On Duty – Man as Defender

Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria, the notable men of the first of the nations, to whom the house of Israel comes! Pass over to Calneh, and see, and from there go to Hamath the great; then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are you better than these kingdoms? Or is their territory greater than your territory O you who put far away the day of disaster and bring near the seat of violence?
Amos 6:1-3 ESV
I have experienced the blessing of watching men under my command execute orders, fight bravely, and bring victory and freedom to the oppressed. However, they were never sent into battle until they were trained, prepared, and ready!
When it comes to defending against the threats of our increasingly godless culture, the need is no different. The clear and present danger posed to our families means every man of God must be in a state of spiritual readiness each and every day. This is no time to be “at ease” or take a break. Satan does not take breaks, and spiritual warfare is a continuous state. Be ready.
It is a true saying that America is the “land of the free because of the brave.” America is a free nation by the grace of God and because of those brave souls who unselfishly choose not to live “at ease” in a world where dangers to liberty abound. We are inspired and humbled by the rich and powerful examples set by those who have honorably served and sacrificed in the U.S. military.
This week, we mark Veterans Day, a day for expressing gratitude to the men and women who have served in the armed forces. In 1938, November 11 (“Armistice Day,” or “Remembrance Day” as it is known in some other countries) was made a U.S. federal holiday in recognition of the armistice that ended World War I on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month of 1918. Later, after World War II, November 11 became a day to honor all veterans.
In his first inaugural address, President Ronald Reagan told the story of a World War I soldier who embodied the absolute preparedness and willingness to sacrifice as a faithful Defender:
Martin Treptow […] left his job in a small town barbershop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire.
We’re told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading, “My Pledge,” he had written these words: “America must win this war. Therefore I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.”
In the book of Amos, we learn that the complacency that contributed to the decline in Israel’s spiritual life also made their military vulnerable. They were “at ease.” On March 30, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln observed this same kind of spiritual complacency in the American people in his call to fasting: “Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!”
Previous military victories had resulted in the prophet Amos’ audience feeling invincible. They assumed that God would always be on their side and overlook their sins. In this state, they were more vulnerable than they knew. This cautionary tale from Scripture should prompt us to ask ourselves if we’re presuming on God’s goodness and grace while behaving in a way that provokes His anger and wrath. If the answer is “yes,” then the prophet’s wake-up call is also aimed at us! As Defenders, we cannot afford to be “at ease” or asleep at our post. Think of those who count on us to be vigilant for their souls. Stay awake, stay alert, and stay ready!
  • What is the level of spiritual readiness in your life today? What changes do you need to make in order to be the spiritual champion you need to be?
  • Are you thinking and preparing in ways your family will be defended and blessed generationally? 
  • Ask God to help you stay vigilant in your walk with Jesus and as a Defender of your family.