When I leave Church on Sunday, I am like a soldier returning to the front. I do not take my duty lightly for I know I am at war! This is not an over dramatization because the scriptures say that Satan is at war with us. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV).
Can you relate to this imagery? Can you hear the drums beating? The battle cry? In 2 Corinthians 10 (NIV) it states, For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.
I am thankful that God has painted this picture for me. I remember when I was a kid growing up in the Midwest, I played football for the Central Wolves. Coming out of the locker room and hearing the drums of the band really caused my adrenalin to flow. Those drums, the cheering crowd and the hours spent before the game listening to inspirational music really narrowed my focus in on the game.
I was fired up coming into that stadium, a real live wire. So much so, that it took me until two, sometime three oíclock in the morning to finally come down from that emotional high. The pain and soreness didnít usually catch up to me until the next day.
For many years after high school, I missed that experience. I searched for something to replace it, but nothing else compared. There was something beautiful about being so completely focused that I could block out everything else to accomplish a task. I was driven, determined, and unwavering in my persistence to cross the goal line and to hear the roar of the crowd. Like many other guys, I fought, scratched and clawed for every inch, poured out every emotion in an effort for victory. Then it was gone and life set in. No more battles to fight, no more ground to be gained, just life.
Not too far into history, when armies lined up across the field of battle from one another, the band and the drums played a significant role. I remember watching old Hollywood Westernís with my dad when I was young and remember seeing Indianís dance around a large fire to the rhythmic sound of beating drums right before the big battle scene. It finally occurred to me just how important those drums were and how important it is to get emotionally prepared for the battle, to put the right attitude on and to get your head into the game. What else could explain men lining up 50 yards apart and shooting at one another unwavering as the guy next to them collapsed from a direct hit? What else could explain Indians bravely riding and screaming into a hail of rifle fire knowing full well they may not return to camp? What else could explain, two men colliding full speed into one another for possession of an oblong ball?
Is it the battle itself, or the reward that comes after? Is it the thrill of competition, or the volcanic eruption of no longer containable emotion? Whatever it is, itís not often found in the daily grind of life. Perhaps thatís why men go to war, or play football, or fight, or cheat on their wives. Just perhaps?
Thatís just one reason, as a man, itís such an outstanding experience to follow Christ! I canít think of anything in my adult life more emotionally and spiritually gratifying than praising God in the midst of worship and allowing him to penetrate my soul and get me prepared for my week.
Satan is the enemy and he is a formidable one indeed. Sometimes he bombards me unmercifully and sometimes he leaves me alone, but this enemy is always there, waiting for his chance. He is constantly probing my defenses and seeking a weakness to exploit.
So as I praise God and worship each week with my fellow soldiers, I remember, God is sustaining me and preparing me for battle. Imagine feeling the drums of worship beating in your heart as you recharge with others for the spiritual battle just outside those church gates. Feel the excitement build as every minute passes and you get more and more focused in your race for the goal line.