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Sunday, June 14, 2009

a weapon of war

This morning I read a devotion that someone sent me. It talked about a soldier joining the service and being issued a gun. It talked of how that young man is taught to take care of the gun, clean it, protect it and keep it constantly with him, until the weapon become a part of him as natural as his hand. It talked of how the men may have had every other portion of their anatomy dirty, wet, or soiled but not their weapon. They used it until they could handle it with complete confidence and balance, always ready to wield it effectively without thought.

I knew that already. I’ve had family and friends who were in the service and spoke of weapons training. But I never applied the lesson to the Word of God. You know, some of us are familiar with guns but we don’t know them so intimately. I grew up in a hunting family. We often had game meat for meals and my father, uncles and brother enjoyed a day of hunting. My mother appreciated the free meat that resulted from their day in the countryside hiking over the hills.

So I was familiar with guns. I knew how to shoot and respected them as weapons. I wasn’t intimate with them though. I knew then and know still that they do come apart and that they must be taken apart and cleaned thoroughly to keep them in top working condition. But I’ve never dissembled a gun in my life. I doubt if I could even if I tried.

Now here is the lesson the Lord taught me. Many Christians are like me and guns... They have Bibles, they know what they are and how to use them. They know that they contain many promises, commands, recommendations and provide a path to glory. But they are not intimate with them. Like me and the gun, they pick their Bible up from time to time and use it. They are familiar with the different parts of it and can tell you what different parts are for, but still they are not intimate with it. They appreciate it and even love it but they don’t use it constantly. They have never taken it apart and looked into its depths.

Then there are the Christians who are like the servicemen and their weapons. They use their Bible daily. They read it; they study it. They know how all the parts are connected and how they support each other. They handle the Word so constantly and consistently that parts of it have become part of their memory. They can find different verses almost in the dark so to speak. Like the serviceman’s gun, it has become part of them. Their every action is influenced by the presence of that spiritual weapon. Every event in their life is referenced by a portion of scripture or precept they have ingrained in their memory. They wield its lessons and teachings without thought or concern. It is part of them.

For witnessing there is no need to prepare ahead of time. The necessary scriptures are right there ‘at their fingertips.’ For defense from the Enemy of Souls, the Word is on the tip of their tongue and at the front of their mind. Because of their familiarity with their weapon, the are always ready to give answer for the faith that lies with in them. Too many times we wonder at some of Paul’s directions and admonitions like this one, but the key to them all lies in being totally and completely familiar with the Word of God. We cannot give answer if our ‘answer’ is based on amorphous ideals that our parents taught us or that brother so-n-so spoke from the pulpit. Our answers can only be based on a thorough and complete, spiritually-taught understanding and familiarity with the Word of God.

What a fantastic lesson from a weapon of war.

I’m frustrated right now. My laptop is on the fritz and I can’t spend the long hours on it studying the Word and referencing the scriptures. Neither can I read my email or post on the discussion groups as I’m used to. If I miss a few days or weeks here that’s going to be the reason.

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