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August 14; This is How We Fight Our Battles

Posted on August 14, 2021 at 11:45 AM

The Roman military has been known throughout history to be one of the mightiest and most powerful. During the time of the Gospels, Rome controlled most of the Holy Lands so it is no surprise that they are often mentioned in scripture.

 

When we think of them, we recall the scenes in the New Testament where they crucified Jesus. We cringe when we think of the soldiers twisting the crown of thorns on His head and beating Him until He was hardly recognizable as a man. We read many stories of the Roman soldiers killing and persecuting the Israelites, or their godless Government profaning God’s temple and trying to paganize the Jews.

 

It’s hard to ascribe anything at all redeemable to the hated warriors, with their formidable training and impenetrable armor. In our heads, we likely think of a soulless automaton who mindlessly follows the bloody orders he’s given. What we don’t often take into consideration is that if a soldier was given an order to guard someone and they escaped, that soldier would be killed. And we need to remember that the Roman Empire was merely a political machine that God ultimately used to prepare the world for the birth of the Messiah and the spread of the Gospel.

 

In Matthew 8, we read of a Roman Centurion (an officer) who loved his servant to much that he was willing to approach Jesus and request healing for him. In fact, the officer had so much faith that he didn’t even ask that Jesus physically examine the servant, knowing He only had to speak a word and it would be done. And his faith was rewarded. In Matthew 8:33 we’re told that “Jesus said to the officer ‘go your way; as you have believed, so let it be done for you.’ And his servant was healed that same hour.”

 

These frightening men were really just flesh and blood. They weren’t unreachable or without conscience and feelings. In fact, much of what motivated them was fear and training. And a lot of what made them so formidable was their dedication to the service they were called to. The truth is, they weren’t always the enemy. They had a job to do and often only took action against Christian at the instigation of the Jewish authorities.

 

The Roman army could win when others could not because they had a single-minded determination. Their shoes had curved spikes in them so once they dug their heels in, they were not going to be moved. If faced with a larger enemy, they would lock arms. Where one could have perhaps been knocked down, linked together they were impenetrable.

 

How much more could we accomplish if we would dig ourselves in and link arms? Satan uses whatever weapon is at his disposal, including banding together those who aren’t originally our enemies, and creating an army to harm us. We might not appreciate how he works, but there is a lesson in the relentlessness with which he pursues his goals. We can get as upset as we want about the Enemy’s self-serving and destructive ability to keep us weak, but we’re foolish if we don’t learn from it. And he only has the power and authority we allow.

 

We have all the armor we need in the authority of our Almighty God. Our strength doesn’t come from ourselves, it comes from the “power of His might” [Ephesians 6:10]. If we would just grab each other and hold on, dig our spikes into the ground and stand together, there isn’t an enemy out there who could breach our walls.

 

We are living in a time when there is a battle raging around us. There’s a reason why Paul writes about putting on the “whole armor of God in Ephesians 6. Satan is ‘the accuser’ and he stands ready to try to fool, divide and destroy us. In verses 11-12 Paul says we need to keep our armor on so that we can “stand against the schemes of the devil. We don’t wrestle again flesh and blood, but against the rulers of darkness of this age...”

 

If we’re thinking that the battle isn’t raging, we’re not watching the news, paying attention to the climate, looking at the economic picture that is becoming our reality, or allowing ourselves to understand the rate of homelessness and crime in our world today.

 

But we have an ace up our sleeve. Instead of cowering in fear, we can stand up fully shielded in the whole armor of God. Our waist will be girded with truth, our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, with a shield of faith that will allow us to quench the fiery darts of Satan.

 

In Deuteronomy 20:4 we’re promised that “the Lord our God is He who goes with us, to fight for us against our enemy, to save us.” Now that’s a weapon with punch! As they say, “buckle up buttercup.” There’s a battle going on, but we know who wins.

Be blessed, my Friend.  God is on the throne.

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