Real war is a horrible thing. Maybe we’ve seen too many movies in which John Wayne, Sylvester Stallone or Bruce Willis growled, fought, and ended the day with a beautiful babe in arms on a peaceful beach. People who have fought in real wars know that isn’t reality. War is mud and blood, fighting and dying, suffering and pain.

Maybe this unrealistic view of war has not only let us be shocked that soldiers are still dying in Iraq but that Christians still suffer in their daily lives.

She loved God and went to church faithful, but she died in a grinding crash when her car spun out of control in a blinding rain storm.

He was baptized only seven weeks ago, but his wife just told him she doesn’t’ love him anymore. She is leaving him for someone else.

That little girl is in my child’s third-grade class at school, and her father has just been convicted of molesting her. How can that happen to an innocent child?

They are one of the godliest couples I know, and it isn’t fair that their precious little boy lost his eye to cancer–and may yet lose his life to it.

He wants to do the right thing, so why do so many people in his family make his life so hard?

She was my child’s Sunday School teacher, and you’re telling me she has checked herself into a clinic for drug addicts?

Too many Christians are pitifully naive about the nature of life. So we are shocked by things that shouldn’t really shock us. Worse, we blame God for them and say they are “just His mysterious will.” Some get angry at God and bail out on Him because life is hard.

Friend, this isn’t heaven! It isn’t even Earth as life here was originally meant to be lived. This is a world in which sin thrives. Satan has been crowned prince by the majority of people. War for human souls is being waged every day.

If Paul tells Christians to “arm yourselves” with specific pieces of gear and weaponry, shouldn’t we immediately grasp that war is going on — and that we are combatants? If Jesus suffered a fate that included rejection, suffering, and death, should we be surprised by our own distress?

Until we grasp the fundamental fact that we are living in a war zone, we are going to misinterpret the majority of what is going on around us. Happening to people we love. Going on in our personal experience. Jesus came to give us life, but Satan is throwing all he has against the purpose of the Son of God.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy,” said Jesus. “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Check it out in your own Bible. The second sentence of John 10:10 that we love to quote is smack up against the first one that announces the devil’s intention to ruin our lives.

The sorts of things we whine about and think so unfair look different if we understand what is going on. Unfortunately, they are simply the everyday experiences of war.

By Rubel Shelly


The above article is a helpful reminder for us, as we seek to fight this everyday battle of following Jesus in the Kingdom of light while we live in a world full of much darkness.



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