"Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord and serve him shoulder to shoulder. - Zephaniah 3:9 (NIV)
With their formal uniforms ironed to the tee, their badges and medals fastened to their jackets and their shoes shined so perfectly, if one were to look down at them, the image of their face would be starring straight back at them; they all stand at attention at another fallen soldier's funeral. As the guns, fire they salute and tears run down their cheeks, because they will have to continue life without their fellow soldier, their comrade, their friend. Yet even through all the pain, they still are brave and strong enough to fight in war, knowing there is a possibility the next funeral can be theirs or another one of their friends'. After the funeral they are able to return home to their families for a few weeks until they are deployed back to another war torn country, where they will suited in baggy combat gear, dusty combat boots, and armed with weapons most civilians don't know about. For many, leaving home is just as sorrowful as attending the funeral they just left, because soldiers are leaving their wives, husbands, children, and other family members behind with the fear of never seeing them again. Yet still they leave and as they are behind enemy lines, most witness things so tragic they seem to be left better unsaid then to talk about. These tragedies wreck havoc on their mental and emotional state, which causes them never to be the same. Nevertheless, they still stand shoulder-to-shoulder, ready to fight, some ready to die for the soldier next to them, for their families, and for their country so America can continue to be "The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave." They are strong, fierce, and courageous. These are our warriors; these are the men and woman of the United States military.
Everyday, we as children of God are in war, a war not against flesh and blood, but a war in the spiritual realm against the devil and his schemes. Currently, many Christians are getting beat up by the enemy because there is a lot of division going on in the church, where God's people are becoming cliquish, because of status, attire, spiritual gifts, age and the like. When we begin to divide ourselves in such a way, we eventually bring division in our relationship with Christ, because Christ is the church and since Christ is in us, we are the church. Division causes us to war in the natural against each other instead of warring in the spiritual realm against the devil. We must remember that the devil hates us more than any enemy we have on this earth, and he will try to do everything he can to cause tragedies to happen in our lives to destroy our mental and emotional state. So, we must always be prepared to fight with the full armor of God on: the belt of truth buckled around our waists, the breastplate of righteousness, our feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit (the word of God). In addition, we must consistently pray with all kinds of prayers and requests and be in continuous prayer for the saints. - Ephesians 6:13-18 Yet, in all these weapons that God has given us spiritually, it is very interesting that He did not mention anything to protect our backs. He did this because we as brothers and sisters in Christ, standing side by side and close together are supposed to protect each other's backs, as our soldiers who defend our country do. When in battle, our soldiers are not thinking about status, the skin color of the man or woman next to them, where they came from and so on, but they are there to support and protect one another and to come to each other's aid if they have been wounded. If we remain divided from one another, we will fall, but if we began to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we will stand free!
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