Since the beginning of time, there have been wars to fight. We've had to fight for freedom. We've had to fight for our rights. We've had to fight for land. At the global level, war is understood to be unavoidable and absolutely necessary at times. It's unfortunate, but true. Just as there is good, there will always be evil in this world...and those two forces will never get along. It should come as no surprise then when we have to go through our own personal battles; our own personal wars to fight.
Wars are not always physical, but spiritual. The bible tells us that "we battle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities of darkness (Ephesians 6:12)." Therefore, we must first learn to recognize our battles for what they are and also learn how to fight in the spiritual realm so that the enemy does not defeat us. You see, the enemy has strategies. He knows your weaknesses and he knows which buttons to push to set you off. He will use people and circumstances to distract and/or discourage you. You also need to realize that the enemy doesn't fight fair. He won't allow for any time-outs or breaks after a major strike. No, if you're down, he'll try his best to keep you down. The bible is very clear about what the enemy's goals are: to steal, to kill, and to destroy (John 10:10). And the more of a threat you are to him, the harder he will attack. How many times have you made a weary comment such as, "It's been one thing after another," "I just can't catch a break," or "It's just too much!" Realize that the enemy is at work and is trying to get you to throw in the towel. He doesn't want you to have the victorious, abundant life that Jesus offers to His people, because that would mean testifying to God's goodness and advancing God's kingdom.
So what does it take to be mighty warrior? I believe that answer can be found in the book of 1 Chronicles. After the the death of Saul, Israel's King, David was anointed as King over Israel and the first thing he did was establish his "mighty men" of war. These men were described in the bible as being extraordinarily valiant, brave, courageous, swift, and strong. The shared characteristics that really stood out to me the most though, were as follows:
1. They were well-prepared. Several times throughout the text, David's mighty men were described as "prepared and ready for battle." They had on their full armor and were skilled with every type of weapon. All of David's warriors had experience with previous victorious battles. They had trained diligently and had grown in confidence. In other words, they had proven themselves to be mighty warriors and knew what it took to overcome the enemy successfully. Because they were "battle ready", the enemy could not throw them off guard very easily, if at all. We too need to have our armor prepared and our spiritual weapons ready for battle at all times (Ephesians 6:10-17).
2. They were focused. When King David became parched and mentioned his longing for water, three of his mighty men did not hesitate to act. With laser beam focus, they risked their own lives as they broke through the Philistine (enemy) lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem, and carried it back to David. Their focus on the mission superseded any risk factors or fears. Imagine what we could accomplish with such an intense focus for a cause. When we keep our eyes on the prize, instead of the obstacles, we can achieve seemingly impossible things with increased speed and precision.
3. They were loyal to the King. Several warriors came together to join King David's armed forces, some of which had their motives questioned. "If you have come to me in peace, to help me, I am ready to have you unite with me," David told the eager men, "But if you have come to betray me to my enemies, may the God of our fathers see it and judge you." 1 Chronicles 12:18 states that the Spirit came upon the Chief of the thirty men wanting to join David's army as he responded: "We are yours, O David! We are with you, O son of Jesse! Success, success to you, and success to those who help you, for your God will help you!" These soldiers had to express their loyalty and allegiance to King David. Their hearts had to be in the right place in order for the King to have full confidence in them. Jesus, our King, requires our full loyalty as well. We must be committed to serving under His authority in order to live out the courageous, victorious life He has for us.
Each and every one of David's mighty warriors were fighting men who volunteered to serve in the ranks. Nobody made them do it. Instead of shunning away from the battles before them, they willingly and courageously set foot on the battleground. Their preparedness, focused determination, and loyalty to the King are what made them mighty and victorious. By following their example, you, mighty warrior, can be victorious too!