In my nation a day is set aside to honor veterans who served in the military during war. We owe our freedom's today to their sacrifice. This day was first celebrated as Armistice Day. It commemorated an armistice (cease fire) which occurred on November 11, 1918. It marked the end of World War 1 though an actual treaty was not signed until 1919. Later Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day in order to honor all veterans who served in war.
I submit that this is a good day to remember spiritual combat veterans too. Read to the end and you'll see my point.
I retired from the Navy Reserve in 2006. I served in Desert Storm. My brother served in Vietnam, my father in World War II and a great uncle served in World War 1, and other descendants from my mother's side of the family served in the Civil War.
Let's thank God for those who died, spilled their blood and risked their lives for our freedom and liberty. Pray for and remember their families too.
I've learned something about the three basic attitudes towards war in America that contain a powerful spiritual lesson. I find it fascinating because I see this reflected in the Church's attitude towards war as well.
In yesteryear everyone served their country. They were drafted into service. There are currently 71 countries today who require some form of military service click here. My naval career occurred during the time of the "all volunteer force." Today, only about 5% of the population in America has ever served.
This fact poses a problem for many in the Church in America for there are spiritual truths that are easier to grasp with experience. I sincerely believe the Lord choose the life He gave me and that He used the military as my seminary.
Revelation of God's Name & Character
A name is important for it often provides insight into the nature and purpose of who or what is named. God, YHWH, or YAHWEH, translated most frequently in the King James Version of the Bible as Lord or The Lord refers to the eternal existing one. In many English translations the term Jehovah is used instead. I will go into the etymology of Jehovah at another time. For now, let's just recognize that this is often used in place of YAHWEH.
The root word YAHWEH comes from the Hebraic word "haya." This is the word used when Moses asked God what name he should use to refer to God. God told him in Exodus 3:14 to tell them that "I AM (haya) has me sent you."
So the root word for the Lord is "I AM." When I learned to pray I learned about the different names of God. Two of my favorite where Jehovah (Yahweh)-Rapha and Yahweh-Jireh. It means the Lord my Healer and the Lord is my Provider. The revelation of God's name has greatly blessed the body of Christ around the world and led to much comfort and many miracles.
Guess how many times God is called Yahweh-rapha and Yahweh-jireh in scripture? One time! That's it!
Now if you are an author and you are trying to make a point, do you write it more or less? More, right! God is called Yahweh-sabbaoath which is translated as the Lord of Hosts or Lord of the Armies more than 245 times in God's word. That is 2.3 times more than the next most mentioned of the Yahweh names. Our heavenly Father is trying to make a point!
The Lord is the Admiral, the General, the King
From Exodus 15:3 through to Revelation 19 we see God revealed as a Man of War, the Captain of the Hosts, the Commander and King of all angelic and earthly forces. His body is likened unto an army in Ezekiel 37 and on and on I could go with numerous examples.
So what can we glean from all of this? Those who've had military experience tend to understand more the importance of applying certain principles for the same of maintaining "esprit de corps." That means "the spirit of the army." I submit that the Marine Corp has often shown more understanding of that than the Church has. For example, what's the Marine Corps motto? Semper Fi! Always Faithful! They recognize that their motto must be accompanied by appropriate action as this affects the fighting spirit of the Corps.
Those in the military understand the importance of:
The Church is a War - a Heavenly War
Sadly today we find the three kinds of people in the body of Christ like I mentioned at the start. There are anti-war protesters, volunteers and the silent neutral types which are not neutral at all. They might as well be anti-spiritual war protesters.
The scripture says in Revelation 12 that there was a heavenly war that spilled on to earth. My friends, the prize is the souls of men and women and their eternal destiny in heaven or in hell. That is what Satan seeks to kill, steal and destroy. That is what our Lord seeks to save.
Here's the question, what kind of Christian are you? Are you an anti-spiritual war protester, one that's is quiet, neither for nor against, or are you a volunteer in the Lord's army?
The Lord said to my Lord, " Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool." The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies! Your people shall be volunteers In the day of Your power; In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, You have the dew of Your youth.
For those who are spiritual combat veterans in the Lord's army, we remember and salute you this day and honor the Lord of Hosts.
Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.