COUNT THE COST

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http://www.prisonersofhopeministries.com
For what it’s worth, allow me to illustrate the Christian journey of today…

Just as the Word uses military illustrations when making spiritual comparisons, one is appropriate for this particular venue as well:

Think and meditate on this truism: As Christian Soldiers, we have been commissioned to fight in a war we oftentimes feel woefully unqualified for.   We will get dirty, we will bleed, and we will become thoroughly exhausted from time to time.  And there will be many battles we lose.

I’ve never encountered a soldier coming off the battlefield with a clean,  untattered uniform.

Have you?  Why is it then that Christians expect such unrealistic outcomes as to come away from spiritual warfare unscathed?!?  It bewilders me to witness my spiritual comrades going into battle with every intention of not getting beat up,  bloodied,  and severely bruised.  They set themselves up for failure before they have even begun to fight!

When men & women become Christians, we simultaneously become soldiers.  Not all Christians prepare for war,  however. And with each battle we engage in, we gain strength, wisdom, and knowledge.  We also collect our share of pain,  loss,  and scars.  Some battles we win and some battles we lose… But regardless of the outcome, we never stop being soldiers in the Army of the Lord.  But if you don’t prepare mentally for warfare, the intimidation tactics of the enemy paralyze you.  It’s vital that you count the cost of becoming a Christian.

After every hard-fought battle, a soldier has a specified time of R&R, and you will most certainly have your time to rest and relax, but every soldier knows this fact as well:

Another battle is on the horizon, and we must be ready to step back onto the battlefield when called upon.  It’s not just a job, it’s a life-long commitment.  But beware:

The enemy will try to redirect your attention away from the opposition and onto yourself in an attempt to discourage you.  The enemy will persuade you with  defeatist thoughts…

“You lost another one, boy.  You’re not strong…Give up sister, you’re exhausted, you’re not cut out for this. Your sinful behavior disqualifies you from being used by God.”  And it’s at moments like these  when we must reach deep down inside ourselves, unlock those taut chains, and let our spiritual beasts out.  Soldiering is not about who is the strongest, the biggest, or the most skillful… It’s about who has the courage and the tenacity to step back onto the battlefield, again & again, after having our butts kicked,  over & over.

In the words of our Commander in Chief: “The war is plentiful, but the soldiers are few.”  Ok, so Jesus used “harvest and workers…” but you get the point.  We must continue the fight; we must stay in the military… We must Soldier on…   because that’s what soldiers do.  Win, lose, or draw, we have other battles to fight.  Victory is always at stake.

Your military credentials were bestowed on you by God.   You didn’t choose this incredibly hard mission,  it was chosen for you.  But you were built for war; you were designed to do battle with evil, and to overcome! So therefore, Remain a soldier,  regardless of the dirt,  the grime; the blood, the pain, and the losses- Fight on, Christian Warrior. Your mission is vitally important.  Your determination is immensely crucial.  The outcome depends on your iron clad will…to never surrender.

Your God smiles down upon you every time you get back up; every time you rise from the ashes… So whatever you do…never stop getting back up.

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