“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the LORD Almighty (Zechariah 4:6).
It was America’s first bomber response to the threat of Nazi Germany. Deployed from Savannah, GA to England, this air group gained fame and respect from its repeated daylight raids over heavily protected enemy sites. Its casualty count was high. But so was its effectiveness. It earned the label, The Mighty Eighth. There are those who feel that we do not need to train for war or maintain standing armed forces. They advise, in words from the 60s, “Make love, not war!” They see no need for military might.
If history does not teach clearly enough that unopposed evil will attack and destroy those who are unprepared or unwilling to fight against it, the Bible leaves no doubt about the need, at times, to take up the sword. But feeble resistance is of little value. Force must be met with greater force. America prefers overwhelming force against its enemies, be they domestic or foreign. Thus, the call is to keep our nation strong. We may understand that, and we may agree with it. But we are reminded by the words of God that might and means, especially just human ones, are not enough to overcome evil and secure peace.
The prime enemy is a spirit, and the spirit of a person is a soul—and that’s where the main battle takes place. That which cannot be seen cannot be overcome by external strength. Devils do not bleed. Demons do not die. Satanic forces wage war with lust and greed and hatred as their weapons. Point to any evil that one can name, and an enemy of God is behind it. Name anything that is good, and know that the Spirit of God is active there. Apart from God, there is no goodness. Apart from God is only what the poet called, “all valiant dust that builds on dust.” Might and power are gifts from God. They are to be used to serve and protect. Used according to his will, they are blessings. But they are not the ultimate power and the greatest of blessings.
God, the Holy Spirit, can overpower anything that resists him. God, the Holy Spirit, is the answer to every need. What the Holy Spirit builds, no one and nothing can tear down. Our lives, our nation, and our future lie in the hands of the Lord Almighty.
It’s a good place to be.
In the words of the famous hymn we confess: With might of ours can naught be done; soon were our loss effected. But for us fights the valiant one whom God himself elected. You ask, “Who is this?” Jesus Christ it is, the almighty Lord. And there’s no other God. He holds the field forever. Amen.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida-Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military