Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member
I doubt if many of you will want to read this but I hope you do (kind of a bad way to start off a blog post). I’m not sure I even want to write it, but I have been convicted about some things in life lately and I think it is important to share them.
I heard a story the other while listening to David Platt teaching one of the Secret Church messages. The story was about a ship named the USS UNITED STATES. The story goes that this ship was built to transport American troops into battle anywhere in the world. It was the biggest, fastest, most powerful ship of the day and could carry 15,000 troops and reach anywhere in the world in ten days. But the strange thing was it was never used for its original purpose, to transport troops to war. It was put on stand-by once during the Cuban Missile Crisis during the 60’s but never went to sea for its intended purpose. But what did happen was that it was re-fitted and used by presidents, heads of State and dignitaries as a luxury liner. So rather than being used for its intended purpose, to carry soldiers into battle, the ship became a source of feeding our opulence. I looked on the internet and found that now there is a battle over restoring the USS United States or just scrap it. Whoever wins this battle, the story is pretty sad over all.
After telling this story Pastor Platt asks a question. Are we as individuals, and the church today, on a troop carrier or a luxury liner? We need to make a choice. Are we even aware that we are in a battle? Do we know what the battle is about and who the enemy is? I look at my own life and realize that I rarely think about who our real enemy is. Oh, I know that Satan and his demons exist and I know that the Bible says he is the real enemy. But do I give it a second thought? I confess, most of the time, my answer is ‘NO.’ I’m too busy looking at what my eyes can see, my circumstances, my health, my money, my loneliness or my (put in your own struggle here). So, the question I need to ask myself is, am I on a luxury liner or a troop ship going into battle?
I would guess that most of you are familiar with Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Wow! If that verse is true, then I really need to change my thinking and my praying.
From what I have learned, Satan has two main goals. One is to blind the eyes of people so that they will not come to salvation in Jesus. John 10:10 puts it that “the thief comes to steal, and kill and destroy.” The second, is to make those who have had their eyes opened through salvation in Christ, are fruitless. But in the same verse Jesus says, “I (Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Satan’s goal is to not let that happen.
For the last three weeks at church, I have been fascinated with the messages that we have heard. Possibly, you tired of hearing pastors talk about serving and giving. But after listening and thinking about these messages, I realize the heart behind the messages is that men and women in Van Zandt and surrounding Counties and around the world for that matter, need to be saved. We, my friends, have been called to take part in that battle. Yes, it is a battle unlike any other and like it or not, we all need to have a soldier mentality and realize who our enemy is. In the messages from Pastor Platt, he made a comment about us being aware of the spiritual battle around us while we are sitting at our computers. That struck me, because that is exactly what I spend most of my day doing. But my eyes don’t see the battle going on around me. I don’t think about all the angels and demons hanging around my desk battling over my heart and mind. Yes, there is a war going on all around us in the spiritual realm, but we can’t see it and thus, we aren’t aware of it. The enemy wants me to sit around ant think thoughts like, “man, this is a drag” or “what is this possibly doing to reach the lost in Asia.” Then if I give into that, what happens? I feel guilty. Score one for Satan and his cohorts! But do I think about who is causing all this? Again, “no.” I just think about myself and what I want.
I feel like I am rambling so maybe I’d better wrap this up. Again, I need to ask myself some questions: So, what am I? Am I a soldier? Or am I a tourist on a luxury liner vacationing on earth while on my way to heaven. I appreciated (and laughed to myself) when Pastor B made a statement about 70 year olds (I’m nearly there) thinking that we are through or should retire or are just too old. The truth is, we are not released from God’s army until He says we are. We may not be able to serve how we would like. I have thoughts of what I would like the Lord to lead me into, but doubt if I could ever do it. The important thing is that we stay faithful to what God has called us to and leave it up to Him to do the leading if He wants us elsewhere.
One more quick thought. If we are soldiers what does that require of us. The Bible talks about a few things. One, it requires sacrifice and suffering. If you have ever watched a war movie, you know that soldiers suffer and die. Good soldiers follow order. Our orders come from the God’s Word. Do we obey His word, or do we go about doing our own thing (back to the hippie days)? A good soldier watches out for his comrades. Do we have a true love and concern for our brothers and sisters in Christ, even for those who have done harm to us in some way? Finally, a good soldier knows who his enemy and is aware of his schemes.
I have a quote from D.L. Moody at my desk. It says, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” As individuals and as a church, we have the ability to succeed at many things. But what I have always liked about attending Stonepoint, is the emphasis to do what really matters. I believe what matters most to Christ, and it should to us also, is to snatch souls from the gates of Hell and make them true disciples of Christ. The spiritual battle going on around us is very real and is about life and death. May we examine our hearts in this area and do everything possible to bring about new life! Blessings to you all!!