Ephesians 6:11 –
Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
Each person’s life is a battle. Every decision made has its ultimate consequence on the battlefront. Jean Jacques Rousseau tells us, ‘Virtue is a state of war, and to live in it we have always to combat with ourselves.’ This is the battlefront. As Christians, we are called by the Highest of Highest to ‘act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God’ (Micah 6:8). To ‘flee from the evil desires of this world’, and uphold and honour the standards of God. Peter warns us to ‘stand on… guard against the devil’s schemes’. According to Character First!, virtue is defined as ‘the moral excellence evident in my life as I consistently do what is right.’ Another word we may be more familiar with is Goodness: doing what’s right, every single time.
Paul encourages young Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:12: “Fight the good fight of the faith”. To be able to fight, you have to train. Training is hard work. When we think we’ve mastered something, a real battle will arise to which we must muster all of everything we have in us and fight to do right. Our General has confidence in us. He knows what it takes to win a battle, and he believes we have what it takes to win. Although he’s strict, he loves. And he’s right there with us, shouting out the orders, inspiring us to fight the good fight… of faith.
Hebrews 12:5b, 6a –
Do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves…
As I mentioned before, training is hard work. We tend to make the same mistakes over and over again. Our Captain rebukes us, corrects us, and reminds us that he expects better. But do not feel bad when he does so, for he does so because he knows what is in us, and he knows what we can accomplish.
Sun up to sun down – we train. From the moment we wake up to the moment we fall into bed, we are preparing ourselves for when the devil tries to make a mess out of us. As time wears on, we grow in our defensive skills, and become that elite soldier God has been training ever so patiently. And yet…
As Jean Jacques Rousseau states, the fight for virtue is a continual battle. That includes continual temptation. Most battle rage within yourself. You are tempted to change sides, but your training has taught you better than that. The Lord’s ways are a part of you, and you know what to do. Don’t you?
Psalm 119:11 –
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Most soldiers don’t have a choice to obey, but when it comes to training in righteousness, however, we do have a choice – we can choose to continue to waddle in sin, or we can choose to change for the better.
In the Bible, we read time and time again how the Israelites stubbornly refused to obey God. Eventually, God had to punish them and send them into exile. When they returned, they still didn’t seem to understand that God desired obedience. They had the choice to live as God required. You have a choice to obey God. If you’ve gone and put your big foot in it – God will forgive you, and God will still use you. He just longs to!
Our life is a battle between right and wrong. The Bible tells us to put on the full amour of God, to live by the spirit, pursue the things of God. It’s hard. But a virtuous person will radiate integrity no matter what the cost. So, will you be a soldier of Virtue today?