh Hard

But like a flash lightning or a momentary parting of the clouds, humor lit up a truth that was larger than anything that could happen to the poor prisoners, a truth that even Aushwitz could not sensor…

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