This morning, one of our soldiers called from Iraq. The area he is in is considered one of the most dangerous and volatile. Our soldier is a very committed Christ follower and is also one who is in charge of many young men who follow him; he is an officer. He is in a difficult situation. Waging war requires a lot of intelligence to determine the whereabouts of the Insurgents. The best source of that intelligence is from the locals. Our soldiers there do not have the resources to win the trust of villages with gifts of blankets, first aid medicines, and the building of relationships that come from just socializing with the natives. You don't make a lot of friends when you are bursting through front doors and dragging a confirmed or suspected terrorist into the streets.
Engagements with the enemy come by exposure; our soldiers basically make themselves vulnerable to attack. Bombs disguised as roadside debris are a constant threat; nothing can be left to chance. Our guys possess superior weapons, are disciplined, professional, incredibly committed, and brave. But an adversary that is invisible is hard to fight. After I hung up the phone, the spiritual parallel came to my mind, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against . . . the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms . . ."
The Lord got my attention with a call from Iraq.