Physical Fitness Test (Photo credit: The U.S. Army)
I’m sure all of us have been through training of some kind. Standard education, physical training, self defense training, firearms training, job training, etc. We’ve all been through some type of it. We study, we take a test and hopefully pass it and then believe that we’re now ready for whatever.
But there’s a missing component to all training. Experience. Experience is arguably one of life’s greatest teachers. This is because it is nearly impossible to recreate a real life experience in a training environment. We can come close, but can never truly match it. Life does not fit into a training curriculum. It’s unwieldy, and uncooperative. When you know for sure that it will go left, it goes right.
Please understand that I’m a staunch supporter of training. It’s the only thing any of us can do to try and prepare. These same points hold true in our relationship with God. No where in the Bible does God say “follow me and life will be a piece of cake”. Quite the opposite is said over and over. “Follow me and the world is going to do all it can to take you down”. It’s good versus evil, it’s a war.
The idea for this post came from my reading in the Psalms this morning. I was struck again at how David, described as a man after God’s own heart, was always going to God with petition and praise. He didn’t get with God and then the road suddenly became straight and easy. No, he partnered with God and all hell broke loose. He seemed to be constantly fighting with one enemy or another. Sometimes external and sometimes internal, but he was always in the fray.
Some would read the Psalms and think at first glance that God kept leaving David in a mess. But what we need to understand is that we are at war. A war of good versus evil. There’s no way around it or out of it. A person can choose to not fight, but that’s the extent of our individual choice. We will be attacked whether we like it or not.
Many today proclaim that they strive to live in peace with everyone and everything. It’s a great platitude, but unrealistic. Let’s imagine something for a moment. Imagine you’re standing in the middle of a battle field. Bullets are flying, bombs are exploding, yells, screams, smoke, and soldiers running and fighting. Now imagine that you decide that your not going to get involved, after all you live for peace. So you sit or stand idly in the middle of the malay. How long do you think you’ll last? Do you believe that because you have chosen to create your own one person peaceful protest that you’ll be unaffected by the war?
I hope not. Because if a person did this they would last a few seconds at best. Those that are actively involved in the battle at hand don’t have the time to try to fight around you because you’re peaceful. They’re going to have to go through you, and they will.
Here’s the bottom line for all Christians: YOU DO NOT have a choice. You’re going to be on the battle field whether you like it or not. You can’t escape it because it’s where you live. No amount of peace symbols are lovely platitudes are going to protect you from it. It may not sound fair, but God did not promise that if you followed Him that all of life would be fair. But, the good news is you still have a choice. God always gives you a choice. You can live a pointless, at peace with everyone existence or you can get off the pew and fight for the lost.