I thank the LORD for our military. I shudder to think of where we would be today as a nation if it were not for these brave men and women who, across the years, have been in constant readiness to put their lives on the line and even make the ultimate sacrifice, if necessary, so that we might remain a free people.
Someone once made the observation that “Freedom is just a word until you have come close to losing it.”
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to talk to those who have been involved in combat and have asked, “What is the most important thing to know in being ready for combat?” The number one answer — “KNOW YOUR ENEMY.”
In 1 John 5:19, the Apostle John wrote “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the evil one.”
In 1 Peter 5:8-9, the apostle Peter wrote “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”
Please note — we have an adversary and the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
Ever since Satan deceived our first parents, Adam and Eve, and they disobeyed God, we had corruption, crime, and all kinds of evil. The Bible records many wars that have been fought since the beginning of time. Wars are still being fought and I believe the greatest war of all is a spiritual war that everyone faces.
In 2 Corinthians 3:3-4 the apostle Paul wrote, “But if our gospel is veiled (hidden) it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case, the god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
In Matthew 15:18-20 Jesus said, “But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this defiles a man. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, and blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man, but eating with unwashed hands does not defile a man.” Look at that list of issues coming out of the mouth. They originate in our hearts. They defile. They corrupt. A heart that has not been tamed by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit is guilty of just about anything wicked and vile that you can imagine.
It wasn’t that long after Adam and Eve began to have a family that their son, Cain, who basically said, “I will worship God any way I please” rose up and killed his brother Abel, who wanted only to please God.
Satan is a master at manipulating people. He not only manipulates unbelievers but in far too many instances, he instigates an erosion of convictions and commitment by Christians to Christ. He helps us to rationalize away our values and helps us to develop a permissive faith much like the people in the times of the judges when the “people did what was right in their own eyes.”
I love what Chip Ingram says in his book, “The Invisible War”. Quote: “One of the biggest lies we fall for today is rampant, even in our churches. He (Satan) has convinced us that life is a playground, that our primary goal is to be happy, and that God is the cosmic vending machine that can make it happen.”
Our primary goal should be to please and glorify God. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 10:31 wrote, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory. (Please read Romans 8:1-11) When we live for the glory of God, guided by the indwelling Holy Spirit, we will not only be happy, we will be fulfilled. That is what God wants for us.
In Romans 12:1-2, Paul wrote “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.”