Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A soldier's life: earth is our camp and we're homesick for home

What was life for a soldier during the Civil War in camp? Authors Brooke C. Stoddard and Daniel P. Murphy, Ph.D tell us-
Soldiers in the Civil War did not see battle every day, or even every week. Most were inactive about 75 percent of the time, thanks to the hurry-up-and-wait nature of warfare. During these down periods, the typical day started at 5 A.M. during the spring and summer months and 6 A.M. during the fall and winter. Soldiers were awakened by reveille, roll call was taken by the first sergeant, and then everyone sat down to breakfast.

Much of a soldier's life is waiting around for orders
During the rest of the day, soldiers engaged in as many as five two-hour drill sessions on weaponry or maneuvers. Most soldiers found these drills extremely boring and tedious; they wanted to fight, not practice, though they realized the drills could mean the difference between life and death when fighting did occur.

Soldiers also cleaned and readied the camp, built roads, dug latrines, gathered wood for cooking and heating, and sometimes foraged for food to supplement their meals. Letters from home kept them going.

[They engaged in] recreation to help them while away the rest of the hours. Those who were able wrote long letters home or read books, magazines, and newspapers when they could get them. Others played cards or engaged in various sports, such as baseball, boxing, and cockfighting.

Of all the hardships soldiers faced in camp, homesickness was probably the most rampant and difficult to cure.

Source
It is the same for a Christian soldier. Exactly the same. We are all called to persevere in the battle, but the battle isn't always at the same pitch every day. While waiting for orders, we go to work, have leisure, engage in drills and practice (corporate worship, study, and prayer). We live for letters from home, which of course is the bible.

We're moms, dads, youths, and regular people, living a Christian life ... living in camp, joshing with other soldiers, cleaning our armor and longing for home, until called upon to launch into action. And do you know what that action is?

Standing.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Ephesians 6:13)

Praying.
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:4)

Resisting.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

We are not loudly pronouncing binding and loosing in Jesus's name in public places. We do not exorcise demons from every bush. We do not prayer walk a location to assess the enemy's capability. We do not map out the demonic strongholds in a place and gather to scream prophecies at them.

We pray, stand, and resist. We do this because our High Commander has won the battle. The battle is His.

Yes, earth is our camp and sometimes camp life is boring. Sometimes there is a long time between skirmishes and sometimes soldiers enter skirmishes that last a long time. It is an enduring and tiring war, outlasting our lifetimes, unless the Lord comes and raptures us. As President Abraham Lincoln said at the conclusion of the United States Civil War-
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Read that with understanding that when Lincoln says 'nation' we understand that nation to be the kingdom of God. Understand the soldiers who died and are buried here precede us in the long battle. And indeed, the world as Lincoln says, does not like what we do but they cannot ignore it and cannot forget it. We have a great task, and it is our measure of devotion to our Commander that these soldiers who went on before us have not died in vain and that one day, the kingdom of Jesus shall not perish from the earth but shall endure forever.

5 comments:

  1. Hi Elizabeth,
    I guess this depends on where in the battle you are. I know I am on the front lines, right in the thick of the battle. In intercessory prayer, I find I am always under attack. Every day I am binding and loosing demons and do many prayer walks, or sometimes prayer drives rebuking the evil that has been called in by means of satanic covens and I often am calling out strongholds because God has called me into this.

    Some of us are under attack all of the time and that is something to praise and worship God over!!

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  2. Hi Anonymous,

    I'd please ask you to consider the interpretations of the verses upon which you base your actions such as binding and loosing, rebuking, and calling out strongholds. I am in a pitched battle right now on the front lines and I am not prayer walking, loosing, rebuking or calling out anything. I do what the bible says we do: pray, resist, and stand. And of course, appeal to the Judge for holy justice. The disciples cast out demons, but they never bound them nor Satan.

    Here is pastor-teacher John MacArthur explaining the binding and loosing verse from Mt 16. Binding and loosing has to do with how we deal with sinning brothers.

    "“Truly I say to you, whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (v. 18). In other words, a duly constituted body of believers has the right to tell an unrepentant brother that he is out of line with God’s Word and has no right to fellowship with God’s people."
    more here
    http://www.gty.org/resources/bible-qna/BQ1311/binding-and-loosing-satan-sin-or-sinners

    As for rebuking demons, we do not have that authority. More on that here
    http://www.gotquestions.org/authority-rebuke-devil.html

    As for strongholds, it is not to go out and prayer walk and tell the demons who are around to scoot. The objective of our warfare to tear down strongholds is to change how people think. More here
    http://www.gty.org/resources/bible-qna/BQ122710/avoiding-empty-philosophies-tearing-down-strongholds

    Seeking out demons is dangerous to us and a waste of effort when we can better spend it on Jesus. We should be seeking out Jesus and focusing on Him. That is not to say we ignore the spiritual battle around us, bur please, consider the verses, we should not use human techniques to search out and root out demons.

