***Happy Fourth of July!***
In honor of Independence Day, I'm going to share a little story with a *military* theme.
My dad, born in 1930, was a little too young to have fought in World War II. But by the time the Korean War broke out, he was just the right age. Having joined the Naval Reserves when he was in college, he now found himself, in 1953, eligible for the draft.
Now at this time, it just so happened that my mom had a suspicion that she was pregnant.
My grandmother, Dad's mom, and my mother (who was a very sweet, young girl of 20 at the time) made an appointment to meet with the local board of Selective Services. They planned to use the pregnancy as a possible reason to change my dad's draft status.
The board asked for proof of the pregnancy.
Well, my grandmother and mother wasted NO time in getting an appointment with my grandmother's doctor. They anxiously waited for the results of the "rabbit test" – (poor, poor bunnies! Isn't it so much better that all we have to do now is sacrifice a little blood or…ahem…other bodily fluid to find out if we're pregnant?!)
They waited and prayed…prayed and waited.
And finally, the results came – yes, my mom was pregnant.
Evidently, the Lord did not want my dad to go to war – for the chairman of the local board, who knew my dad from the reserves, agreed that he should be granted a deferment because my mom was pregnant.
Oh, one last little detail to this story…
I was that cute little draft deferment!
The history of America is peppered with stories of war. And though war often brings moments of glory and honor, at its core, war is really a reflection of the evil that lives in the human heart. It reflects the unending urge for power, and the inner drive to rule.
And war is a symbol of the other battle – the epic battle between good and evil.
Once, a long time ago, an angel with evil in his heart also desired power, and wanted to rule everything – he wanted to be like God.
It didn't quite work out – he was cast out from Heaven for his rebellion – and he became Satan, the Adversary, the Accuser.
And since that time, Satan has used every available strategy to continue waging war against God. He even used humanity to injure the very heart of God. And we were complicit in the injury.
That epic battle is still being fought – every day. And though ultimate victory for God and His children is assured, the battle still rages on. We are an integral part of that battle, we are soldiers in the war.
How to be effective warriors for God?
Well, I don't know about you, but I'm wearing armor!
"Therefore put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground…" (Ephesians 6:13-14)
Here's what we’ve got:
The Belt of Truth – the only way to defeat the enemy's lies
The Breastplate, the Body Armor, of Righteousness – God's righteousness is the only thing that protects our hearts and ensures His approval through Christ
The Footgear, the Shoes, of the Peace that comes from the Good News – the motivation to proclaim the true peace that is available in God
The Shield of Faith – protection against the fiery arrows of the devil
The Helmet of Salvation – protecting our minds from doubting God's saving work done for us by Jesus, and the assurance that ultimate victory is ours
The Sword – the Word of God, the Bible, our Scriptures – the only weapon of offense in this list – we must use the Word of God as a weapon against lies, and deceptions, and temptations
Happy Fourth of July – and I hope you have a great celebration. But let's also take today and remember this other war – the one that Satan brought, the one that we are engaged in.
Let's keep up the good fight, and stand against our enemy with the Holy Spirit's power. We are enlisted soldiers in God's army, and we have joined the forces of the Lord's Kingdom.
OK, who's suiting up with me?!
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God"