Turn us again to yourself, O God of Heaven’s Armies. – Psalm 80:19 (NLT, adapted)
In the last fiscal year, the United States spent more than 850 billion dollars on national defense. This accounts for more than 10% of all federal spending and nearly half of all discretionary spending. Our nation spends more on military defense than China, India, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and South Korea combined.
While some contend that defense spending is riddled with fraud, waste, and underutilization, others maintain that a robust military is crucial to global stability. And many are committed to ensuring that America’s military branches remain the strongest, most prepared, best equipped fighting forces on the planet.
But as we wrestle with the impacts of our nation’s perpetual quest for military supremacy, we should also recognize that heaven itself, the eternal place of peace, is not without strong defenses.
The God of Hosts is a warrior God.
Armies of heaven and believers on earth are enlisted in the contentious conflicts between revelation and retreat, love and despair, justice and inequity. Our weapons of warfare are not carnal, but they are mighty through God for the pulling down of destructive strongholds.
Hope for freedom is a formidable weapon that has been proven effective in delivering devastating blows against the mighty bastions of bigotry.
Praying, working, and advocating for peace are blistering battering rams for the advancement of diplomacy and the critical dissecting of the military industrial complex.
And agape love is unrelenting and indomitable in its defense of the weak and its attack against oppressors.
In the Black church we sing: “I am on the battlefield for my Lord / I am on the battlefield for my Lord / And I promised him that I / Would serve him til I die / I am on the battlefield for my Lord!”
Lord, surrendering to the enemies of truth is not an option. Give us strength to press the battle on. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Decatur, Georgia.