To Teach Them War
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Some who come for Word Based Counseling are Christians seeking freedom from lifelong patterns of sin and oppression. These patterns are strongholds, power bases through which the forces of darkness seek to keep the struggling Christian conformed to this world and under the enemy=s dominion through the lusts of the flesh and fleshly mind. Oftentimes, the hard-pressed saint is astounded that freedom does not come more quickly, more easily. Their discouragement, confusion, and weariness often lead to apathy and passivity.

Yet that is not God's desire, but rather that the saint would stand, fight, and win the war. Indeed, war is essential to freedom, to spiritual maturity, and to real peace. War is an indispensable part of God's delivering His people out from bondage, and bringing them to Himself, as a glorious nation:

Or has a god tried to go to take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials, by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm and by great terrors, as the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown that you might know that the LORD, He is God; there is no other besides Him (Deuteronomy 4:34-35 NASV, italics added).

Every new generation of Christians must learn war. Every individual Christian must be equipped with the weapons of war, trained in their use, and battle-tested. When we are born-again, God does not instantly take away all of the old strongholds and power bases of the enemy in our lives. Rather, He prepares us and brings us into confrontation against them, because it is through war and victory that we prove who and what we are:

Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof....And [the nations] were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses (Judges 3:1-4 KJV).

If we do not learn and practice the discipline of war, we will compromise like Israel did in the day of the judges: AThe children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: and they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods" (Judges 3:5-6 KJV, italics aded). If we do not learn war, we will remain in bondage to life-dominating sin, to the ways of the world, and to the cruel oppression of darkness.

But if we become vigilant and ready, "and if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies" (Numbers 10:9 KJV).

May we all become like David, who declared, "Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight" (Psalm 144:1 KJV). Unshrinking before his enemies, David proclaimed: "I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed. I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet. For Thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: Thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me" (Psalm 18:37-40).

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