Have you known many people in the military? They are just like the rest of us. Some are excellent examples of all the finest virtues you can name for a soldier. Others, well others try to live a divided life and maintain their old habits, lifestyles, and vices even as they seek to serve.
The problem is that we can rather quickly, and most naturally, fall back on our old ways. Old habits, old attitudes, old practices can easily creep back into our daily life. Our passion for the mission and enthusiasm for the battle can become overwhelmed by our emotions or self perceived needs. We get lax with our expectations and our exercises. We do the minimum and get by. We lose our high calling and revert to our most base instincts.
The danger is that we may not be a soldier of light but a warrior of darkness.
Recall that our standard bearer, King Jesus, is the One who withstood the temptations in the wilderness (do you recall those specific issues and emphases?). Our Commander in Chief, our Field General, has a different way of doing battle than we tend to naturally follow. Yet, we are to avoid idolatry and follow the way of Christ. See Ephesians 4:17-5:20 as an extended reading worthy of the time to understand these matters. A key to this section is 4:17-19 and the warning not to live in the futility of our thinking.
HA the futility of our thinking seems to proclaim the noise and confusion of our times!
Be aware of the specifics in the passage, but dwell on the main theme issues of:
-hardening of heart/lost sensitivity
-lust for more
-be imitators of Christ
What does this mean for the cultures and subcultures which seem to revolve around the most base natural instincts and emotions?
What are deceitful desires? What are new attitudes that lead to righteousness and holiness?
What does this mean for me? Where am I in this picture?
What does this mean for my church, faith group, or spiritual/life support group? Where are we in this picture?
What does this mean for my community? Where are we in this picture?
I'm still thinking about Augusta and more concerned than ever about the urgent needs of our beloved area and the people of it. We are called to live as children of light and to make the most of every opportunity. But the challenge of the battle may be before we have even begun!
Can you keep up the standard and live up to the expectations that define this type of service? Are you part of the solution to the challenges in Augusta or are you part of the problems?