Today is Veteran's Day. As we remember and give thanks to all who have served along with their families to defend the freedoms we possess in the US today, let us also consider what it means to be a veteran in service to the LORD.
I have been thinking a lot about this lately. Here are some scripture verses that have come to my mind, which I believe can shed some light on this subject.
Psalm 144:1 - "Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war ..."
Ephesians 6:12 - "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
I Timothy 4:7-8 - "Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for the present life and also the life to come."
Our military members train daily for war. Even those of us who serve on a part-time basis must remain ready at a moment's notice to enter the fight and accomplish the mission. So what about warriors in God's service?
In these three scriptures I see a call to prepare for battle, but especially the type of battle we face along the Way. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Living in Christ requires recognition of the Way and commitment to live according to Him. In short, training takes time and requires commitment.
So how are we training ourselves to be godly? How are we training our hands, our feet, our minds, bodies, and will for war?
One answer is given in I Timothy 4:13, following Paul's exhortation for Timothy to set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity, he says, "Until I come devote yourself to the public reading of scripture, to preaching and to teaching." Apparently, Paul believed training involved God's word being read publicly, preached publicly and taught publicly. In other words, it meant seeking God's will in the Way together.
Training can take place individually, but it is more effective when we train together.
I find this in physical training. When I have a trainer, and I am training with a group, I push harder, fight longer, and find that extra something to drive through even when my body wants to quit.
I feel the same is true in training in godliness. We can train on our own, but I believe we will be less effective than if we train together, letting iron sharpen iron in the body of Christ.
But we must also realize that training is for a purpose. We do not simply train to train. We train for war. We train to bring Jesus to people, as we become more like Jesus through the Holy Spirit's power. We train because God has a purpose for our salvation, and we want to do all we can to prepare for the opportunities God will bring our way this day.
So what do you think? Are there other things we can learn from these scriptures or other scriptures?
I invite you to share your thoughts, as we journey together along the Way ...