Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor 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: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Ephesians 6:10-17
People join the armed Forces for many different reasons. Some join for a job, some for college benefits or job skills training. Admirably, some join due to their patriotic duty to serve and protect or country. One thread that runs through most Veterans is a servant’s heart. In Basic Training we are broken down both mentally and physically. We are taught loyalty, honor, respect, and obedience on a different level that most civilians experience in an 8 week period. These same fundamentals apply to our journey with the Lord through our relationship with Jesus Christ. We all have struggles and issues that we deal with and we have to learn to rely upon Him. Life is full of hurdles. But, seeing them for what they are helps. Our obstacles and struggles are learning opportunities God has put in front of us to make us better people and servants to Him. For me, the biggest transition from the military to the civilian sector has been realizing who I am serving and when.
When we are active duty, we serve our country. Once we get out of the military and get another job, we are serving ourselves and our families. But what about serving God? It is often said in Christian circles “God, family, country.” But, I think our calling is even higher than this list of priorities. Jesus gave us the template to follow contained in the scriptures that document His life. As a human race, we need to lift each other up. Imagine a world where we forgive, like Christ, instead of judge or condemn? Obviously, putting God first and following His nature of taking care of our family and loved ones is important. As is serving those outside of our family. But, I think we fall short on the simplest of things. You never know someone else’s physical, emotional, or financial situation. The smallest act of kindness, a kind word, a smile, a helping hand, could make someone’s day. God gave us the Holy Spirit to comfort us. Shouldn’t we be doing the same for each other? For me, being in the military hardened my heart. When we think about armor, it is often something we view as harsh means of protecting ourselves. But truly, “putting on our armor” does not mean closing our hearts to one another or building a fortress of protection around ourselves. The armor of God that we put on as Christians is trust in our salvation, His word as truth, the fact that He leads us into righteousness, that He gives us faith and His Holy Spirit to always see us through. In short, the armor of God is His strength that we can and should rest in. When we rest in the peace of all of this, it’s easier to open ourselves up and offer our kindness and forgiveness to others. When we put armor on, it is for the purpose of battle. We can’t forget the purpose of the battle is to be a better help to other people to begin with.
Have you accepted Christ as your Savior?
If you would like to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please pray the following prayer:
"God, I believe in you and your son Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save me. Today, I invite Jesus into my heart to stay. I make you Lord over my life. Make me new. Wash me, Lord, and cleanse me. In Jesus Name, Amen"
If you have just prayed that prayer, we want to celebrate your new victory with you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can welcome you into the kingdom. We don't want you to have to walk alone and we have some resources we would like the opportunity to share with you.