Onward Christian Soldiers

The U.S. government developed Mil-spec testing to help the military evaluate how well a particular piece of equipment such as computers and printers can perform in the field. Various environmental test methods include vibration, shaking, extreme temperatures, sand and dust resistance, humidity, and altitude for cargo pressures in military aircraft.

Equipment isn’t the only thing tested to extremes.  Special Forces Soldiers go through intense training at their survival school at Fort Bragg. The most brutal part of training takes place at the Resistance Training Laboratory.

Basically it’s set up as a prisoner-of-war camp where training put into practice what they have learned in the survival school classes. The camp includes guard towers, razor-wire fences, concrete cells and metal cages. Set up to model the worst places imaginable and operated by terrorists, and those who ‘act’ the parts of guards and interrogators are highly trained and put their prisoners through every kind of POW situation to wear them and break them down.

They model the interrogations after real enemy techniques from World War 2, Korea and Vietnam wars.  What goes on at the Laboratory is top secret, so while supposedly no torture is used; the training is known to be severe and extreme. The psychological stress gets to where those in training feel as though they are going through the real thing- for real.

Studies have shown that during mock interrogations the prisoner’s heart rates skyrocket and their bodies pump more stress hormones than pilots who land planes on aircraft carriers and combat troops expecting ambushes. The average weight loss during 3 days of training averages about 22 lbs.

There are physical and chemical differences between those Special Forces soldiers and regular soldiers which make them better ‘equipped’ to handle severe stress situations, stay more focused and memorize things better- They really are specially ‘built’ to serve in the capacity that they do.

So what does all of this have to do with being a Christian believer?

I know I’m not the only one who thinks the world is getting to be a dangerous place- especially for Christians, and not the only one who thinks about what would happen if the same kinds of persecution that is happening to fellow believers on the other side of the world happened here.

Some of us have talked about survival skills, persecution and the end times, and it’s good to prepare for the worst case, just in case- which is part of why we talk and share ideas concerning these kinds of situations.  Most of us are unsure of what we’d do when the stuff does hit the fan, and while I’d like to avoid dooms day type talk, the Bible is clear that our world is running head on towards the end, we just don’t know when and how things will happen here.

Many, if not most Christians I know, whether in person or online have been going through some pretty major crisis in their own or families’ lives, many of us have had our ‘worlds’ shaken enough already whether by illness, death, financial hits, government corruption, mild persecution and other situations. Sometimes it seems as if there is no way to overcome some of the things thrown at us. Sometimes it leaves us shaken and angry, because things that happen –shouldn’t.  Or at least we believe they shouldn’t.  Bad things aren’t supposed to happen to good people, especially Christians- right?

Wrong.

The Bible makes it clear throughout that things happen- maybe not always for a reason, but God works through the bad just as He does the good. It’s when things are at the worst that He is glorified and magnified.

The story of Job is explained to us, and we know that God had a purpose for his servant’s suffering, but by reading his story, we know Job had no idea of the “whys’”, yet he still stayed faithful in his witness in spite of all of it.  He still had faith that God was in control.

In Matthew 5,  Jesus says, “…That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

He says that right after He tells His disciples, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you…

Life isn’t easy, and there will always be trials, tribulations and difficult or evil circumstances- but as Christian believers, followers of Christ, we are equipped through Him to handle stressful situations and remain focused on Him.

Just as Special Forces are equipped with an inner ability, so as born again Christians equipped with the Holy Spirit, and the situations we find ourselves facing, is much like the harsh training that Special Forces go through which makes them the best and most elite.

If we follow Jesus, and are born again of His Holy Spirit, we are given the tools of war to prepare us for whatever battles we will face in this life just as the soldiers who are given tools to prepare for the most extreme circumstances they may face. God uses the ‘broken’ things which He remakes for His greater glory, just as the soldiers going through training are broken and remade into elite warriors He created them to be.

It’s not easy going through trials, but we can have the courage and confidence to endure whatever comes if we allow ourselves to be trained up by the Supreme Commander and trust in Him and all the power and equipment He gives us.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Ephesians 6:10-20