During my time with the Marines, I enjoyed some great friendships and learned some valuable lessons about life. Some of those lessons still help me as I follow Christ, and I wanted to share one.
One of the most important lessons we were taught as marines was to always be prepared. We always knew where our weapons were, and we never left on a convoy without every piece of armor and gear that was at our disposal. Whether we were in the office, in our tents, eating lunch at a forward observation base or in the field training, we always knew that things could change at any second, so we were prepared to follow orders. Our leaders worked very hard to make sure we did not become complacent and comfortable with our surroundings, because comfort almost always lends itself to complacency. The Marines are fond of saying. “Complacency kills.” It’s a harsh phrase, but its one that has saved many lives.
Complacency is everywhere. Most of us live very comfortable lives. We work hard to find time to escape and check out instead of preparing ourselves and our families to be soldiers in the most important war. We over-indulge in the small pleasures of our modern world, while souls fall in record number to the enemy.
We get caught up in the tiny battles of this present time and forget the war over our eternal souls. We trade what is of the utmost importance for trivial and petty fights over things that will be of no consequence when the trumpet sounds and the Lord descends. We become distracted and invested in our small differences instead of working to unify through Christ and put on the Armor of God.
Ephesians 6:10-18 – “Finally, be strong in the LORD and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor 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 armor 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.”