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God As Warrior
 

My friend Tom Valenzuela asked me to speak again to his Veterans group on Memorial Day. Honestly, I didn't want to. Though I appreciate the sacrifices they made I feel there is little reason such heroes should listen to me. I'm not a veteran. All week I couldn't think of anything to say. Then early Monday morning, I I had a spark of inspiration, so I sped east to Yorba Linda. I'm so glad I went.

Though very few people showed up, those who did inspired me greatly. Vets from WW II, Korea, Viet Nam, and even Desert Storm tell stories we all need to hear; heart wrenching stories of watching their friends die, of the horror of killing others, of the grotesque experience of stuffing a friend's guts back into his body and wrapping him up in a poncho to get him to a medic. I watched grown men, 13, 40, 60 years later, still barely able to talk through the tears of pain and horror that is their lifelong legacy.

I shared two scriptures that most have never heard before and one they may have never understood. The first one? "The Lord is a Warrior" (Exodus 15:3). Tell that to the Christian whose bumper sticker says 'War is not the Answer.' I always wanted to ask, 'so what is?' If God hadn't been a Warrior when Pharaoh closed in on the Jews there would be no Jewish nation, no Jesus, no Bible, no salvation, no healing power on earth today. If God hadn't helped our soldiers in WWI or II, or in Korea, Viet Nam, and Kuwait, how different would our lives be? If we fail in Iraq, will we have to fight them here?

I also shared Matthew 11:12: "The Kingdom of God suffers violence and violent men seize it through force." It reminds me of WILD AT HEART, a wonderful book my good friend Eric Brown recommended. Its author says they didn't kill Jesus for making men nice. Jesus is not Mr. Rogers.

A Christian man discovered this while receiving training to minister in prisons. A Protestant pastor, a Catholic priest and a Muslim Imam shared about their beliefs. During Q & A, the man asked the Imam if Muslims were taught they would go to Heaven for killing infidels. He was told yes. He then asked who were the infidels. He was told "Those who don't believe in Allah."

"So, let me make sure I have this straight," the man said. "All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can go to Heaven. Is that correct?" The expression on the Imam's face changed from one of authority and command to that of a little boy who had just gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He sheepishly replied, "Yes." The man then stated, "Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine Pope John Paul commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Dr. Stanley ordering Protestants to do the same in order to go to Heaven!" The Imam was speechless. He continued, "I also have problem with being your friend when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me. Let me ask you a question. Would you rather have your Allah who tells you to kill me in order to go to Heaven or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to Heaven and He wants you to be with me?" He said you could have heard a pin drop as the Imam hung his head in shame.

Make no mistake. Most Muslims are taught to hate us. They want to kill us because we don't believe in their god or a religion that teaches people that the road to Heaven is paved with the bodies of innocent men, women and children; a religion that seeks to subjugate the whole world to its demonic, bloodthirsty deity.

Our brave soldiers stand between us and them. And we as a country don't do nearly enough to help them or their families.

We say those who are killed make the ultimate sacrifice. If there truly are no atheists in foxholes that may not be the case. Is it worse to die and head for Heaven or to face a lifetime of unspeakable memories of the living hell of war? Is it worse to enter Paradise today or to lose your husband, son or father for the rest of your life on earth? A plaque at the celebration served as a stark reminder of the sacrifices being made today for you and me. It listed the names of three area men who died in Iraq. One was just 19 years old, another 21, the third in his early thirties, a father of small children.

Finally, I shared the familiar passage from Luke 4:18-19 where Jesus says that He was anointed to heal the broken hearted and set the captives free. Men and women who behold the bitter agonies of war are heartbroken beyond what most of us will ever know, emotionally bound up in terrible ways just to insure our freedom. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is excruciatingly real. As far as I know, no government program helps them cope, heal or get free of the horrific images that haunt them every day and night.  Unfortunately, most churches can't even help them.

I provide resources, training and opportunities to heal these broken hearts. If any veterans groups, churches or individuals want help, contact me. It is my honor to serve you. It's the least I can do for all you have done for my loved ones and me. 

Ken Unger is President of OnlyGodsFinest.com and founder of TransformationIncorporated.com, where you can learn more about him and his transformative ministry. click here ,
 "Ken's new book, The Ultimate Breakthrough, goes beyond self help to self healing. You can preview it at  The Ultimate Breakthrough "

  

"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." - (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

Hebrews 4:12 specifies “The word of God is living and operative and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow.”

