Romans 13:7 “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.”
Here in America, our government has set aside a day to honor our veterans. Having served in the military for four years, I have a particular affinity for those who have committed their lives to serve and defend this country.
Some countries, like Israel, requires all men to serve for some time, but here it is voluntary unless we are at war. So, in a time of peace, those who volunteer are special for their desire to protect and defend this country.
Whenever I come across a vet who is possibly wearing a hat or a jacket that displays their branch of service, or wartime service, I make it a point to go over and thank them. All are grateful for the acknowledgment, some tell stories of buddies lost. Others thank me when they find I served.
There is a camaraderie among those who served. The Marine Corps is the branch in which I served, and we have a brotherhood, a shared bond between fellow Marines. I believe it is that way among every branch because it is a shared commitment.
Those who fought during the war have shared stories of the things that only those who have served could understand. The fear you face, the moment when you have to decide to kill or be killed, and many other situations and circumstances that most civilians will never face.
I am reminded that to be a saved child of God means that we too are in a battle.
Our first battle is inward.
Romans 7:23 “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”
God gives each of us the ability to overcome, no matter what we face, no matter how hard the battle.
2 Corinthians 10:4-6 “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”
Our enemy, Satan, tries to get us fighting each other instead of truly seeing the right battlefront.
Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
We must encourage and urge those with us to stay focused in the battle.
1 Timothy 1:18 “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;”
1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”
In battle, unity and fighting as a unit are foundational to victory. There is no singularity, self, or selfishness. We think, operate, and are commanded as one.
Again, our enemy seeks to cause strife, division, and dissension among the ranks, taking away one of the most excellent tools we have against him. The book of Acts illustrates for us what happens when God’s people act as one.
Acts 1:14 “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”
Acts 2:1 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”
The Holy Spirit came in fullness and power. They preached, and thousands were saved and baptized. They kept in the way God led and saw miraculous things happen.
Acts 2:42-43 “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.”
The likeness and similarity between the military and the Christian life is not strange. God is the one who called it a battle. He calls His children to put on their God-given armour and be ready to fight.
Ephesians 6:13-17 “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”
We are given the weapon of prayer.
One of the first things to go in a saved person’s life is their prayer life. When we do not give attendance to a daily walk with God, we leave off those things we are given to protect us and defend us. It would be like a soldier charging into battle without their weapon.
We have been given armour to protect us. His Word is our sword. The shield of faith quenches anything Satan can throw at us, and prayer can move mountains.
Mark 11:23-24 “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
We are given so many promises that should support us, sustain us, and carry us forward into the battle that we should always win. But because the world allures and tempts us, we sometimes give in.
2 Peter 2:20 “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.”
But our All-knowing God gives us exactly what we need when we need it.
1 John 4:4 “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
To all of you, Jarheads, Dog-faces, Squids, Coasties, and Flyboys – Happy Veterans Day!
To my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ – this is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!