Lest We Forget

Today as I write this, it is September 11, 2012, eleven years since the United States was attacked by terrorists. Earlier today as I was listening to a radio program, people were calling in and sharing where they were on this date and time of the attack on the Twin Towers. They were also sharing comments: “We are not alone.” “It pulled us together as a country.” “It awakened us to remind us there is an enemy out there.”  Just like Pearl Harbor, this tragic attack that took so many lives shall never be erased from the minds and hearts of the American people.

Before Andrew Jackson became the seventh president of the United States, he served as a Major General in the Tennessee Militia. During the War of 1812, his troops reached an all-time low in morale. As a result, they began arguing, bickering, and fighting among themselves. It is reported that Old Hickory called them together when tensions were at their worst and said, “Gentlemen! Let’s remember, the enemy is over there.”

I have hanging on my office wall a picture of my army combat boots which is a reminder to me that after AIT (Advanced Infantry Training) even though I was sent to Germany, I had buddies who were sent to Vietnam to fight the enemy.

The apostle Peter reminds us as believers in Christ Jesus, lest we forget, that there is an enemy out there with whom we must deal. “Be on your guard and stay awake, being cautious at all times, for that enemy of yours, the devil, is sneaking around like a roaring lion (in fierce hunger) trying to find someone to attack and destroy.” (I Peter 5:8,9) (PFCV)

A. T. Robertson wrote, “The devil’s purpose is the ruin of mankind. Satan wants all of us.”

In his book, Your Adversary the Devil, Dwight Pentecost compares the tactics of a physical battle to those of the spiritual one:

“No military commander could expect to be victorious in battle unless he understood his enemy . . . No individual can be victorious against the adversary of our souls unless he understands that adversary; unless he understands his philosophy, his methods of operation, his methods of temptation.”

One of Satan’s tactics is to keep you from knowing and walking with God. I strongly suggest that you use God’s Word (the Bible) as one of your defensive and offensive weapons. Jesus did when Satan attacked Him. It is described as “the sword of the Spirit,” or in today’s army, “your rifle.” You will discover it has awesome fire power. It’s essential that a soldier keep his weapon clean so it will function when he needs it, but we discover that His Word also cleanses us so that we are always prepared to do spiritual battle.

The apostle Paul lists for us the whole armor of God to be used in our spiritual warfare. (Ephesians 6:13-17) At the end of this list he said, “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and request.”  Robert E Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War. This is what he had to say about prayer:

“Knowing that intercessory prayer is our mightiest weapon and the supreme call for all Christians today, I pleadingly urge our people everywhere to pray. Believing that prayer is the greatest contribution that our people can make in this critical hour, I humbly urge that we take time to pray----to really pray.

Let there be prayer at sunup, at noonday, at sundown, at midnight----all through the day. Let us all pray for our children, our youth, our aged, our pastors, our homes. Let us pray for our churches.

Let us pray for ourselves, that we may not lose the word ‘concern’ out of our Christian vocabulary.

Let us pray for our nation. Let us pray for those who have never known Jesus Christ and redeeming love, for moral forces everywhere, for our national leaders.

Let prayer be our passion. Let prayer be our practice.”

What a powerful weapon against, “the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil...”

In Ephesians 6:11, 13,14, the apostle Paul continues to point out how to fight the enemy, “Put on the whole armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. . . so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm . . .”

In the movie, “The Patriot,” a peaceful farmer, Benjamin Martin, is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son. In the last battle, as the British are advancing, the militia begin to retreat when Benjamin Martin takes the flag that his son Gabriel had found and mended and begins to charge the enemy. Another soldier sees this and turns around and yells, “Charge!” Then the whole Militia Army turns and begins to charge the enemy. They stood their ground to win the battle.

“And having done all, stand.” “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

There are two types of Army uniforms: Army Combat Uniforms and Army Service Uniforms. The Army Service Uniform is a dress uniform worn if you march in a parade. The Army Combat Uniform is worn if you are called upon to go into battle. The Christian must dress and equip himself each day to do battle with the enemy. Very seldom in your Christian walk will you need to wear the dress uniform.

Reflections:

In what specific ways are you prepared to do battle with Satan?

Ask God to give you Scripture promises to help you overcome the enemies attacks.

Dress for battle each day. Don’t put on the dress uniform to march in a parade, unless you plan to march in a parade.