This Memorial Weekend, we take time to remember those who have lost their lives serving our country and celebrate, together with their families, those still serving and sacrificing. Today’s service features retired Navy SEAL, Jeff Bramstedt, who will be interviewed by Pastor Miles to share his own experiences about serving our country and delivering effective fire.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:10-13
Our enemies are not really people, but spirits influencing people. As a Navy SEAL trained to fight in natural combat, Jeff Bramstedt is here to show us how an earthly combat model—shoot, move, communicate—can be applied to the spiritual battles we face every day.
This passage tells us that our enemies are not really people, but spirits influencing people. As a Navy SEAL trained to fight in natural combat, Jeff Bramstedt is here to show us how an earthly combat model—shoot, move, communicate—can be applied to the spiritual battles we face every day.
1. Shoot only to deliver effective fire. Hebrews 4:12
A firefight is two enemy bodies firing bullets with ill intention to kill the other. Not everyone has the ability to pull the trigger and end a life for defense and survival, but it is imperative to understand that we are under spiritual attack and our spiritual enemy has a battle plan to destroy us.
Because of that, we have to know how to combat the enemy’s fire. What is our most effective fire to be able to stand against him? God’s Word!
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
The Word of God is powerful. It can direct your thoughts, words, decisions, and behavior, and the devil can’t run from its truth. It stands alone and is more powerful than anything he can throw at you.
2. Move with intent to fulfill the mission. Micah 6:8, Psalm 86:11
If you are going to be successful in battle, you have to be able to move well, to change your position and protect yourself. Jeff shared that when he was in training, a superior came alongside him, the slowest runner of the pack, and encouraged him with truths to inspire him to do his very best. Then he called Jeff to stick close to his side and follow his every movement.
When you are walking near another person, it may be difficult to pace yourselves equally, but if you put your arm around that person, your gaits must match up more equally. This is the picture of a walk with God. He wants the type of relationship with you where you will follow his movements, stick close to Him, and listen to His guidance. Sometimes you may need to move fast and other times you may need to wait quietly, not relying on your own strength or understanding.
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
3. Communicate always. Jeremiah 33:3
There is a military term known as the fatal funnel, which is essentially being trapped by several enemies who are firing at you from different directions and closing in. If you are caught in this particular configuration, you are in danger of being hit by fire. You may be out of bullets, so you can’t shoot. You may be covered by some protection and unable to move. But you can still win by picking up your radio and calling in for the fast movers to assist you.
In a spiritual battle, your tactics should be the same. You may feel shot down and attacked from every angle: finances, health, relationships, and career. So how can you survive? You radio in to God, crying out to Him about your situation and your need for Him. He knows right where you are and exactly the best way to support you.
‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3
In a spiritual battle, you may feel attacked by discouragement from circumstances, the words of others, or even your own vain imaginations. But none of those things can compare to God’s opinion and His Word. What does He have to say?
If you are trying to battle all on your own strength and with your own resources, it’s time to tap into the real strength found in Ephesians 6!