Men On Fire By Stephen Mansfield

Day 2 of 7 • This day’s reading


Stephen Mansfield: Men on Fire Devotional Day 2

“The Fire of Battle”

Scripture reading: Judges 3:1-4

Ancient Israel had battled their way into their promised land and won many victories. Under their great general, Joshua, enemies had been conquered and near-miraculous success had been known. The entire land had been largely won. Largely. Not entirely.

Israel had been granted an incomplete conquest—not total victory.


The God of Israel did not grant his people a complete conquest because he wanted later generations to know how to fight. These new generations would have to fight, would have to man the boundaries of their heritage and contend with enemies without and within to fulfill God’s purposes on earth. So God did not allow the founding generation complete victory. The next generations would have to be warriors too.

What was true in ancient Israel is true of us today. We are not meant to have our battles won for us. We are not meant to dissolve into softness and luxury because previous generations have won a measure of victory for us. We have battles of our own to win.

This is why one of the fires I want to see blazing in our souls is the fire of battle. We must battle our lesser drives and contend manfully to be the best and noblest we can be. This means war. We are also made to stand at the boundaries of the lives entrusted to us and contend for their good and their destiny. We pray. We fight spiritual battles. At a more human level, we encourage and coach and confront and even discipline. It is all a form of battle. Then we must battle the spirit of our age when it seeks to make us weak and compromising, soft and dull to righteousness.

We contend. We contend in the marketplace. We contend for the prosperity of our families. We contend against unclean things coming down from our family lines. We contend for good in our communities and contend for the promise of the next generation. This is what righteous men do. We are godly warriors.

Today, pray: “Open my eyes, Lord, that I may see. Show me the battle so I can step into the fray.”