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« God On A Mission | Main | The Last Piece of the Puzzle »

Attitude of the Armed

And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. Philippians 1:27-30 KJV

Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. Philippians1:27-28 NIV

Roy Rhodes had closed his shop and was returning home just after midnight when he was attacked from behind by two armed men. One or possibly both men fired at Rhodes, who suffered a gunshot wound to his leg. Rhodes returned fire, killing one of the robbers. The other gunman was later arrested and charged with aggravated assault.  (Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, GA, 07/22/04)
A young man came out of a bedroom in his grandmother’s house in Gulfport, Miss., and encountered two men who had entered the home. One of the intruders struck the young man on the head. As the victim fell, he grabbed a gun that was hidden under the bed and began firing at the two men, who then fled in a gray Oldsmobile. No one was injured at the house, but at least one victim of the home invasion had been tied up with duct tape, according to police at the scene. (The Sun Herald, Biloxi, MS, 07/27/04)
At 1:52 AM, a Pacific Beach, Calif., resident heard someone breaking into his home. Fearing for his wife and young child’s safety, the homeowner retrieved a gun and fired at the intruder, who suffered a wound to his ankle and fled the scene. Police apprehended the suspect, took him for medical treatment and then to jail. (The San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego, CA, 07/12/04)
James Shema, owner of Shema’s Outdoor Sports in Merrillville, Ind., knew immediately he was in a deadly situation. A man entered his store with a sawed-off shotgun and ordered Shema, his wife, Kathy, and three customers to drop to the floor. As Shema moved toward the floor, he grabbed a .40-cal. handgun he kept behind the counter and fired two shots at the robber. The wounded gunman fled the store and was soon apprehended by authorities who found him bleeding in the back seat of a nearby SUV. Shema said he just did what he had to do. “When he came in here with a shotgun and no mask on his face I didn’t think he planned to leave survivors,” Shema explained. (The Times, Munster, IN, 07/29/04)

Although some may think this is a political speech prepared by the National Rifle Association, I am only trying to establish a specific, documented attitude that people possess when they are threatened. Their attitude is largely a function of being armed or unarmed. The difference is huge.

First, what happens to a person under attack without defense?

Imagine yourself threatened by an enemy when you have no possible means to defend yourself. You feel engulfed by a sense of helplessness to stop his advances; you pull back into a defensive mode; you lose confidence that you can survive; your attitude changes from defiance to compliance. Your thoughts are “What can I do to minimize the loss and pain?”

This is the kind of fear and panic that gives rise to surrender.

Last year, I saw a video clip of the testimonies from Vietnam veterans who were POW’s of the Viet Cong. One told of having his arms pulled behind his back and manacles on his wrists. His elbows were forced together until they touched. He was left that way for nearly thirty hours. Feeling didn’t return to his hands for a month.

Another prisoner told his captors that they were barbarians; he said they should be giving him medical treatment for his broken back instead of torturing him. When they heard this, they put the manacles on him, tied his arms behind his back and then tied an additional rope to bend him backwards, causing more pressure on his back.

The purpose of torture is to break down the resistance and will of the captive. The tormentors can extort confessions and wring strategic information out of him. It is as much psychological torture as physical.

Why? Because a prisoner---in chains, in a small room, without food or water---is under the total control of his captors. The captive knows that his torturer has unlimited capacity to ratchet up the pain. He has no fighting chance. He has no hope of relief. He has no alternative but to submit to the demands of his enemy.

Strange things can happen to a man’s mind in such circumstances.

Second, what happens to a person under attack when they are armed?

A few years ago, the highly publicized shooting deaths of six hunters in Wisconsin  by another hunter caused the expected amount of ranting against the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Gun Owners of America, however, cleared the air. "Sunday's shooting was very tragic," said GOA Director of Communications Erich Pratt. "But we must not forget that more than 4,000 people saved their lives using guns on Sunday."

A Justice Department report pointed out that, "Americans use guns in self-defense as many as 4,110 times every day. This means that guns are used 50 times more to save life than to illegitimately take life."

Studies indicate that firearms are used over two million times a year for personal protection, and that the presence of a firearm, without a shot being fired, prevents crime in many instances. Shooting usually can be justified only where crime constitutes an immediate, imminent threat to life, limb, or, in some cases, property.

I want to declare to you today that the church of the Lord Jesus Christ is in a war. Anyone who is slugging it out in the trenches of spiritual warfare knows that Satan has not called a truce. The stakes are heaven and hell. Families hang in the balance. Our way of life is threatened. Cutting and running is not an option. It is fight or die. The worst thing you can do is avoid the conflict, take the easy way out and expect the enemy to leave you alone.

The Arming of Israel

In the book of Numbers, there was heavy conflict going.  It was the familiar match-up of Israel versus  the barbarian tribes of Canaan. Before Israel went over the River Jordan to fight, the tribes of Reuben and Gad made a request of Moses to stay on the same side of the river and settle down. They were tired of wandering and they wanted a permanent dwelling place for their families. At one time, they were gung ho, ready to fight at the drop of a hat. Give them a sword and point them in the direction of the battle. Now, they lost their courage. Rarefied bravery turned into a wide yellow stripe down their backs. Moses did not like the request.

