“Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;” NIV
Physical Training, or PT, is a routine part of any soldier’s military career. Just ask any of them and they will tell you how hard they train. They need to stay in top physical condition to meet the demands of wherever they may be asked to serve our country.
I remember hearing my son speak of PT during his time at Fort Jackson, S.C. This past weekend was another time for PT during his monthly drill.
What happens if our troops don’t stay in top physical condition? They become weaker in endurance, stamina, and strength. If they become physically exhausted, how can they stay mentally sharp to think clearly in difficult situations?
Atrophy in the muscle occurs when the muscle is not used. You actually lose muscle mass and become weaker.
The enemy can have the upper hand over weak troops. They will search out the weakest links and target them.
Remember “the survival of the fittest” in science class? The same theory applies now in this scenario.
Don’t think our enemy is just lazily sitting around haphazardly looking for a target. They train too. Very much so. Haven’t you seen video tapes on the news of Al Queda training camps? They are pushed hard day in and day out.
When my son was in Basic Combat Training, I heard about three-day foot marches where they kept the soldiers in training up for three consecutive days testing for endurance. I simply cannot imagine how these young men and women in training survive the miles and miles of marching and running without sleep, while carrying who knows how many pounds of weight on their backs. As a mother, it broke my heart to think of them out there for those three days. I prayed hard for all of them, that’s for sure.
Three days is nothing compared to the months and months on end that our troops endure in the desert heat all summer long. How often do we pray for them? Have we let them know that we pray for them? They need to know they’re not forgotten over there. They need to know that all this hard work means something to those of us sitting in our comfortable environments. They need to know that all the sweat and physical demands are not going unnoticed by the citizens of this great country.
As Christians, how do we train for the job at hand? How do we strengthen our “spiritual muscles?”
“Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess,” NIV
We follow God’s Word and the instructions He’s given to us through them. We follow His lead. Seek His will. Serve when and where He leads us.
We pray. We worship with other believers. We grow and learn in Bible study and discipleship. Regularly. Not just haphazardly. Occasional training won’t build up the strength we’ll need in the world we face today. We need constant training.
Our military men and women have regulations and rules to follow. It’s expected of them. They have drills and training exercises to execute a specific battle plan. It becomes habit and second nature to them after a while. Routines develop. They learn how to read their battle buddy’s behaviors in the field. They are in one accord with one another. They work together for a common good. Freedom.
So it is with the Church, or should be, according to Christ’s teachings. Not only do we grow and learn, but we serve together as one body of believers. We should be in one accord, working together for a common good. Freedom from death and defeat. Extending freedom to all through the Gospel message.
What happens if we aren’t in constant training and routinely go through the exercises of executing a “battle plan?” We lose our endurance. We aren’t effective Christians for the Kingdom. We are “lukewarm”. We might even fight and argue between brothers and sisters. Focus is lost.
2 Kings 18:20
“You say you have strategy and military strength—but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me?” NIV
Do you think that our military men and women go into this war on terror unprepared? Speaking “empty words”? I hardly think so. They depend on their training and their leadership, their strength and their preparedness to see them through the months ahead.
Do we as Christians go out into the world speaking “empty words?” Are we depending on God to guide us and see us through the days and months ahead? Are we prepared spiritually to face the battles in life that we will face? That’s a question that only you can answer.
2 Samuel 22:40
“You armed me with strength for battle; you made my adversaries bow at my feet.” NIV
What will it take for you to be “battle ready?” Are you seeking guidance from the Father? Are you in constant spiritual training? Are you sharp and prepared to face the adversary? Are you strong, or have some of your muscles lost their effectiveness from non-use?
A very good lesson, Lucy. It is good to jog people's minds about what the men and women in service go through each day. And a good lesson, you brought out, from this, for our own spiritual fitness. Sometimes when we go through trials it is like the Lord putting us through our "spiritual fitness" training. It is hard and we balk, but we are strengthened by it. Thanks for sharing this with us, Lucy. God bless you.