    You can listen to 4 sermons called "Fighting the noble war" here
    http://www.gty.org/resources/sermon-series/173/spiritual-warfare-fighting-to-win

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    Replies
    1. I thank you for these links and I will look through them. I do wish to mention that I never said I bind and rebuke Satan. I said, “I am binding and loosing demons and do many prayer walks…” Also, I never said I am using human techniques. I use Scripture and pray Scripture as the Holy Spirit leads. Please be careful how you judge. God has placed in the path of my life satanic ritual abuse survivors, SRA. Into my lap, God has given me SRA people to pray for and never do I focus on the evil one but on God and His Son. The torment and abuse these people have gone through, some with no desire of their own but because they have been born into families that have dedicated them to Satan himself, are unbelievable. This is not a calling I have chosen but one that God has directed me to and He has given me, through His Son, the authority to pray for and call out these demons that have been prayed into these people. This calling is dangerous and not for those who have not been called by God. I just wanted to clear that up.

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    2. Hi Anonymous,

      Thanks for your reply. One of the links I shared referred to rebuking demons, not satan.

      You're right to caution me about being careful how I judge. here is how I judge: I use scripture as the benchmark. After careful study, if what someone is saying or doing does not line up with scripture, I *judge* it to be a vain, human-filled activity and of no worth to Jesus.

      I'd like to gently offer this to you: warfare and deliverance ministries may or may not be necessary. I am not entering a debate about that. However, MOST deliverance ministries are prideful, man-filled vain ministries that actually draw people into bondage, not release them. The main reason for this is that most of them do not operate on a scriptural level. Another main reason for this is pride.

      I am going to share with you a link to a long story about a man who was in a deliverance ministry as you are. These deliverance ministries do the same as you said you do, prayer walk, intercede by binding and loosing, etc. It is called
      "How Deliverance Ministries Lead People to Bondage"
      A Warning Against the Warfare Worldview

      http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue78.htm#.UXrnIEpYWSo

      A ministry such as yours the way you describe it with your words is not a lot different than the Gnostics. The Gnostics believe they have a special calling. They are on the front lines, inner circle. They believe they are endowed with secret knowledge and power that only they are called to have. These are the same things you say you have, using your own words:

      "some of us are under attack all the time"
      "I know I am on the front lines"
      "right in the thick of the battle"
      "I am always under attack."
      " Every day I am binding and loosing demons"
      "do many prayer walks"
      "I often am calling out strongholds"
      "this calling is dangerous"
      "God has called me into this"
      "not for those who have not been called"

      Honey, every line of that drips with pride. You're not special. You are no different than anyone who intercedes, prays, and is called by God for THEIR ministry. ALL of us are on a dangerous battle line. We are ALL in the thick of it and on the front. Earth is enemy territory and we are all battling until we're home. I dare say that any Christian living in Saudi Arabia is battling just as many demons as you, just in a different way.

      Thsi is what John MacArthur says of deliverance ministry similar to the one you shared about-
      "That's a dear man and God bless him for being a Christian and loving the Lord Jesus. But God help him to see the truth of how Satan works. And when all this is being carried on by Christians who down deep in their hearts mean well, it's just a terrible thing that they don't understand the Scripture enough to know that they have the authority of Christ if there is a real demonic issue and that if this guy is a honest confessing Christian, there is not going to be a demon problem in his life..."

      I ask you to please consider these things, read the links, and consider whether "God" has really called you to a legitimate ministry or whether you have a warfare worldview rather than a providential worldview. I say this because of Matthew 7:22-23,

      On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

      Did you catch that?

      People who were involved in deliverance ministries casting our demons left and right and the Lord says He never knew them! Please examine yourself to see what you are doing. You wanted to clear things up, as do I. Here is the clarity- When I read your comment I WORRIED for you! And I KNEW you would not like what I write. But I plead with you to re-examine your statements here and your ministry and to refer to the links to see if you are doing something scriptural ...or not.

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  3. Good responses, Elizabeth. I learned from that.

    ReplyDelete

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