Posts Tagged ‘spiritual warfare’

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Son of a Beach

June 5, 2010

Eisenhower's boys stared down death, stormed the beaches at Normandy and ripped Europe - and maybe the world - from the clutches of evil

I’ve spent a good deal of the last two weeks working on publicity campaigns for books on Generals Patton and Eisenhower … so, needless to say I’ve spent a good deal of time thinking and reading about war (the type you fight with guns and explosives, on an actual battlefield, that is …  God knows I spend enough time thinking and talking about spiritual warfare).   So, naturally, my mind went where my mind always goes … to the war going on in my heart and in the hearts of damned near every man walking.

I know, I know … another war analogy?  Really?  Does he think this is original?  Hell, I know it’s not original.  I’ve already done it twice myself.  But, they’re easy, they make a helluva lot of sense and on this particular weekend, 66 years ago, thousands of the bravest men this country (or the world, for that matter) will ever know stared down death, stormed the beaches at Normandy and ripped Europe – and maybe the world – from the clutches of evil.   So, yes … another war analogy.  At least admit that it’s topical.

Anyhow, as I sat working, reading, talking about World War II, I also stewed about things that were at work in my heart.  Things that were going on in my life.  And, as I talked to a colleague, I shared with him what I’ve long known and what I think all of us, as men, know.  Something I’ve written about dozens of times and have been talking about with other men for years.  That we’re at war.

Every moment of every day.

We have lust in our hearts.  We’re disappointed in our jobs and in our spouses and in our kids and in ourselves.  We’re angry that our lives haven’t turned out the way we thought they would.  We idolize possessions and status.  We harbor anger and resentment.  We’re addicted to gambling and alcohol and pornography.   And what we have to realize is, that in every one of those instances and a thousand others, Satan has planted a flag in our hearts … set up camp.  A place from which to operate.  A place from which he executes his plans … commands his troops, if you will.

Our hearts, in case you haven’t figured out where I’m going with this by now (and, surely to God you have … if not, keep that to yourself),  are Normandy.

And our sons storming that beach and willingly shedding their blood, as I

American forces storm Omaha Beach during the World War II D-Day landing in France in a scene from the 1998 film "Saving Private Ryan." (AP Photo/DreamWorks, David James, File)

mentioned earlier and as everyone knows, is what turned the tide … what won the war.  Until then? A hopeless proposition.  Lost.  Like me.  Like you.

Listen, dudes.  It’s like this  – you might think you’re man enough to overcome what it is that’s killing you a little bit inside every day all by yourself.  But, the sooner you realize one thing, the better off you’ll be – you’re not.

In fact, the manliest thing you could do is to own up to that … and just lay it all down.  There’s one Son – and one Son only – who is capable of invading your heart and taking it back for you.  And His blood’s already been shed.

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself …  2 Corinthians 10:3-5

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Surrounded: The War on Terror

September 19, 2009

Heard a sermon last week from Pastor Brady Cooper at New Vision Baptist Church here in Murfreesboro on spiritual warfare and, as is usually the case, my imagination ran wild.

Check out this clip.

Airstrikes over Vietnam.   Soldiers, on the ground, pinned down, fighting for their lives as the enemy attacks them from every conceivable angle.  Surrounded and without hope of escape, they’ve called in backup.

Moments later, it arrives.  Fire rains down from on high … the enemy, taken out by these lightning bolts from above.  Each unleashed upon a precise location that would allow for the soldiers’ escapes from the clutches of the enemy.

Surely, by now, you gotta see where I’m goin’ with this, right?

So – do you feel surrounded?  I do.  Hemmed in and fired upon.  Every day.

I mean, if you believe, as I do, that there’s a battle going on and that we’re on the ground … then you understand that, as Christians, we’re the foot soldiers … that we’re on the front lines.  And, if you’re paying attention, you’re hearing those shots ring out … you’re feeling the enemy fire whiz by from every direction, ripping into the grass and trees and make-shift shelters we’ve built and many times, into the very flesh of those we love.

Bullets and grenades, in the form of hurtful words, extramarital affairs, lost jobs, sick children … lies, pride, greed, deception, envy, anger …

viet80

American_soldier_in_Vietnam.

And we’ve all taken our share of bullets.   In fact, alot of us are full of shrapnel.  And we’re lying there, fearful, wounded, in our foxholes (i.e. offices, bedrooms) … our eardrums bursting with each explosion, sweating, bleeding, hurting … waiting for the inevitable … to be found out, descended upon, overtaken, imprisoned, killed.

You may think I’m going a bit overboard here … that my imagination has indeed, put in a little overtime.  And those of you that know me also know that where I’m concerned, yeah … it happens from time to time.  Rest assured, however – this isn’t one of them.  I really believe that if our eyes were opened to what’s going on all around us, we’d be terrified.

We’d find that we’re at war.

