Today Navy Seals Jeff Bramstedt and Ryan Williams shared insight into the life and training of a soldier.
Have you ever noticed people being nice and well-behaved at church, and then going wild once they are back home during the week? Walking with God is not just about the hour that your at attending church. It is actually a battle, as our fleshly desires are always warring with God’s desires for us.
We also have an enemy that desires to destroy us and to destroy our relationship with God. As in an earthly battle, a spiritual soldier needs to know the enemy, how he thinks and operates and be aware of the weapons he has available and how to use them.
Know your enemy – where he lives, patterns, how he operates. When you learn about your enemy, you have an advantage and you can also know how to actively avoid the conflict altogether.
We make the determination once we go into a situation whether or not to engage.
We direct our anger at others sometimes because we don’t understand who our real enemy is.
Have you ever been in a relationship with someone and then you get deeply hurt and angry at that person? We direct our anger at others sometimes because we don’t understand who our real enemy is. In Genesis, Cain killed his brother because he was jealous that his own sacrifice was rejected by God. But Abel had not really done wrong to Cain; Cain had misdirected his anger to his brother. When you are in a war, you must understand who your real enemy is, how he will attack you, how he thinks, and what his goals are.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:10-12
Our battle is a spiritual one and we wage war with the devil and his demons. He is very cunning and strategic, he knows your weaknesses and how to deceive you, and he’s a liar who will never tell you the truth or show you a correct perspective. The devil speaks only three times in the Bible (Genesis 3, Job 1-2, Matthew 4) and his aim each time is to destroy the relationship between man and God. Today Satan’s goals are the same: he wants to destroy your faith, trust, and reliance on God.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:3-4
If an untrained person uses a seal’s rifle, the incredible magnification of the scope and the accuracy of the weapon can allow him to hit a target, but not with the consistency of a trained sniper. Attacking an enemy is not just about that single shot, but the hours and hours of training, rehearsing, and planning that are behind it.
This is similar to watching an athlete experience one incredible moment in his/her sport. A spectator sees and admires only a culmination of a lifetime of work, but does not see the days, weeks, and years of working out, practicing over and over, failing, and trying again that lead to the accomplishment.
Every day when you walk with God you will be in a battle and your enemy never lets up. He constantly accuses you to God and challenges your faith. If you don’t train, you will be a casualty.
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.2 Timothy 2:1-4
You are a soldier whether you like it or not. There is a war waging for your soul! You need to be ready when God calls you to fulfill your special task.
"There is no neutral ground in the universe. Every square inch, every split second is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan.” – CS Lewis
The phrase “fairweather frogman” is used by the seal teams to mean that anyone can go out and do a decent job when it’s not raining or snowing – but when it’s the worst of worst conditions, you have to reach down deep, expand your boundaries, and go beyond your own comfort zone. Seals go in to difficult situations knowing that their best matters because someone else’s life hangs on their actions and decisions.
Can you imagine going into war without having good weapons or not knowing what your weapons are? God has given you weapons for the spiritual battle you face. In Ephesians 6:14-18, Paul outlines the weapons of a Roman soldier to show us how to fight our spiritual enemy:
- Belt of Truth
A Roman soldier would wear a belt around his cloak so he would be free to move without hindrance. Jesus tells us that knowing the truth will se us free, as truth is our weapon against the lies of the devil.
- Breastplate of Righteousness
A soldier would wear a breastplate to protect his organs from injury. Jesus has given you His righteousness so that you can stand up against accusations against your character. You have the righteousness of Jesus Christ to protect you and to help you to stand before God without shame.
- Feet Shod with the Gospel
Cleats were worn in battle to keep soldiers from slipping and falling. We stand on the solid rock of the gospel of Jesus’ death and resurrection. It’s the only hope we have.
- Shield of Faith
A soldier’s shield was made of two planks with tar in the middle. If a fiery arrow pierced it, the flame would be extinguished. When things come at us – needs, fears, doubts, difficulties – by faith we must trust that He loves us and will never leave you or forsake us.
- Helmet of Salvation
A soldier wore a helmet to protect him from mortal injury. The good news about salvation is that in the end of the war, nothing can kill us or separate us from God. Salvation secures us a victory.
- Sword of the Spirit
Soliders used a double-edged sword for fighting in battle. The Bible says that God’s word is a double edged sword that cuts right to the heart. Word of God is a weapon that we use to fight.
By praying, we can move the hand of God. By praying, we can be delivered from daily struggles and set others free who are in bondage.
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. Romans 15:1-2
Seals take up each other’s slack. No one can avoid eventual earthly death, but how we live our lives in between and support one another makes a difference.
We need to face the battles within us and around us. God wants us to move forward with our lives, unencumbered.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
The devil wants to steal your life. When you hear others lying, gossiping, cheating, stealing, or giving up, the devil is getting the best of them in the battle. That’s why we can’t turn our back on others, but we must go the extra mile to help, train, serve, and fight with the weapons we have.
Don’t skate by, going through the motions of religion but never engaging in the spiritual war that is happening to you and all around you. Get in the battle! You’re in it whether you like it or not, so you can fight with the devil or against him.