Those that have been in the military know that following orders, no matter what they are, is non-negotiable. There is harsh punishment for disobeying orders. Authority that is questioned or challenged in the heat of battle endangers everyone. Insubordination is not tolerated at any level. The higher the rank, the harsher the punishment. The more military authority one has, the more casualties are caused by disobedience. In like manner, the more authority and influence we have in the body of Christ, the more people get hurt from our disobedience.
I have seen churches split, and even destroyed because of the disobedience of a leader. The damage was compounded when that disobedience was exposed publicly.
A soldier must trust in the orders he is given and obey even when He does not agree. Even if it means his death. Understanding can wait, obedience cannot.
Philippians 2:8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Jesus was a good soldier. What we see in His life, we should model in ours. If our doctrine does not line up with what we see in Christ’s life, it is time to change our beliefs. Jesus, and His life is perfect theology.
Understanding the mind of Christ is foundational in spiritual warfare. The mind of Christ is summed up in one profound idea. One simple thought.
“I can do nothing on my own.”
John 5:30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.
John 5:19 So, Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.
John 6:38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
John 4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.
Jesus completely submitted His will to the will of the Father. He not only emptied himself of His divine rights and privileges as God, He also emptied Himself of His rights and privileges as the Son of Man. This is how He walked in divine authority on the earth. He laid down His crown as King of the Universe to be crowned as the Son of Man, then He laid that crown down as well at the feat of the Father. It is mind boggling! It is our example to follow.
Our ability to say “no” to the Creator tells us that we are sovereign beings as well. We must cast our sovereign crowns at His feet daily, understanding that we are here for His good pleasure, no matter what that looks like.
The blood of Christ has purchased our lives. We have been redeemed. He is worthy of our life, and He is worthy of our death. Until we die to self we are not completely submitted to His authority.
We would all like to believe that we are completely submitted to God, but submission is only revealed when there is a conflict of wills. We never know if we are completely submitted until we disagree. Even if we don’t disagree it can still be very difficult to follow orders. Jesus shows us exactly what that looks like.
Luke 22:41-44 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
There is so much wisdom and instruction to glean from this passage of scripture. Jesus knew what He was called to do. He knew it wasn’t going to be easy. After He declared “not my will, but yours be done,” an angel appeared to strengthen Him. Even then He was still in great agony and still had to pray more earnestly to settle this in His heart.
How intense was this prayer? What kind of conflict was going on in Jesus soul that caused Him to sweat blood? How hard was it to see and know the terrible torture and death He must endure and still obey the Father? He could not do this on His own. Without humility and intimacy with the Father, even Jesus would not have been able to endure it. We must follow Him.
Prayer is vitally important in spiritual warfare but praying a lot does not make us “prayer warriors.” Humble submission to the will of the Father and Spirit empowered prayer does.
1 Corinthians 2:16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
Notice it says, “we” have the mind of Christ, not “you” or “I.” Understand this about the mind of Christ; “I can do nothing of myself” does not just mean that I can do nothing without the Father. It also means that I can do nothing without relationship with others in the body of Christ. I will need others to help me accomplish all that God has planned for me.
God has called us to community. Many times what He asks us to do will require a whole village. This prevents us from becoming an Island unto ourselves with no accountability. It requires us to be relational with one another. Being in relationship with others in the body of Christ is one way we have relationship with the Father. We are parts in His body. One single part cannot live and function on its own apart from the rest of the body.
Even Jesus needed John the Baptist to go before Him to prepare people for His coming. He needed the disciples to help Him with His earthly ministry while He was alive, and continue His ministry after His death and resurrection.
There is nothing more connected or co-dependent on planet earth than the body of Christ. We are more connected than the molecules that makes up the human body. Maybe this is why He used man’s body to explain how the kingdom of God works.
Effective spiritual warfare requires us to have the mind of Christ. Understanding that we can do nothing of ourselves puts us all on a level playing field concerning our faith, from the faithful saint who has served God for decades, to the newborn babe in Christ. We can all engage in community and bring our supply while gleaning from the supply of others.
A babe does not have the same level of authority, but has the mind of the Spirit. As we renew our minds to Gods word we grow in knowledge and understanding. As our faith is tested and we gain experience fighting the good fight, our kingdom authority increases, our contribution to the body and the world increases, and our capacity to receive from the body increases as well.
Romans 12:1-2 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Being a good soldier takes training, discipline, diligence, and above all, sincere humility. The Lord will test us to see how ready we are for battle. We should always embrace testing. It is the tests and trials that refines us, perfecting our faith. Some of our most significant testing will come when we don’t even realize we are being tested. Remember that a test of character will always come in the form of a “pop quiz.” This is just one of many reasons we must fight to maintain the mind of Christ.
The Lords prayer takes on new meaning when we have this perspective. This is how Jesus taught us to pray. He is the greatest spiritual warrior that ever lived.
The Lord’s Prayer (The Soldiers Prayer)
Matthew 6:9-13 Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
(Acknowledge His authority and holiness)
10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
(Pray for the advancement of His kingdom in the heart of every believer and cast our crowns at His feet, relinquishing our ability to say no to Him)
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
(Our bread is to do the will of our Father)
12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
(Walk in forgiveness toward others and ask for His mercy to cover our mistakes and sins )
13 And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
(Ask for His leadership and protection from the enemy, trusting that the Father knows what he is doing)
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