Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Onward Christian Soldier

"What if Earth
Be but the shadow of Heaven, and things therein
Each to other like, more than on Earth is thought"

"The discord which befell, and war in Heaven
among the Angelic powers, and the deep fall
of those too high aspiring who rebelled
with Satan; he who envies now thy state,
who is plotting how he may seduce
thee also from obedience . . .
but listen not to his temptations; warn
thy weaker, let it profit thee to have heard,
by terrible example, the reward
of disobedience; firm they might have stood,
yet fell; remember, and fear to transgress."

True Christianity is war. There is incessant struggle and strife, wrestling with the things of this world and the constant onslaught of temptation and earthly desire. Colossians 3:5 '... put to death your members which are on earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness...; the pursuit of holiness requires violence and that of an ilk from which some would shy from performing. Jesus said in Mark 14:37,38 to the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane "Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Of this spiritual malady Paul said in Romans 7:23, " I see [a] law in my members warring in opposition to the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which exists in my members." 2 Corinthians 10:5 "... overthrowing reasoning's and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,..." It seems that genuine Christianity is more than a moral assent to a series of principles and guidelines designed to ensure a healthy and wealthy earthly existence. Jesus told the parable in Matthew 12: 43-45, "When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none,then he says,'I will return to my house from which I came.' and when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that man is worse than the first,"
The war and fight we face is of absolute necessity, to remain neutral or consciously sterile of our natural condition will result in our demise. Vigilance and perseverance are the mainstay of our survival. Paul says of himself. 1 Corinthians 9:27 , "I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." "Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power." Lucius Annaeus Seneca.
Then understand also that it is a fight for which the implements of war are already provided. Ephesians 6:11 "Put on the whole armour of God... (14-17) Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace (meaning a benevolent temper, meekness in a methodical defense or readiness), above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one. and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;" 1 Thessalonians 5:8 "...but we being of the day, let us be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation"
We must fight with understanding. "In time of war it is the worst mistake to underrate your enemy, and try to make a little war."

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as if to war
With the cross of Jesus going on before
Like a mighty army moves the church of God
Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod
We are not divided, all one body we
One in hope and doctrine, one in charity

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