An Unfair Advantage: Victory in the Midst of Battle

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

An Unfair Advantage—Part 1


The harsh reality is that when warriors go to battle, we pay a price for the sake of others. There will always be a high price paid not only in lives lost but also in the physical, mental, and spiritual aftermath of the warriors who survive. Yet we do not have to lose our hearts and souls, nor do we have to harden our hearts toward those who have not experienced what we have.


I remember phone calls from my wife when she would tell me she was praying for me, but I often replied that God wasn’t in the place I was deployed—not in such an evil place. I know now that what I felt wasn’t the absence of God but rather the tangible presence of evil. Nonetheless, I allowed hate to fill my heart, and during one deployment, I made a decision that I could not be a Christian. I had developed a faulty belief that Christian men were weak and that I couldn’t be a man of morality and a warrior at the same time. I know now that’s not true; it’s a lie. No one on earth is stronger and tougher than a true man of God, and no one is more equipped to transcend the cruelty and hardship of this world than a man who has God in his heart. But I didn’t know this then; by deliberately making a choice to put God on a shelf, I created a hole in my heart that I allowed to fill with hate, rage, and bitterness, and it almost cost me everything.


Many warriors who go to combat face the same moral dilemma. Some completely reject God; others say, “I’ll have time for God when I’m older.” But it doesn’t matter how tough you think you are. You can’t successfully engage in a life-or-death conflict when there’s a void in your soul. You will fill it with something. An attempt to replace our God-created identity with something else will fail.


There is no need to search for substitutes to living as a man of God—to be the warrior God created you to be. Being a Christian does not mean being weak or that you must relinquish the mantle of being a formidable warrior. Quite the opposite, God calls us to be bold and to stand and fight against evil. The Bible says, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it” (Matthew 11:12). The Bible is filled with examples of strong men who did violent acts in war without losing their souls, minds, or emotions in that violence. These men didn’t have to find a substitute for God; rather, they stood as men of God in the very face of evil.