The Battlefield

About an hour before dark the local militia forces began to drift away from the outer perimeter. My biggest concern was that they were discarding their uniforms and changing into civilian clothes. It was March 1971, and I was about sixteen months into my second tour in Vietnam.  Everyone knew that our part in the war was winding down. While we had our perimeter positions, the security for the hill itself belonged to the local militia. When they began to disappear, I warned the captain that we were going to get hit but he felt it wasn’t our job to do anything. I was only a senior Sergeant, so my only option was making the rounds of the perimeter throughout the night. The attack came just after midnight, right after the guard shift changed. The enemy had been paying attention. The VC (Viet Cong) ground attack failed because our people were ready, but we still suffered five killed (KIA) and eight wounded (WIA) in the attack. Despite the loss, we still had possession of the battlefield.

There is a battlefield in America today. It is in our government, our schools, our neighborhoods, and in some cases, our very homes. For decades now the enemy has held these battlefields uncontested, but that is beginning to change. Christians are beginning to wake up to the depth of corruption that has infiltrated our society and its institutions, and we are beginning to take back lost ground. The battle will not be for the faint of heart. A. A. Tozer, a 20th Century preacher, and prophet, saw it coming. In his classic work “Faith Beyond Reason” he made this observation:

“Perhaps worst of all is the fact that our failures in prayer leave the enemy in possession of the field. The worst part about the failure of a military drive is not the loss of men or the loss of face but the fact that the enemy is left in possession of the field. In the spiritual sense, this is both a tragedy and a disaster. The devil ought to be on the run, always fighting a rear-guard action. Instead, this blasphemous enemy smugly and scornfully holds his position, and the people of God let him have it. No wonder the work of the Lord is greatly retarded. Little wonder the work of God stands still!”

Tozer rightly realized that the failure to pray is what leaves the enemy in control of the battlefield. Much is happening these days in the political realm, and that is good as far as it goes. However, in and of itself it will always be insufficient. Paul tells us,

 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12, ESV)

The spiritual forces of darkness are in the heavenly places which is why the only effective weapon is a spiritual one.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4, ESV)

These weapons are exercised through prayer. Paul tells us that we are to be,

“. . . praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:18, ESV)

James, Jesus’ brother and leader of the church in Jerusalem, understood this power when he wrote to the Jewish Christians:

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16, NIV)

The Apostle Peter tells us,

“His [God’s] divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3, ESV)

Peter would know because Jesus made this promise to him:

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you lose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19, ESV)

We have every heavenly weapon available to us in God’s arsenal. All that remains is for us to ask so that we may receive. Scripture tells us:

“The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” (Proverbs 28:1, ESV)

We who are in Christ have His righteousness as a shield, so let us go boldly, as bold as a lion.

What say you, Man of Valor?

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