P.E.A.R.s – Periodic Encouragement And RemindersTM
Ready or Not; You’re at War!©
by Robert E. Alderman, Jr.
[Preface: This P.E.A.R. TM was originally written and published in 2013 – prior to the existence of this blog. In light of 2020 and the in-fighting occurring in America and likely to escalate in 2021 in our political arenas and against individual freedoms, its content seems even more applicable now.]
Have you ever had a day, a week or longer when you just got hammered by life but you couldn’t seem to figure out why? Or, maybe you’re currently going through a period of time in which the dice of living keep coming up snake eyes.
This can be especially true – actually even more so – if you’re trying seriously to find your way to Christ and to live as His disciple, because there’s a war going on for your soul. And, whether you’re ready or not, you’re at ground zero of that battle!
You’ll understand a little more about the what and the why of the happenings in your life by taking a moment to briefly review the history of the world and the battle that’s been raging for eons within it between God and the devil. It’s a battle in which the human race (you, me and others) serve as both the focal point of the battle as well as potential warriors for one side or the other.
The existence of this war is why Walter Henrichsen in “Disciples Are Made Not Born” says that Jesus “invaded” the world of human history. It’s also the reason Jesus said Himself, “Do not think I came to bring peace on earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Mt. 10:34)
A short explanation of why and how this war began is found in Revelation 12:1-5, 7-8 and 17:
A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red Dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads… The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child at the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter… And there was war in Heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the Dragon, and the Dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven… Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring – those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
Thus, the devil became the Prince of darkness and ruler of earth bent on making war against those who are drawn to God and seek to follow Christ. Because of that, the world (until Jesus frees it) is “enemy territory” – with much of mankind caught in the devil’s prisons of deceit and lies – designed and intended to prevent us from receiving the treasures of life with Christ.
This is why Jesus said (John 10:10), “I have come that they [meaning you, me and all others who accept the message of the Cross and follow Him] may have life to the full.” His purpose is to make available to us that which we can never have in the prisons of Satan- where, the thief [the devil] comes only to steal, kill and destroy.”
It was in the Garden of Eden that the red Dragon (the Devil) used his lies, trickery and deceit to take Adam and Eve as his first prisoners. From there, he moved on to their children and all who have been born into this world since then; continuing thereafter with his same successful strategies in all aspects of our lives today.
This is the war, ready or not; want it or not, that we’re in; fighting not for earthly direction – which is trivial and of short duration – but for the eternity of our souls.
John Eldredge in “Waking the Dead” (with “dead” being what we are spiritually in our souls if we’re not living for Christ) reminds us that having life to its fullest is not only what God intended for us in the Garden of Eden, but also is what He offers to restore to us through His invitation to join the Army of Christ. It is because of that invitation that the war exists.
The devil’s attacks against us will happen not only after we’ve joined God’s Army, but also in the very process of our recruitment – because the devil, as the Enemy of God, wants to impose different marching orders and a different destination for our lives.
In this war, Jesus’ plan or purpose was foretold in Isaiah 61:1 which reads: “God has sent me… to heal the brokenhearted; proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners.” Mankind, (you, me and others) are those prisoners, captives and brokenhearted. So long as we remain in the grips of the devil held by the invisible bars of lies and deceit that he speaks to the thoughts of our minds – just as he did in Eden – believing that we don’t need God or can do quite well without Him, the devil is perfectly content to leave us alone.
However, if you try to escape for yourself or to lead a rebellion to free others from his prisons, the devil will come hard against you.
Walter Henrichens (again in Disciples Are Made Not Born) calls this war “a battle against the gates of hell”. To succeed in that battle or war, we need (as the Apostle Paul tells us in Eph. 6:11), “to put on the full armor of God so that you’ll be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”
The reason we need the armor provided by God is because this war is not of the flesh, but of the spirit (it’s a battle for our souls), and thus our weapons cannot be of the flesh (of our own making and effort) for our flesh and strength are weak. Instead, we need weapons of divine power to destroy the devil’s fortresses. (2 Cor 10:4)
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In closing this P.E.A.R., it’s important to remember that we are not on this earth to kill time. We are here with the opportunity to keep our souls from being killed – and then to serve in God’s Army to free others as well.
Satan desires to keep us from knowing that and, thus, to keep us from fighting this battle. He would be perfectly content to have us stick our heads in the sand and pay no attention to the war. If that doesn’t work and we begin leaning toward God, the devil sends his demons and warriors to discourage and intimidate us. At other times, he will try to entice us into his snare or to sweet talk us into believing this is not our war to fight.
Do not let him do that (to you or others you know). Wake up and dress yourself in God’s armor and join the fight for your life and your soul. Because…ready or not, you are at war.
Have a great week! (And to my family, Love Dad)