Finally, we can see from the Word that the emotion is part of the soul. In Song of Songs 1:7, the Shulamite speaks to her beloved, “Tell me, you whom my soul loves.” Second Samuel 5:8 records the opposite feeling: “And David said on that day, Whoever would strike the Jebusites, let him go up to the watercourse and strike the lame and the blind, who are hated by David’s soul….” And in Psalm 86:4, David experienced a change in feeling: “Cause the soul of Your servant to rejoice…” Since love, hate and rejoicing are clearly expressions of the emotions, it is obvious that the emotion is the third faculty of the soul (Witness Lee, Economy 55-56).

The will is also part of the soul. Job had much to say about the will, for example, “So that my soul would choose strangulation and death rather than my bones” (Job 7:15). He also said, “My soul refuses to touch them…” (6:7). Both choosing and refusing are functions of the will, a part of the soul.

The soul, the “person” of man, is likewise composed of three parts: the mind, the will and the emotion. God’s Word proves this clearly and definitively.

First, the Scriptures consistently identify the mind as part of the soul. For example, the Psalmist exults, “I will praise You, for I am awesomely and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, and my soul knows it well” (Ps.139:14, italics added).

Knowledge, no doubt, pertains to the mind. In addition, Lamentations 3:20 says, “My soul remembers them well and is bowed down within me.” To remember is another function of the mind. These verses clearly indicate that there is a part of the soul that knows and remembers; this part is the mind.

Man’s heart, as revealed throughout Scripture, is a composition of all the parts of the soul as well as of the primary part of the spirit, namely the conscience. It may strike the reader as odd to hear that the heart is not a separate and distinct component of man, but rather a composition of several other parts. Nevertheless, the Bible clearly indicates, as outlined below, that all three components of the soul–the mind, will, and emotion–also comprise the heart, together with the leading part of the spirit–the conscience.

In order to see that the mind is a part of the heart, we must read Genesis 6:5: “And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Furthermore, as Matthew 9:4 reports, “Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, Why are you thinking evil things in your hearts?” Both “thoughts” and “thinking” relate to the mind, evidence that the mind, as a part of the soul, is simultaneously a part of the heart.

 

To identify the will as pertaining to the heart, we must consult Acts 11:23: “Who, when he arrived and saw the grace of God, rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain with the Lord with purpose of heart.”

In addition, the second half of Hebrews 4:12 speaks of the Word’s ability to discern, “the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Both “purpose” and “intentions” are functions of the will, indicating that the will, likewise, is part of the heart.

Several other portions of the Word prove that the emotion is part of the heart. In John 16:6, the Lord tells His disciples, “But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.” Later in that same chapter, the Lord continues, “Therefore you also now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and no one takes your joy away from you.” Since sorrow and rejoicing, human emotions, are so evidently linked here to the heart, we can say that man’s emotional faculty is also part of the heart. The scriptural references cited in the above three paragraphs clearly demonstrate that the soul with its three parts (mind, will, and emotion) is a key component of the heart.

Finally, the Word makes it clear that the leading part of the spirit (the conscience) is also integrally related to the heart. Hebrews 10:22 strongly links these two: “Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.” Additionally, 1 John 3:20 warns, “Because if our heart blames us, it is because God is greater than our heart and knows all things.” Blame and condemnation are the primary functions of the conscience, further proof that our conscience is part of our heart. In summary, it is the conscience, along with the three parts of the soul, that compose man’s heart (Witness Lee, Economy 59-61).

The primary function of the soul of man is to express and reflect the Lord. The soul’s expression of God is clearly portrayed in the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke. In response to Elizabeth’s blessing, Mary exclaimed, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has exulted in God my Savior” (46-47). Mary’s spirit had exulted in God and was filled with joy, yet the joy in her spirit could not be adequately expressed apart from the function of her soul. Second Corinthians 3:18 provides a detailed description of the soul’s function of reflecting God: “But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.”  

Our soul is like a mirror designed to behold and reflect Christ. Yet in order for our soul to reflect Christ in the clearest, most unobstructed way, its fallen source must first be denied (Matthew 16:24-26; Luke 9:23-25). This means that we must learn to deny our natural mind, will and emotion. Secondly, for our soul to reflect Christ alone, it must be not only denied but also purified by receiving the Word (1 Peter 1:22). Finally, our soul needs to be thoroughly transformed into the image of Christ by the renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18). Thus, when our soul is denied, purified, and transformed it is able to fulfill its intended function, the glorious, true reflection of Christ (Witness Lee, Economy 70-71).

 

 

Ken Unger is President of OnlyGodsFinest.com and founder of TransformationIncorporated.com, where you can learn more about him and his transformative ministry. click here ,
 "Ken's new book, The Ultimate Breakthrough, goes beyond self help to self healing. You can preview it at  The Ultimate Breakthrough "

 

 
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