What am I seeking to achieve? It’s like transitioning operators from the range to the shoot-house. They are magnificent shots already, but the change in environment, from linear to asymmetric, brings a level of intimidation to bear. Suddenly, they are required to assess an open, 360 degree environment, discern what to shoot and not, while others move to their left and right and at least one moves ahead of them so that they must shoot past him. Now, the consequences of missing become very steep. They are also assessing the whole environment so that they can continue moving in order to keep momentum. When this transition occurs, things slow way down, sometimes coming to a stop. It is not that they do not know what they are doing, it is that they are not sure that they know what they are doing, and do not yet have confidence in that environment and in each other in that context. They need encouragement. As one man would stand, stutter stepping toward a danger area I would just say, “Chances are, what you are thinking is right, just do it.” As they begin to make decisions in the new environment, and act on those decisions, they begin to grow in confidence. Once they grasp it, there isn’t anything quite as beautiful as seeing four or five teams of warriors explosively breach a target site, at night, wearing night vision, and clear an unknown floor plan, with a mix of threat and unknown targets doing it with speed, precision, confidence, and ferocity. I cannot really describe it to you, it is a symphony of destruction. This is a bit crazy, but I am going to transition this into the Christian life.
When we come into Christ we are not born into boot camp, we are parachuted onto the battlefield. Many stand, looking back at their sin, “feeling” unequipped and ineffective. The wonderful things is that it is not about you, nor do your “feelings” matter. This is about Jesus Christ, and we must, not be about ourselves, but about Him. The good news is, that when I said it is not about you, that is only the perspective you must hold. For Christ, it is about you. He has not left you on that battlefield alone. He Himself poured His precious blood on you; He took the helmet of salvation, as you knelt before Him, and placed it on your head. It fits perfectly. He even strapped the chin strap for you. It is a strong wall, and your understanding that He saved you completely and for all time protects your mind. He gave you His breastplate of Righteousness identifying you with the Father and allowing you to come to Him as a son. Jesus wrapped the belt of Truth around your waste, sent of the Father, and that Truth is His Spirit which brings you into all truth – the wisdom of heaven and the Knowledge of God. He placed shoes on your feet; they are shoes “prepared” or “readied” in the gospel of peace. The gospel of Christ prepared you to go for Him. Your are wearing “prepared” on that part of you which carries you forward. You have taken up a shield, which is faith. This faith cannot fail, because where it is weak, His perfect faith is strong. And you have the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. It abides in you as the person of Christ, and sits on your tongue as the Words of Christ taken from the Scriptures, as prophecy, as words of knowledge. You strike down the enemy by the Word of God Who is Christ Jesus. You stand, not as “you”dressed in heavenly armor, but as a new creation, in which your spiritual person has become one with Jesus Christ! You are called and equipped by Him. If God is for you (and He is), Who can be against you? This identity is what satan seeks to destroy in every new believer. He is a liar, and you are a child of God, clothed by Christ and fully prepared to take His gospel to all. He has not given to you a spirit of timidity to fall back into fear, but a Spirit of love and power and a sound mind. Hold fast to the truth. Hold fast to the hope He has set before you. Walk in it.