Each others' backs!
I have visited the commando memorial near Spean Bridge several times, but today was the first time I have been here, where the memorial took on personal significance.
I haven’t fought in the service of my country and until now this monument only reminded me that I was a civilian, untested in combat. Now I am awake to the reality that I am indeed a warrior and I am fighting for a real cause.
The motif “United We Conquer” has new resonance for me. After several years fighting side by side with men whom God has brought into my story, the word “united” causes me to ask myself “How am I united with my brothers in arms?” “What does this require of me?”
Something I am becoming more and more aware of is that our hidden sins, our secret sins, are not only targets on our own backs, but they also make us deficient in protecting the backs of each other. When we are taken out, even for a season, even for an hour - we leave our brothers exposed in their time of need and vulnerability.
If you have brothers in arms that Father has brought into your story, then it is for your benefit and theirs. More than that, it is purposed and deliberate; because in these days more than ever, we need each other! We need each other as batmen, we need each other to provide covering prayer as we advance together, to give each other situational awareness in our blind spots, and salve when we are wounded.
And so now there is an additional imperative to stop these persistent sins. When you realise and see your brothers become exposed because the enemy has something on you and he’s exploiting it. And when you know it was your watch and you were away from your post. You start to see that your ‘secret’ sins have greater consequences than perhaps you ever realised.
Remember temptation is not sin. Often the temptation is the enemy’s endeavor to draw you back into medicating the pain of who you were - to step back into the shadows. Heads up.... you are not there! That's the time to have courage and to stand on the truth of who you are. You may have ‘given in’ for yourself before now. I know I have - many, many times and yes there is always forgiveness, but now you begin to see that your medicating has consequences for others as well as yourself.
Our enemy often knows ahead of time, those consequences in the context of spiritual warfare, and long before we do. He knows we are powerful even if we don’t want to believe it ourselves and his emissaries work to remove us from the front line with the same craft and subtlety as their master did in Eden.
With a ‘harmless’ 1/2 hour on the internet and with the door closed, we cheaply give away our strength and surrender our masculine heart to a nameless beauty. She has a name by the way and God has a plan for her life too. For a moment you are validated and then you finish up more empty than before. Oh well, you can get right with God in the morning. (You are already made right with God!!)
A brother phones you the following morning and he is in a desperate place and needs your counsel and prayer, but something inside is saying to you “what's the point of him asking you after what you did?”. Your enemy saw this coming and he took you out. He took a foothold and neutralised you.
Was his primary objective to get you to look at pornography? No, that was a bonus. You now have an unhealthy soul tie with a porn actor and a distorted view of Eve. No, his primary objective was to lull you into unbelief about your identity and to make you believe that you are still under the power of sin and death. You then agree with your enemy that you are unreliable (which is a lie). The truth is your brother knows you as reliable, that's why he phoned you for help. But now you are distracted and conflicted.
Our ‘low level’, ‘secret’ sins do not diminish our identity in Christ. However, they do distract us, and diminish our effectiveness in battle. They do leave us exposed, and they do leave our brothers exposed.
As sons now, we are without excuse. We know who we are and what's at stake. Unbelief, deliberate or otherwise, does not negate the truth. Shouldn’t this stir up in us the desire to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause? As brothers, we can do just that. We need each other. We need to be alert. We need resolve. This is our time.