Monday, November 18, 2013

Finite Perspectives: War

When you awake in the morning, view the world as war.

You are a soldier. You are an infantryman trained in combat, deployed on a lifelong battle, ever straddling the precipice of death. You are a warrior. You are not a civilian. You are not to be distracted by civilian affairs—entangled in the frivolous pleasantries that confuse your identity: this is not your home, this is not your land; you are behind enemy lines, and the enemy is out to kill you.

This is not a war waged with weapons of steel and iron, blade and ammunition; no Kevlar will protect you from the tactics of the adversary. In fact, you don’t have to go looking for the firefight…it will knock on your door—from the inside. You have spent too long in this land, and the shrapnel from your bloody life remains lodged in your organs, threatening your very being from the inside out. Post-traumatic stress? No. Post-lapsarian sinfulness. At one time, you were an agent of the enemy: trained in his tactics and comfortable in his barracks. Unless you stay sober-minded, constantly aware of the attacks from without and within, you will defect. An AWOL soldier is always welcomed back, but he carries with him the increased bloodlust the enemy has him given. So stay alert.

You are at war.
Your enemy prowls around—the expert of guerrilla warfare. He will spot you in the open, when none surround you; he will sneak behind you, as you go about your way, with a dagger in his hand, or a bomb upon his chest. But solitude isn’t his only ally. He can blend in with your friends, and garner trust until the opportune moment. He can lurk in the halls of past memories and stand ominously above future hopes. Your enemy is at large. He prowls around like a lion, he skulks like a dragon, he slithers like an eel, and takes to flight like a raven. He is seeking you. That he may devour—that he might snap his jowls upon your neck, and remove your trachea; that he might poison your heart and cause a slow, painful death. His tactics are many, his encumbrances few.

You are engaged in battle.

Pray for your life, soldier, for he—the supreme commander—will come to your aid. He has armies of angels at his every beck and call; his jurisdiction runs from East to West, and he moves with speed upon the wind. A sword protrudes from his mouth, and he will fight for you. For he has recruited you into his army. The ones who hate you for allegiance to him are his enemies more than yours. The battle is not against flesh and blood; the battle is against everything dark which threatens light, life, and love—the battle is against wickedness which derides beauty, truth, and mercy—the battle is against death, and death will receive death itself.

Take heart, fellow soldier. You are not in this war alone. Stand side by side, sheath by shield with your brothers who war alongside you. Together, at the command of the supreme general, fight against sin and death wherever it is found—even within your own selves. Look back to D-Day when Christ defeated death and sin in his birth, life, death, and resurrection. Look forward to VE-Day when Christ will use the sword of his mouth to restore peace to the earth. In that day, the war will cease, the peace will ensue, and you will have rest with celebration.

Pray for strength to survive the trench today.

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