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      There is an old hymn “Am I a Soldier of the Cross” that poetically reminds us of the daily struggle of believers. The second verse says, “Must I be carried to the skies/ On flowery beds of ease/ While others fought to win the prize/ And sailed through bloody seas?” I think this sums up the Christian life and the spiritual battle we should all be engaged in every day.

     All of my Christian life, I have heard that we wrestle against three foes: the world, the flesh, and the devil. These enemies of the faith (1 John 2:16) can work against us individually or against the body of Christ to try to destroy our testimony and effectiveness for the gospel. While we are out of Satan’s reach of eternal destruction, he still seeks to use whatever tools and foes that he can to ruin and tarnish our usefulness for the Lord.

      We must first understand the battlefield in which we live. The Scriptures call this “the world.” This is not talking about the earth, trees, and streams along with all the living things. When we refer to “the world,” we are indicating the world system or the way living things act. The world was corrupted when mankind fell into sin with Adam and Eve. As a result, the world system has hated Christ and His children. Jesus said, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:19). The world system says we don’t need a Savior and we are gods and can handle things ourselves.

      Therefore, we are commanded not to love the world. 1 John 2:15 exhorts us, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” God loves us even to the degree that He became a man died on a cross to pay for our sin. As a result, “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Is it too much to expect us to love Him rather than the world system?

     If we are going to serve God as He intended we must realize the battlefield that we are fighting upon. It is one that hates God and is contrary to His will. When we love this system, we can never be what God wants. We have put God second in our lives and are doing what we want. Believers must keep God first so that we can face the rough places in life.

     I pray that you are engaged on the battlefield and that you are alert and ready to fight. Thank you for praying for your missionaries on battlefields around the world as they share the gospel.


Hal S. Pope

​IFM Executive Director

“...he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”  2 Corinthians 9:6


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