When I was a kid, I had a Stratego game.
A Classic table game of strategy and ‘warfare’ to defeat your enemy by capturing his flag.
A little later, my brother and I got a ‘modern equivalent’ when we received ‘Tank Battle’–another strategy game–this one with cool tank pieces–with which you tried to defeat your enemy.
Both of these were good ‘strategic thinking’ games, because they taught you to think with offense and defense–attacking and protecting–at the same time.
Yet, they each had a limitation: They were one-dimensional. They were played on a board, and only one piece could be moved on that dimension at a time.
Enter the ‘next generation’ of strategy games: Chopper Strike.
In Chopper Strike, you had 2 dimensions–the Earth and the Air.
Weapons–both offensive and defensive–needed to be deployed in both dimensions in order to defeat the enemy and win. This game was a lot more challenging because you would tend to focus on one dimension and lose track of the other. It led to vulnerability.
In real life, of course, there are many more things to be concerned about…not so much other ‘dimensions’ (I believe there’s only 3), but many ‘arenas’.
There’s the ‘relational’ arena, where we make friends, commit to family, love, forgive, grow…
There’s the ‘career’ arena, where we make our choices on ‘what to do for a living’ and try to determine Who we are, What we’re good at, Where our passions lie, then to make a living in that area.
There’s also the ‘political’ arena–which gets so much of our attention today. It is in this arena that President Trump has made a very controversial decision to remove all of our troops quickly from Syria, and to proceed with haste to do the same thing in Afghanistan. This has raised ‘red flags’ among many–even his supporters. It has even led to the resignation of a trusted member of his cabinet–General Jim Mattis.
Now, believe it or not, I’m not interested in debating that. I will not defend the move, nor will I approve it.
My purpose is to wake you up, and to challenge you to think differently–about this, about the Middle East, about the historical changes that are happening (and increasing) there…as the relate back to the 3 ‘dimensions’.
I said that I believe there are 3: Physical; Mental/Emotional; and Spiritual.
The one area we have been notoriously bad at understanding is the Spiritual dimension. I believe that is because we are generally self-centered, here-and-now thinkers who have a sinful nature and have a tendency from conception to tell God ‘no’ and go our own way.
Romans 3:23: Says, ‘”All have sinned; all have fallen short of God’s glorious standard”
Ephesians 2:1 Says “As for you, you were dead in your sins, in which you use to live when you followed the ways of this world, and the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.”
That ‘spirit who is now at work’ is satan, the devil. Jesus described him as a “liar from the beginning”…a “murderer”, and the ultimate “thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy” everything that God is doing. (John 8:44; 10:10)
We have an enemy–not primarily a military or political one, but a spiritual one. He makes it his goal to distract, divide, and distance us from God and from one another.
He’s pretty good at it too.
Here’s the important point: We imperil ourselves–spiritually, and in every other way–if we don’t take into account the ‘spiritual’ dimension and the enemy of our souls.
We risk eternal separation from the love of our Creator, Redeemer and Friend, if we don’t deal with our sinfulness by receiving by faith the grace of God, through Jesus His Son.
…AND…we risk not seeing things in the here-and-now accurately.
For example, I am of the opinion that this move by our President is in keeping with God’s ‘big picture’ thinking. He is, after all, “The Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13). He (God) knows the plan. He’s working His plan. His plan is perfect.
We are part of that plan, whether consciously or unconsciously. If we’re not believers, we ignore (or even oppose) Him…yet He still uses us in His plan. If we are believers, we do our best to follow His will, His Word, and His leading…but we still must rest in the fact that He is still working out His Plan for history. We can trust His plan.
Don’t believe me?
Just take a few minutes to pray, then read Matthew 24-25; Luke 21; Ezekiel 38; Revelation 16-19; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11.Read the news–other than American news media–and see some of the moves. Think about how this move by our President–whatever his motivation–may be part of the Plan.
Don’t be so concerned with the ‘Strategic moves’ of the here and now…instead, make sure by faith, prayer, and worshipful living, that you are ready for the ‘Big Picture.