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Sacrifice:

Veterans know general sacrifice is a requirement of war. Loss of life and injuries, and the individual discipline and sacrifice with its toil on military families, adds to the terrible toll of combat. The VFW is an organization of combat veterans. Our organization’s service officers do a mostly thankless job to help those with real needs get the financial benefits they need to have a meaningful life. Our organization is involved in veteran struggles in the aftermath of combat. It affords the opportunity for veterans to meet each other and form bonds of friendship to encourage each other where help is needed in the aftermath of combat. Unfortunately sacrifice is not limited to the battlefield. Many veterans do need long term help getting on with their civilian lives. After discharge from active service it is hard for many to get on with a civilian pursuit. Most civilians can’t really identify with what a veteran has experienced overseas as can other veterans. Some veterans never really recover from the trauma even with professional civilian help. Others do get on with life beyond their military experience even though it can take years to fully recover and catch up with civilians who never had the military experience. Many do need the help that comes from veterans coming together in an organization like the VFW. The VFW is mostly about veterans helping other veterans. So get involved. It starts with calling another veterans to say hello. When was the last time you had a cup of coffee with a fellow veteran? Or thanked a veteran for his sacrifice? Don’t wait! Tomorrow may be too late. Many veteran don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That is the only thing that ultimately completes a person no matter his experience in life. Have you ever shared this truth with another? Now that takes courage. But Jesus Christ says this: “If you will not testify of me before men, I will not testify of you before my Father’s angels in Heaven.” Do you need God’s help? If so learn to attract his angels.

Secret:

A Government classification for highly sensitive information. Few have access to such records without a need to know. Something in man’s nature makes it difficult to keep a secret. History records damaging leaks. Are leaks more common than restraint? An oath is required before getting a governmental secret clearance. Trustworthiness is increasingly rare these days. Look at the controversy in headline news before the 2016 elections. Can the democratic presidential condidate be trusted to keep government secrets citizens ask. It is a real question a majority seems to have. Those given access to secrets are briefed and sign a nondisclosure document. Penalties are supposed to be imposed for improper disclosure. Intrigue builds as to whether some are really above our laws. The word “secret” is found 19 times in the books of the Old Testament and 7 times in the books of the New Testament. 93 verses in the Bible use this word. What do we learn from a personal study of its use? God has secrets waiting to be uncovered by those who believe in him and are trustworthy. The right belief, faith and the help of the Holy Spirit unlock God’s secrets kept hidden in past ages to be revealed in these last days. Will God share his sccrets with us? In his personal revelation to his church in Revelation 2 and 3 he tells us repeatedly: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;” In summary what can we learn? Deuteronomy 29:29 tells us that “the secret things belong unto the Lord.” In Job 11:6 we learn that “he will show thee the secrets of wisdom.” Ps. 25:14 tells us that “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him.” In Psalm 91:1 we learn of a secret place of the most high where we are safe. In Isaiah 45:19 we learn that God has not spoken in secret. Daniel 2:19 tells us that a secret an earthly king kept from his wise men was revealed by God to his servant (Dan. 2:28). God through his Prophet Amos 3:7 tells that “Surely the LORD God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Luke 8:17 tells us “For nothing is secret that shall not be made manifest.” In these days we see many leaders with secrets going forth with their plans that are not the will of God. Men are now taking sides in this coming battle. Choosing their eternal destiny. These are very dangerous times. The last days. Which side you are on is critical.

Security:

Security is an important PRINCIPLE OF WARFARE. This important principle is neglected at one’s peril. We can’t make it easy for the enemy to attack us. We don’t want to open up doors for him to walk through through sin or stupid behavior. In physical warfare, from the individual soldier up to the highest unit commander, everyone needs to do what is smart to make the enemy’s job more difficult. What supernatural security tools does the Bible indicate a believer has available to him to counter his primary enemy: satan, the fallen angels, demons and humans that are under satan’s dark control? The Bible is full of information on what is available to us.: His powerful promises in His Word, His Mighty NAME, His spilled BLOOD for our healing and redemption, His Angels, etc. Yet most Christians seldom think of using these tools except when they are being overwhelmed by evil. Sad!

