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The War For Your Soul:  Are You In It To Win It?

Have you ever found yourself in a fight? There is one fight we are all in, and it is imperative that we be in it to win it. Keep reading. Duane Schultz, in The Maverick War, tells of Art Chen, a fighter pilot for the Chinese in the 1930's when Japan was determined to subjugate China. On one occasion Chen took on three Japanese fighter planes and shot one down before running out of ammunition. He rammed the second Japanese plane, then bailed out. He landed near the wreckage of his own plane, salvaged one of the machine guns, then carried it eight miles to an airfield. Presenting the heavy gun to his commanding officer, Chen asked, "Sir, can I have another airplane for my gun?" (Related by Russ Averton in Leadership Magazine, Spring 1997). Chen was not only in a fight – he knew he was in a fight, and he was in it to win it! Not everyone in a war really understands they are. At a symposium in Washington D. C. on March 30, 2005, smack dab in the middle of the war in Iraq, Philip Carter, a former army captain and advocate of reinstating a military draft in the U. S., made this sobering statement in a debate with Lawrence Kobb, a draft opponent and assistant defense secretary in President Ronald Reagan's administration. Carter said American society "hasn't gotten the message that we are at war." Korb went on to note that since only a tiny segment of the population was being asked to sacrifice, there was no political pressure to change the system.

All this is worthy of reflection by members of Christ's church. Have we "gotten the message" that we are at war when a large percentage of those in the pews at a Sunday morning worship service choose not not to come back for the same purpose Sunday evening or Wednesday night? If a lop-sided portion of the work and giving and serving and teaching of a congregation gets done by a very small percentage of the members, who can deny that not every body in the good fight of faith is really in it to win it? The apostle Paul often reminds us Christians are not only in a war, but he urges us to "be in it to win it." Ephesians 6:10-13 is only part of a passage where he compares the Christian life to a warfare and calls on Christians to use all the armor at their disposal against a powerful and determined spiritual enemy out to ruin our souls. Those verses read as follows: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." This passage conveys a message many in the modem church don't seem to understand — the same Gospel that calls us to make peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ also calls us to be at war with the devil! Armor is available and the war is winnable. But the first thing we must realize is that each of us is in a fight for our soul. The devil is in it to win it. Are you? Have you gotten the message we are at war?

"Soldiers of Christ arise, And put your armor on; Strong in the strength which God supplies, Through His beloved Son" (vs 1 Soldiers of Christ, Arise; Charles Wesley, 1742)

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