Num 32:6-9 “Moses said to the Gadites and Reubenites, "Shall your countrymen go to war while you sit here? 7 Why do you discourage the Israelites from going over into the land the LORD has given them? 8 This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look over the land.” NIV

Why did these tribes back out? Was it fear of the enemy?  Did they lack confidence that they would win?  Could they visualize their families being slaughtered and their lives in ruin and chaos? We pick up the story in Numbers 32:16-23:

16 And they came near unto him, and said, We will build sheepfolds here for our cattle, and cities for our little ones:17 But we ourselves will go ready armed before the children of Israel, until we have brought them unto their place: and our little ones shall dwell in the fenced cities because of the inhabitants of the land. 18 We will not return unto our houses, until the children of Israel have inherited every man his inheritance. 19 For we will not inherit with them on yonder side Jordan, or forward; because our inheritance is fallen to us on this side Jordan eastward. 20 And Moses said unto them, If ye will do this thing, if ye will go armed before the LORD to war, 21 And will go all of you armed over Jordan before the LORD, until he hath driven out his enemies from before him, 22 And the land be subdued before the LORD: then afterward ye shall return, and be guiltless before the LORD, and before Israel; and this land shall be your possession before the LORD. 23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.

Even though the Lord fights our battles, entering enemy territory unarmed is pure insanity. We are soldiers, not diplomats.  People who go into diplomatic services are not issued weapons. Their weapon of choice is talk. They intend to negotiate some kind of settlement without bloodshed. Anyone going into military service, however, gets a weapon and is trained in how to use and care for it. Spiritually, God has not called the church to engage in diplomacy with Satan. He has called us to be soldiers. God has supplied the church with an arsenal of sophisticated and powerful weapons.

Arm yourself with an attitude.

1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 1 Peter 4:1

Arm yourself with spiritual weapons.

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

What weapons has God placed in our arsenal?

The Weapon of Prayer.

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16

The Weapon of Fasting.

And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. Mark 9:29

The Weapon of The Word.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Ephesians 6:17

How do these weapons work? These are spiritual weapons. Again, look at the scripture:

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:4

American Evangelicalism: A Non-Prophet Organization Doug Giles (archive) October 30, 2004

"If Christ were to go to the Christian Booksellers Convention [ CBA ] and see all the crap being hawked with his name on it, he could spend all day there turning over the tables. The reason why we have a problem with this, and not with the account of Christ cleansing the temple two thousand years ago, is that in this scenario, Christ is messing with our tables, our profits, our religious scams. Everybody is against two thousand year old sins. But it takes a prophet to be against the currently approved abominations." -Douglas Wilson

“ Come on . we don't need anymore nicety-nice clergy in charge of churches that don't equip us to face the real issues confronting our church and culture. We can do without spineless crowd pleasers, can't we? We really do not need narcissistic, solipsistic, pseudo saints. What we need are prophets, stalwart sons and daughters who will speak and defend truth, freedom and human rights in the face of atheism, lies and hellbent special interest groups! ” Doug Giles' provocative weekly one-hour radio program, 'The Clash', has re-launched with several new features. Go to and hit 'listen live.' ©2004 2004 Doug Giles.

You may think you are defenseless, vulnerable, abandoned. But you’ve got God’s HIGH TECH weapons system!

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26

Now, here’s a revelation for you: The Holy Spirit does not take over our job. The Spirit does not pray for us; the Spirit intercedes for us while we pray! There is a vast difference. He takes our prayers and increases them and points them in the right direction.

Remember David and the sling? Did you ever think that there may have been other sling sharpshooters in the army? Do you think it was David’s skill in using a sling that did the job? I don’t believe so. What made David different is that he had the courage to go out and use the weapon. God did the rest.

Remember the arrow that felled evil King Ahab? Some unnamed soldier drew back the bow string and let it go, not knowing whether it would do any good or not. “And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded.” 1 Kings 22:34

God has well-armed and outfitted his church against all enemies!

14 In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee…17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. Isaiah 54:14-17

Only the unarmed have reason to fear!

What are you thinking?

Bad things are going to happen.

I am going to lose the battle.

I am a failure.

The devil is out to get me.

He always trips me up on my weaknesses.

These are the fears and trepidations of the unarmed.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Ephesians 6:10-18

The greatest confirmation of your victory is that here you stand :

Despite Satan’s strongest attempt to keep you down;

Despite your personal failures;

Despite the people who hate you and want to see you fall;

Despite the trial you had this week;

Here you stand: blood bought, Spirit-filled, sin-forgiven, Bible-based…

The fact that you are saved defies all odds. Wave that in Satan’s face!

Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 1 John 5:1

4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

The church needs to cop an attitude.

It’s time to get the attitude of the armed.

You are armed and dangerous!

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