~By: Susanna Kozlow~
Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. Psalm 144:1-2
There is no denying the war that rages around us. It's ongoing in this fallen world. This war started long ago and rages full on today. The thief of joy, the killer of hope, and the father of lies leads this war. He doesn't grow tired, and he never stops. Because he is the father of lies, he wants every believer to think they just can't fight him; he is too strong.
I recently had a conversation with a friend who said that we pay too much attention to our enemy. As I listened, I "kind of" agreed. But... what I've realized is that we have to know the enemy we fight in order to know the fight that always rages, and recognize it for what it is. If he can steal our joy, then he can remove all hope, and that, my friends, HE CANNOT HAVE!
We must know that when we are facing off against the enemy of our souls, we can fight him and WIN. We must know God's Word will always be our sword, and we must know it well in order to use it when we come up against the one who wants to take us out. That's the reality. So, how do we do that? How do we know what to do? We look at Jesus Christ, our teacher and our warrior, and we see what He did.
A few weeks ago, I went through my little library in my office to see what God would lead me to next. What would I read? What would I teach? What would I pour myself in? As I searched, a book fell on my toe, and after I yelled in pain from this little book skillfully hitting my toe, I picked it up. I didn't recognize it. Why did I have this on my shelf? I sat down and stared at it. Why would I even have this? Then it all came back.
Rewind to one year ago. My husband and I began working on our marriage, and we had come to a place of attending our first Gospel Conference together. I remember being so excited. I had prayed for that moment. To me, it was a prayer answered and a dream come true. As I watched him sitting with me, I could tell he was there for one purpose--for me. Still, that seemed okay. Why not? Many husbands do things for their wives that they really do not want to do. Right? I still felt sad though. During that conference, there was a raffle in the middle. As they called out the number, my husband stood up and won the book that, one year later, skillfully hit my toe. Now, I remembered. I don't think that book was intended for me to pick up and read a year ago. But now, it needed to be opened and read. I also do not think that book was intended for me. But, for whatever purpose, I was to take it on. And, I would take it on and teach it to women. Yes... women! The book is Jesus Was an Airborne Ranger: Find Your Purpose Following the Warrior Christ, written by John McDougall. The author is a Chaplain in the U.S. Army Rangers. He served our country and has seen the ugliness of war. He wrote it for the intent of men reading it and understanding WHO Jesus really is. He is THE Warrior Christ who came up against Satan and WON!
So, there I was. I had clarity about what I needed to do, and I thought I had experienced a lot in my life. I definitely had experienced a lot of suffering. I could teach this book WELL. Well, not exactly. There would be more.
I went back to read what Jesus did for 40 days after He was baptized (Matthew 4:1-11). During that time, He fasted and prayed. Hungry, exhausted, and exposed, He was suddenly in the crosshairs of our enemy. Satan loaded his best three strategies and went up against Jesus. He wanted to stop Him. He knew Jesus was the Son of God, and he still tried...even harder this time. Why? Jesus was vulnerable, and, to Satan, it was a perfect time. So, what did he do? The deceiver aimed for God's provision, promises, and preeminence to be questioned. This is who our enemy is, and he doesn't have any new tricks. The same type of attacks aimed at Jesus, our Warrior Christ, are aimed at us.
Why is this so important to understand? Because when you are in the process of sanctification and preparation, our enemy knows that. He is troubled by what you will become and do. What will you become? You will be A WARRIOR FOR JESUS CHRIST. What will you do? You will lead others to know and do the same.
The power that raised Jesus from the dead, lives in us:
The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Romans 8:11
That same POWER is in us. As we advance the Kingdom of God and bring freedom to others through Christ Jesus, we are at WAR!
Now, I have never been in the military. I have many friends that have been, but I personally don't know the first thing that goes into someone being tested extensively before even entering training. What I have learned is that you go through an extensive amount of pain and deprivation. That simulates combat. In battle, lives depend on your skill and perseverance, and you have to succeed. Those that lead combats and raids are the most skilled because they have been the MOST TESTED. You do not know your full potential or ability until it has been tested. Friends, don't think that because we live in the comforts of our homes and life seems at peace that there is not a big war raging around us. Spiritual warfare is constant, and our enemy is out to destroy. He doesn't want God to have any territory. Any time you are given a mission, your adversary will begin to try to stop you. The harder you push up against him, the more he will fight. BUT, we, you and I, have authority over him. He can't have anything that doesn't belong to him.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
We all know that only the most skilled, trained, and tested can lead the most difficult missions in the military and during war. You don't have to be in the military to know that.
And, let us not think we are immune to that:
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4
JESUS STARED DEATH AND EVIL IN THE FACE AND WON!
That is the Warrior we follow.
***** That is the Jesus who is our Lord and Savior!*****
"If we claim to follow Jesus, then we must emulate His life--even to invading hostile territory." --John McDougall