Situation:

In a combat situation when a leader issues a combat order the very first thing he discusses is the enemy and friendly situation and the weather conditions. This sets the stage for everything else he will discuss. So what is the situation in our generation? Are we in the “end times?” Yes! Is American being led away from its roots? Yes, it was biblical Christians who founded this nation. But presently Jesus Christ is not invited to the political table. And most churches are mixed up and seem ashamed of confessing Jesus Christ as Lord, Healer, Deliverer, and soon coming King. So increasingly Christians live in a hostile environment. Is God still in control? Yes, but if we are watchers and understand prophecy we see that the gentile age is about to close out and the final seven year period spoken of in Daniel 9:27 about to start to finish what was started at the First Coming of Jesus Christ. So the earth could be described as an increasingly hostile combat zone with a leader behind the scenes, Satan, who is mad because his time draws short as his rule draws to a close. Satan is a supernatural foe who behind the scenes controls the present world system. So, the only way we can survive is to use the supernatural tools that have been given to those who are born again believers. We are to be overcomers until we are withdrawn from this world. And few of those who confess Christ seem to understand how short the time left before the tribulation spoken of in bible prophecy begins once the Restrainer spoken of in II Thessalonians 2:7 is removed and the anti-christ is no longer hindered. That is the situation as I see it.

Spiritual Warfare:

The spirit world is real. God’s angels are real. So is heaven and hell, satan, fallen angels, and demons. All believers need to get a hold of the reality of what we learn from Ephesians 6:11-18 which one should memorize if one is to grasp the responsibility one has for gaining control over one’s life and personal situation. I Timothy 6:12 says to “fight the good fight of faith…” There is a fight to be fought as a believer and most believers know next to nothing about fighting this fight. Our main enemy is not people or circumstance or trials or tribulation or rotten symptoms or disease but the evil spirits behind these things. Jesus at his first coming set demonstrated and gave us authority and power (Luke 10:19) to become overcomers. His NAME sets demons to flight. The Word of God (his promises) is our spiritual sword to take back what has been stolen: health, wealth, security, relationships, peace, joy, etc. We can’t call 911 for natural help against these unseen forces. We must learn through the study of the Word of God to take back what was lost. Satan will fight you tooth and nail to keep you in the darkness of ignorance. God says in Hosea 4:5 “My people are destroyed through lack of knowledge.” Will you remain ignorant of the invisible evil forces around you that are causing your discomfort, misery and unpleasant circumstances or will you transform yourself from a ignorant civilian into a soldier of Jesus Christ?

Soldier or Civilian:

Where do you live? Does it feel more like a combat zone or a safe zone? America is changing so fast my head is spinning. It is increasingly becoming hostile to the Christian belief. One biblical barometer of its change is in how it treats (Israel), the apple of God’s eve. If one doesn’t see that the reins (of the human systems of America: economically, politically, socially and religiously) seem to now be in the hands of the anti-christ spirit and that that spirit is growing in power daily; than I would say your head is in the sand and you need to look up and study the world beyond you. I say this to say that one’s perspective in a dangerous environment needs to be that of a soldier not a civilian to increase one’s changes of survival. When I look at the church today I don’t see many believers who seem to be in the army of God. Yes, an army recruits civilians; but then it systematically begins changing them into trained soldiers. If you are born again are you letting the Holy Spirit change you or do you still think the way you thought before you were born again? How do you know you are born again? It comes to a specific moment in time when you were arrested by Christ and made a specific decision to surrender to Him. I know many who think they are born again, but aren’t because they can’t tell me a particular moment when they were driven to their knees by circumstances, made a decision for Christ, and stood up changed forever. In a natural army every soldier can give you a specific date when he or she enlisted. Are you born again: if so when did you enlist? It wasn’t when you were water baptized as an infant. It wasn’t when you joined a particular church and graduated from a membership class. II Timothy 2: 3-4 says this: Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this (civilian) life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

Supporting arms fire:

