War has been waged on this earth as long as man has recorded history. War has been a part of the way things are since before recorded history, I suspect. Wars have been waged and fought for several reasons. Wars have been fought for power, freedom, resources, mere hatred, and simple matters of the heart. Since time immemorial, men (and women) have been slaughtered for the sake of any number of causes. Blood, once spilled, cannot be taken back! Don’t ever forget that!
My grandmother, Florence Richardson, was a widow who raised ten of kids alone through the Great Depression. I thought it was twelve kids but after taking a mental head count it was “only” ten. She sent five sons to World War II and a daughter to Korea. ALL of them returned home alive and well but scarred. That’s the power of a praying momma and the mercy of God. That equals a miracle. She was thankful that she got all her children back. Twenty plus years later, when I was still just a toddler, I remember hearing her thank God for the safe return of her children when she prayed.
You see, Mamaw Richardson knew who the enemy was. She did not direct her prayers in opposition of the Japanese, Germans, Italians, or the Russians. She directed her prayers in opposition of the driving force leading those nationalities. She did not know that she would get all her children home safely but she knew that God was in the battle for America and that Satan was driving those horrendous forces of opposition. She identified the enemy first! Then, she set her battle plan in motion. What could the prayers of a poor, old widow in Louisiana accomplish in the scope of a world war? Well, it would seem to me, quite a lot.
Now Mamaw, Dad, all the uncles and aunts are gone. They understood who the real enemy was and they each did their part in the war. They identified the enemy first, then each one did their part for the good of the whole. Now days, by and large, most people are more concerned about the good of the one more so than the good of the whole. I see people fighting over the most trivial things these days. At any time that a mere difference of opinion is perceived it is taken as a personal attack and a call to war. They jump to the offensive and strike back without reason, strategy, tactics or resources. That is a critical error that will, over time, return devastating losses.
Why? BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOT IDENTIFIED THE ENEMY! They don’t realize that, perhaps, they are their own worst enemy. Not only have they not identified their enemy but they have not developed ANY strategy, put together ANY tactical plan, and they sure don’t have ANY idea about the resources necessary to fight the pending battle. They just jump in and fight!
Some would call that bravery. I call it foolhardiness. People today moan, whine, and fight over their own personal desires. The latest being a neutral gender Santa Claus! C’mon! Let’s get real! There are greater things to be concerned with than whether or not Santa Claus is male or female! I’ll put it in plain and simple terms. GET A LIFE!
People are SEARCHING for something to fight about. That amounts to ANYTHING that they find disagreeable or challenges their personal world view.
Even more sad is the fact that there are so few, and I’m including believers in the church, who know or understand how to fight any worthy battle. Notice, I said worthy battle. I can’t help but wonder if anyone understands who and what we are fighting against anymore. People get their feelings hurt and just start fighting.
Judges 17:6 “In those days there was no king in Israel; and every man did what was right in his own eyes.”
Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel, and everyone did what was right in their own eyes.”
In case you didn’t notice, it gets progressive. In 17:6 “every MAN did what was right in HIS own eyes.”
In 21:25 “EVERYONE did what was right in THEIR own eyes.”
That’s where we find ourselves and our society today! Just a word of warning, it didn’t work so well for Israel in those days. I doubt it’s going to work for us today.
I spoke briefly to a group of men yesterday. My words were short and not so sweet.
“If you are going to be THE man of God you had better be A man of God! YOU have TARGET on your chest! The ENEMY is not happy that you are here! If you think that the enemy does not want to KILL you then you are sadly mistaken! If you are going to be men of God you’d better know who the ENEMY is!”
An enemy is one that seeks to do you harm. John 10:10 “For the THIEF comes to STEAL, KILL, and DESTROY. I (Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Now, a couple of years ago, I walked around and worked for three weeks with blood clots in my heart that reduced blood flow over 80%. By the wisdom of man, I should be dead and buried. By the power and mercy of God not only do I live, but I thrive! The ENEMY tried to KILL me. God would not let me die. Now I take great exception to any entity that tries to kill me or do my family harm. The redneck within me comes to the forefront and the warrior blood boils. I take it SERIOUSLY! I prepare for WAR!
But believe this. Before engaging in battle, I KNOW who the ENEMY is! He has been identified! I know who and what I’m fighting against.
My Grandmother knew who and what she and her children were fighting against. They weren’t fighting nationalities but powers of darkness. My dad knew. Now, I know.
Identify the enemy FIRST! Then put strategy, tactics, and available resources into play on the battle field. I’ll talk about strategy in the next post.
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