A Soldier Like My Dad
Ephesians 6:10-18 "Finally brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might Praying always, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints."
I grew up during World War II. I was still a child when the war was on, but I remember that any able bodied man between the ages of 18 and 30 were "called up", or conscripted for service. Of course, there were the eager beavers who volunteered, but joining the services was not an option. It was mandatory, unless you had a pretty good excuse. My father was not eligible. He had too many children, and was slightly over the age limit. However, he wanted to do his bit for the country, so he joined the reserve army. But as a soldier he was a failure. On Tuesday evenings when it was time for him to go to the armory for his training session, we all knew that we must not speak to him. Although he looked spiffy in his uniform, his face was tense and grim. We learned later that he was the bane of the sergeant. He could not follow the regime. I guess when the sergeant said, "left, right, left" he went "right, left, right." But one Tuesday night he came home all smiles. He handed my mom a white envelope. She opened it, a half-smile, half-smirk spreading across her face. The reserve army had given Dad an honorable discharge, just to get rid of him. He had been told that if our side wanted to lose the war, all they would have to do would be to send a few guys like him out to battle.
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Well, that's okay. Dad may not have been fit for service for his country, but he was eligible, and volunteered for the army of God. And God's army is made of solely of volunteers. There are no conscriptions. And the uniform always fits. God instructs us in Ephesians 6 to put on the whole armor of God. That way we will be able to stand up to all the tricks of the enemy. God's army does not fight against human enemies, it fights against Satan's evils, against wicked spirits which we cannot see. God's army fights against all the corruption which is surrounding us. When we have His full armor on, no part of us will be unprotected. Our loins will be covered with truth; our breastplate will be made of righteousness; our foot protection will be the gospel of peace. And then, when we are fully dressed in God's armor, we must take the proper equipment. We must have the shield of faith so that we can be protected against the devil's fiery darts of doubt, despair, discouragement, and every other evil spear he can throw our way. And we must have on the helmet of our salvation. We must be fully trusting in God, and keep our minds pure from Satan's doubts. And we must at all times have the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. That does not mean that we have to carry a Bible around with us at all times, but it does mean that we need to store God's Word in our hearts, so that we can be prepared against the enemy. And above all, we must pray in the Spirit, because if God does not go with us into battle, Satan will win.
IN THE ARMY OF GOD Ephesians 6:7-18Ephesians 6:10-18 "Finally brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might Praying always, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints I may not have a lofty position, but I'm in the army of God, My war is against Satan's evils: Christ Jesus leads my squad. I may not have a perfect body, but my heart is right with God. I'm protected by His righteousness. With peace my feet are shod. I may not be in tip-top condition, but I'm fit for the spiritual fight. I will ward off the wiles of the devil by the power of God's might. I may not have very much knowledge, but I have the wisdom of God. I'm equipped with salvation's helmet. I shall walk where Christ has trod. I wear God's amour to protect me. I'll stand firm against my foe. With God's Word--the Sword of the Spirit, to battle I'm ready to go. Helen Dowd