Faithful Christians of different traditions are soldiers in the same army, but our uniforms are different colors. It’s as if we somehow believe it is not a war we are fighting but a game we are playing. And the soldiers with different colored uniforms are players on a team we oppose—a team of bitter rivals—rather than our fellow soldiers who hold to the same creed and battle the same enemy.
Imagine two nations, each warring against the same evil foe. The world is in peril as the evil enemy conquers more and more countries, stealing more and more hearts. The enemy troops are captives. The soldiers who fight the enemy are duty bound volunteers whose mission is to call the enemy’s troops to freedom.
Further imagine the general of one nation trying to discuss battle strategy with a general from the other. The generals do not speak the same language, and no one is present to translate. Some individual soldiers continue to engage in battle—some effectively, some even in concert with allies in different uniforms. Their efforts are small and uncoordinated.
Other soldiers don’t know what to do, so they do nothing but fret about the war to the soldiers of their own units.
Both nations have the same goals, but they use different strategies. Some work well; others waste time, resources, and energy fighting the same battle here, but sending no soldiers there. The needs are great, but the work is lonely and calls for reinforcement.
Because the nations’ customs and foods are different, they misunderstand each other. These misunderstandings distract both from the crucial battle against the enemy. They imagine their fellow soldiers as the enemy. The two forces end up fighting each other.
Many who have not joined either are confused. The enemy succeeds in drawing them outside the battle lines, outside the reality of the war they themselves need to win. The evil enemy takes even more ground, captures even more souls.
The army that fights the enemy has a long history. When its fight began, the army was a small corps of committed fighters; most gave their lives in battle. From the army’s very inception, from its beginning with only twelve generals, the enemy had infiltrated the ranks.
A betrayer was within the ranks of the army’s greatest leaders. For the first 500 years, division happened within the army.
The forces of good were the faithful who battled forces of evil, the corrupted betrayers. Infiltration continues to this day and sparks confusion among those who might otherwise become soldiers. Some people like wearing the uniform but would never actually engage in battle. They are not true soldiers.
Aside from infiltration, the enemy has two main battle strategies. The first is persecution. His intention is to kill as many soldiers as he can—the most typical war strategy. It not only eliminates opposition, but he supposes that it deters new enlistments. This strategy is often faulty. Our army grows in the face of persecution, and our cohesiveness is at its peak when our trials are plenty. The soldiers wearing different colored uniforms work together best during times of persecution.
His second strategy is more subtle and more insidious. He lavishes our established, well-entrenched forces with wealth, comfort, and divisiveness. The divisiveness is often thinly veiled self-righteousness. We make judgments about each other based on those who wear their uniforms lightly or even deceptively, or we accept someone’s misinterpretation of another’s worship language. For Satan, this second strategy has been his most effective throughout history.
The primary battlefield of this war is within people’s hearts. Here is the battlefield we have most neglected. Here is the front where we must win.
16 Replies to “Same War, Different Uniforms”
Your message is compelling and a reminder that we must continue to persevere in our support of and serice to our Lord. As you point out, we’re in the battle of good versus evil and every soldier is needed.
Amen, Katherine. We need everyone to report for duty! Thanks and God bless!
We are most assuredly in a war my friend, and as the old saying goes, “We have seen the enemy and he is us.” In reality, the true enemy has been most successful in his multi-front attack. The results, over the centuries, have been to use our flawed human nature against us to divide over what man-made differences exist instead of uniting around that which is, or should be, our commonalities and like goals. Your words made me think back to the many challenges we had during Operation Urgent Fury (the island of Grenada for those of you who’ve never heard of it). Even though the various forces were united against the same OPFOR (opposing force), our inability to communicate with one another and “food fights” within leadership resulted in ineffectiveness and even loss of life. The stakes in that campaign are not nearly as high as the one you refer to, but I fear the results can be the same unless we address the issues NOW. God’s blessings, ma’am.
Insightful comments, JD. Thanks for your input. God’s blessings to you too!
Winning hearts and minds for Christ is essential, for soldiers are always in need as we seek to spread the Gospel across the entire world. We must learn to cooperate with others who have differing customs and languages. Still, the effort is worth it, for the Savior has given us this commission.
He has indeed. Thanks, Melinda. God bless!
We must be alert and ready for spiritual warfare.
Amen, Melissa. Thanks and God bless!
Amen to this. We are in a war! Distraction and lies and pettiness turn us from our main objective, but we must unite as Christians and press on, winning others to Jesus and fighting for GOOD (God).
May we do just that. Thanks, Jessica. God bless!
Wow, Nancy. We often forget we are in a spiritual battle. As soon as we come to Christ, we are immediately signed up for the Lord’s infantry. Our number one enemy loves it when we fight against each other, cause dissension, and speak death over fellow soldiers. God help us remember we wrestle not with flesh and blood. Wonderful message.
Lord, help us to be an army of love for each other and those who don’t yet know You. Thanks, Karen. God bless!
Great analogy that reminds us to be diligent in our purpose here.
May we be diligent and true. Thanks, Annie, and God bless!
It is so easy to overlook the spiritual battles all around us. But we are the army called up to fight for the hearts and souls of those around us. Thanks for the inspiring message Nancy
Thanks, Yvonne. God bless!