A solider is never alone in the fight. When they enter into combat they trust their partner and team to cover their flank while pursuing the enemy. If one soldier is wounded, others come to their aid and they are still never alone.
In the Lord’s Army it should also be the same…yet sometimes it’s not.
It could be because of pride and for the fear of looking weak. Other times it could be because of trust issues or other kinds of troublesome elements in the relationship. These excuses ought not prevent us from standing together on the fields of spiritual combat. We wage a very real war with very serious eternal consequences, often times we may lose sight of how dire a toll this war can have on its fighting forces. Yet while we continue to fight this spiritual war, with the Holy Spirit as our guide, we must also find those moments of soul-repair and spiritual check-up. By this I mean we cannot fight forever, and we all need 3 crucial elements in order to continue on.
3 Elements: Friends, Lends & Mends
“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart”
― Eleanor Roosevelt
Perhaps what we need isn’t only surfaced friendship with a “how ya doin’?” but more of a deeper kind. A kind that asks the hard questions of us. The kind of friendship that demands more of our time and commands us to consider our points of view while realigning us with God himself. Godly friendships are more than placating our conversations and our concerns, but should have a way of challenging our preconceptions and our value systems. Sometimes these Godly friendships are also called Accountability partners, but in a long and winding road of life this long-term mentor/mentee relationship can lead to a deeper friendship. We need Godly friends like these in our lives. Some may come and go while others may walk with us for years to come, each will leave a mark on us if we are vulnerable enough to let them. A good solider in God’s army needs other fighting friends within whom they can confide and find solace in. Do you have friendships like this?
The second thing a good Soldier in God’s army needs to do is lend support to other fighters out there. If you have made a commitment to Christ to proclaim His name to a lost world then you’ve made a long term commitment. This isn’t some short term mission trip or a weekend warrior drill, this is for life. Does that scare you? Consider what Christ has done for us…and what does He ask of us in return? He calls us to stand up, speak up and fight on. So what about other fighters out there? Don’t they require encouragement and accountability too? YES! A part of our calling as a Solider is to step up, step out and lend a hand to others. These fellow soldiers may just require a listening ear, others might require some solace and rest on your behalf while others might benefit from your guiding hand as a more “seasoned” solider of the Cross. You are also vital to their survival. Make no mistake about it! You a matter to their well-being and their success. So step up and know that your contributions to others can make a drastic difference in their continuance in this fight!
This is a play on words of sorts, because this last point is two-fold:
a) Make A-mends:
sometimes while in the fight we may inadvertently burn bridges that we need to re-cross. In the heat of the battle we might face off against other well-meaning soldiers and have to separate ourselves from them. Does that mean we should never speak again or never come face to face with that person again? Absolutely not! What it does mean is that we will find differences of opinions. Sometimes we will be in the right while other times we will be in the wrong. Yet we shouldn’t hold grudges against fellow children of God. Sometimes we can find ways to make amends and re-pave that bridge. Other times we might not necessarily ever see eye to eye with a fellow Christian, yet we can find our commonalities and get back out there into the thick of the fight! There are bigger, more important battles to wage for the Kingdom than wasting time on the needless bickering and disharmony amongst fellow soldiers. When we can make amends when then can face the second portion of this “Soldier’s Soul-check” –
Our hearts can become so compartmentalized when we face disharmony and issues with other believers. When we seek peace within the body of Christ we also find a salve for our wounded souls as well. Mending one mends the other and in so doing we become healthier and better equipped to face the real enemy of this world.
Getting to the point:
Every soldier needs a break from the fight. Every battle worn fighter needs a friend, a comrade a support system. Every Christ-follower who wages war, through the power of the Holy Spirit, needs harmony within armor and body of Christ! How’s your soul doing today? Is it in need of a tune up? Are you desperately in need of an accountability partner or friend to confide in? Can you contribute and breath encouragement into other weary soldiers? Are there charred remains of bridges that you need to repair before you can move on? Don’t wait to make things better. Don’t wait until you’re all alone in battle fit for an army. God desires us to stand strong side by side, encouraging each other and healing the hearts of the wounded.
How’s your soul?