That we’re surrounded.

And that there’s no way out.

… Or is there?

Well, like the soldiers who called in these air strikes, we too have a direct line to deliverance – prayer.

With that in mind – when was the last time you wrapped your hands together around that radio and spoke to your field commander?

He knows your location.  He knows who is after you and how they plan to attack.   And He can get you out.  He’s just waiting for you to ask … and hoping you’ll call again before you need it.

—————————————————-

Like me, you’ve likely heard this analogy before.  It’s just how my mind works and how I visualize it happening all around me …  and when I revisited it at New Vision last week, I thought this time I’d get it down, in case there was someone out there who hadn’t put it together quite this way before.

And, while I’m at it, let me be also say that I’m no hypocrite – I’m as guilty as anyone of not spending enough time in prayer.

Anyhow … on a somewhat related note – I’m trying to figure out what to do/where to go with this blog.  New name, new look, new content.  I’ll still post thoughts like these – and likely, quite often.  Regardless of what it evolves into, faith will always be a big part of it. But, I’m thinking there needs to be more.  More of the day-to-day.  I’m tossing all these things around in my head and just waiting for that aha! moment … ’cause, I know if I force something that isn’t authentic and that I don’t enjoy into this space, not only will I not enjoy it and eventually cease doing it, you won’t read it anyway (as though anyone is reading it now, right?).

Gordon_Dalbey's_Healing_the_Masculine_Soul

Gordon_Dalbey's_book

So – any thoughts on spiritual warfare? On any of this stuff? If you wanna read more about it, there’s plenty to be found in a number of best-selling books, including John Eldredge’s classic, Wild at Heart or Gordon Dalbey’s Healing the Masculine Soul (left), among many others.

Love to hear from ya, as always.  Be blessed, have a great weekend and following week.  Leave ya with this from the Apostle Paul:

Ephesians 6:10-18

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we[c] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.[d] 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.[e] 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we[c] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.[d] 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.[e] 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

 

18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers

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How big are YOUR stones?

May 5, 2009

david-and-goliath-2Still trying to re-engage after my latest withdrawal into myself (despite my own best advice … you remember it, right? Talk? Engage? Share? Do as I say, not as I do, eh?),  I was about 50 pages into another good book from Gordon Dalbey (No Small Snakes – A Journey Into Spiritual Warfare) when I ran across something pretty powerful.  And, I wanted to share it, as it relates to the combat (spiritual warfare) that we, as believers, are called to engage in every day.

But, let me preface it with this – I agree with alot of what John Eldredge says about men.  Particularly, that we all desperately need to believe that we have what it takes (and that most of us don’t believe that).  That we are, indeed, men, in the strongest sense of the word.  That we (and pardon the connotation) have, you know … stones.

And, this passage has got to be as powerful an example of that as exists.

Reading from 1 Samuel 17:45-47:   “You are coming against me with sword, spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the Israelite armies, which you have defiled.  This very day the Lord will put you in my power; I will defeat you and cut off your head.  And I will give the bodies of the Philistine soldiers to the birds and animals to eat.  Then, the whole world will know that Israel has a God – and everyone here will see that the Lord does not need swords or spears to save His people.  He is victorious in battle, and He will put all of you in our power.”

This rather, well, bold proclamation – i.e. “you’re twice my size, three times as strong, have a spear, a sword, a javelin and an enormous army at your side … but, I’m not only gonna whip you right here in front of God and everybody (despite what many across the South may believe, this HAS to be the most appropriate use of that saying of all time, no?), I’m gonna take your head off.  And then, I’m gonna feed your army to the birds” – was made by  a young shepherd boy to Goliath – a giant of a Philistine soldier … a man of enormous size and strength and unparalleled combat skill.  A killing machine.

david-goliathIt’s nearly incomprehensible to most of us … to stand in front of such a seemingly impossible challenge.  Much less, to do it with such bravado.  But, then again, David had those stones … and, more importantly, an immovable faith in his God.  There was absolutely nothing that could stand in his way with God at his side.

So, imagine if you can, standing there, as David.

And then, tell me, why we can’t stand up to an envelope that comes in the mail.  To our boss.  To our circumstances.   Tell me why, when we have the same God at our side that David had on that day, we can’t swallow our pride?  Save our marriages? Reclaim our hearts? Defeat our giants?

But, you know what? That David strode into battle proclaiming victory wasn’t what hit me between the eyes.  It was what came next.  What came after David told Goliath just how far he was about to fall.

Continuing in 1 Samuel 17:48:   So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet him.

He ran toward the army to meet him.  He didn’t play 18 holes, go fishing, or turn on the game.  He didn’t ignore his wife. He didn’t toss the bill on the counter or in the trash.

He ran.

Towards an army.

Towards a giant.

He had what it takes.

… He had GOD.

Big lesson to be learned in that … no?

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