Saturday, February 21, 2009

Warfare Experience

GriffinWe got t-shirts from the battalion today. Really cool ones, kaki coloured with the famous griffin on front, and “Norwegian ARMY” printed in big, black letters on the back.

In hoc signo vinces – in this sign shall thou conquer. The griff is the sign in which our battalion shall win. It is our victory mark.

During my first weeks in the military, a while ago now, the priest said something that’s been burned to my memory: Yes, in the sign of the griffin we shall indeed conquer in these earthly wars – but in the sign of the cross, we have already conquered in the far more important war.

I have chosen to fight my primary war under the sign of the cross, and become a warrior of agape. Yes, I believe we have won the decisive battle; yet there are still battles left to be fought. It sure takes the enemy some time to admit defeat. Listening to the February 15, 2009 sermon from Woodland Hills Church, studying Luke 17:22-37, I tried to think through what I have learned about warfare during my military service so far. I came up with two important lessons.

First: Mastering. The whole passage in Luke 17 suggests that tough times will come. And handling tough times is an important part of becoming a good soldier. We have gone through days without rest and food, we have been exhausted, we have felt despair, and yet been required to give another 100 percent for the next day, and for the day after. Experience that may well be valuable in spiritual warfare. We have also had wrestling matches, were sensible and thorough gentlemen like myself for once get to know what a real fight feels like.

CrossSecond: Ready for battle. It is a military principle to always have the backpack packed ready for battle. If the alarm goes on, and it happens to do so sometimes, it is important to be ready. You can’t fool around and look for all your stuff when the alarm is on! No, you have to be packed and ready to go at any moment. This is also a principle that is important in agape warfare.

Always be ready for combat – the next fight might be right around the corner. Suddenly you stand there with some extra change that the checkout lady gave you, and so the battle is on. You need to be prepared for these sorts of fights, or else you might loose them (as I did earlier today. I have prepared revenge, though).

This is how to be prepared for spiritual warfare:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people.
Ephesians 6:10-18 (TNIV)

I am thankful for what the army has taught me about mastering and preparedness. I do not look forward to use my soldier skills in a worldly fight, because I understand killing men as evil. It is not like there is nothing worse than war, sometimes there is, but war is never agape good, and I hope it never comes to that. But I do look forward to combine the divine armour with experiences done in the army, and continue our fight in the war against evil.

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