By John Busuego
“Don’t bring a sword to a prayer fight….” – Pastor Kevin Miller, Sr. Pastor at Awaken Church
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind for me. It’s been wrapped up with a laundry list of tasks to fulfill requirements in order for me to deploy to Afghanistan this spring with the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division.
Aside from ensuring all our forces are protected from various threats, I will be responsible for conducting assessments of the effectiveness of U.S. forces to transition various responsibilities to the Afghanistan National Security Forces.
From rifle and pistol shoots at the firing range, lab blood draws, an inordinate amount of immunizations and endless briefings – all have been meticulously planned and cultivated to prepare my mind and body for what is to come.
The 101st Airborne physical standards that all soldiers and officers need to complete every quarter include a 12-mile foot march with full pack and being able to run four miles at 36 minutes – all calculated to set a physical precedence in the division and prepare for the rigors of combat. I am physically and mentally prepared for what is to come. But am I spiritually prepared to guard my heart against loneliness and separation from my wife and family?
A few weeks ago, Kristin and I took a much-needed vacation (without kids) to Germany. The Sunday before we flew out, I was convicted at our home church. Our pastor, Kevin Miller, asked the congregation why we continue to fight spiritual battles with physical means.
Sick? Take more medicine. Over-piling bills? Need to work overtime and make more money. Wandering eyes and lustful thoughts? How can I even address this without feeling shame or guilt?
It seems no matter what we do, we continue to fight these spiritual battles in our lives without the proper tools. Jesus showed us. He prayed at Gethsemane to God: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” – Luke 22:42 (NIV).
Here is Jesus, pitted against the evil spirits in this night. Forces forming around him to soon physically take his life away. His spiritual battle physically manifested itself the night Judas betrayed him. No sword, no battle drill or training could stop what was about to happen.
Jesus knew. God your will, not mine. He prayed. And he was victorious.
What is the battle in your life? Where are we in the direst of hours, and what have we done to prepare for what is to come?
Stop fighting the spiritual battle with physical means. We can only win with God.