Lately I have been reading two books concurrently which are at the same time very similar and very dissimilar.
I have been reading, for the first time, "Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hilter's Eagle's Nest," by Stephen E. Ambrose. I am also re-reading J.R R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings."
Both books revolve around war, both around good versus evil. One tells the events and actions of the 101st Airborne against Nazi Germany, the other tells the events and actions of men, dwarves, elves and hobbits against orcs, uruk-hai, ugluk and trolls, with wizards on both sides.
It may seem strange for a 58 year-old-woman to enjoy reading books about war. Indeed, I have enjoyed many "war" books including, "You'll Be Sor-ree!: A Guadalcanal Marine Remembers the Pacific War," by Sidney Phillips (from our own hometown,) "A Helmet for my Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific," by Robert Leckie and "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History" by Chris Kyle.
One of the common threads I have noticed in books about war is the importance of several things: proper training, proper equipment, leadership of officers and the bonding together of the men. Often credit for a mission being described as successful was due entirely for the relationship between the men, even when equipment, supplies and training was sorely lacking.
Another thing I noticed was that, especially in these wars, much less was known about the enemy's plans and locations than was desired, showing the importance of good reconnaissance (thank you, son.)
Sitting in our study, with our sweet beagle at my feet, I feel far away from any threat of war, but the truth is, whether I believe we are participating or not, as Christians we are always being assaulted by an enemy.
"Finally, my brethren,
be strong in the Lord,
and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:10-12.)
We are undeniably at war. We know who the enemy is and we know his objective:
"Be sober, be vigilant: because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8.)
Our war is real, but fear not. We have the Holy Spirit to give us the best training we can have. We are completely equipped to do battle. "According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue." (2 Peter 1:3.)
We have been given the whole armour of God, that we can withstand the enemy's wiles. We have a sure and everlasting bond with our brothers and sisters in Christ which can never be broken by any weapon of the enemy.
Most of all we have a sure Captain of our salvation who has already won the victory for us.
Let us go forth then, into battle, with the assurance that we are marching not TO victory, but FROM victory following the banner of our Captain, our Lord and our King.
"For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." (Hebrews 2:10.)
"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. "(Ephesians 6: 13-18.)