Have you ever felt overwhelmed? Problems seem to come from every direction. I have felt that way on a few occasions as an infantry leader in Vietnam. Not a good place to be. When you don’t have enough power within your reach you need to call for help. Who do you call? Those with more power than you can carry yourself. In infantry circles it is called Supporting Arms Fire. We are talking about artillery, air, and naval gunfire support. When you are faced with an enemy greater than your assets, you need to be backed up with increased firepower or you will be overcome. The LORD has that kind of power that He has made available to His children. How do we get such help? Through prevailing prayer! Luke 10:19 refers to this power. “Behold I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means harm you.” Mark 16:17 also tells of such power. The Bible is loaded with promises of such help. One of my favorates is Psalm 50:14 “And call on me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shall glorify me.” Have you ever called for “fire support” from the LORD? In Matthew 7:8 Jesus Christ himself says this: “For everyone that asketh receiveth: and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” If a military general in this world who doesn’t even know God will attempt to get help to a forward unit under attack from a greater force, how much more will your Heavenly Father help you when you call out to Him.

Submission:

This is a word our flesh doesn’t want to hear. Most of us like being in charge of our own selves. We see this need to be in charge manifest rather clearly in most two year olds. It has a special name the “terrible twos.” Learning when to and when not to submit is a big part of our growning up years. A rebellious attitude in young people is very unflattering. Those with a rebellious spirit don’t do well in any society. This is certainly true while in the military. The act of submitting begins with the oath of enlistment where a promise is made to be under authority. Submission is a major part of what war is all about: Getting one’s enemies to submit; to surrender unconditionally is the ultimate victory for a nation. The military life is a surrendered life. Learning to live under a chain of command as you compete with peers for increasing rank requires personal discipline. The spirtual life is also all about surrender. The word, submission is used twenty times in scripture. In four books of the O.T. and seven books in the new. We first see it used in Genesis 16:9 where an angel tells a run away slave to return and submit to her mistress. It is really hard to make sense of life and all the rebellion and warfare and strife in the middle east if we don’t understand the start of the hatred and animosity we see in our daily news today. There are four interesting uses of this word in the book of Psalms (18:44, 66:3, 68:30, and 81:15). Look at the last one: “The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever.” In Romans 10:3 we see this truth stated a different way: “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” The instructions for prayer in James 4:7 are very telling. They show why some get answers to prayer and others do not. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he wil flee.from you.” Submission and authority go hand in hand. Are you fully submitted to God? And are you resisting satan in prayer? Then things should be going well for you in these latter days.

SURRENDER:

An unpopular word in the military for sure! Probably elicits a negative emotion in anyone who has given over control to another expecting good with the opposite happening.  What adult has not suffered from unwisely surrendering control to a temptation, passion, or friend’s whim against his better judgment with harmful consequences? I have never known a POW personally. Thank God, I never had that awful experience. For good reason, this issue of SURRENDER is dealt with in the training of soldiers, sailors, airman and marines. It is too important not to harden minds against such a tendency ahead of placing men in harm’s way. To surrender is a last resort in our thinking.  Control of our lives is vital to most. Who willingly  surrenders to another? Is there ever any good reason to do so? Consider marriage, a business partnership, or joining the military. It is an important concept in relationships. What should be our most important relationship? Is complete control over our lives even possible? Everyone surrenders to someone or something whether they know it or not, even the most independent of souls. If one thinks he is in total control of his life he is deceived. There is a devil and if one isn’t looking to God then spiritually he is under that dark power’s control. Turning to God is the biggest decision we will ever do on this earth. Failure to turn to Jesus Christ has eternal consequences. If we are to believe the Bible, most never surrender their lives to God. (Matthew 7: 13-14) This issue is so important, I have quoted the words of Jesus Christ to a vital question. “Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you. I know you not whence ye are; Then shall ye begin to say, we have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are: depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

Luke 13:23-28

Most of the internal problems in the American church and why it lacks power to impact society is due to a failure to surrender. The sad moral state of America is because of rejection of God. Our flesh does not want to die. To surrender to God seems unnatural to men, but it is a completely rational act. How is your attempt to stay in control working for you? Is it time to surrender to God?