When the first jet struck the Twin Towers 18 years ago today, I stood stunned as I watched the attack unfold. After the second jet hit the second tower, something paid a visit to my life that had been virtually dormant for 24 years. When the attack took place, it had been over two decades since I last donned my SWAT uniform, carried a weapon, and stepped into places of danger. At the moment I realized our nation was under attack, I went tactical once again.
I remember walking into our bedroom and assembling my kit. A kit contains the gear a SWAT cop or a Special Ops person carries into combat. It was as if no time had passed. My training and preparation were silently guiding me as I continued to listen to the unfolding newscast while assembling my gear atop the bed in our master bedroom. Like most Americans, I did not know what was coming next. Whatever was coming, I would be ready. Once my gear was together, I recall the shift that took place that morning in my thinking. I awakened to a new reality most of the world lives in on a daily basis outside the insulated suburban bubble where I was pastoring.
Today, on this sad anniversary of 9/11, I am still tactical both physically and more importantly, spiritually. In our culture, I see a lot of huffing, and puffing bravado tossed around by people who have never stepped into harm’s way. Along with the bravado is the polar opposite. It is a version of spirituality that lives in a dream world of an untested faith fueled by a misunderstanding of what Jesus meant when He said to turn the other cheek. This is the same Jesus who allowed Peter to carry a sword and the same Jesus turned over tables in the temple. Jesus meek and mild never existed. The Jesus of that illusion will get people killed both physically and spiritually.
While advancing age and circumstance may alter our ability to perform at our peak in the natural, our ability to be spiritually tactical never wanes. So I want to ask, have you assembled your spiritual tactical kit? What’s in it? Do you know how to use it? If something dark and disastrous were to spiritually assault your life or the lives of your loved ones, are you ready to do battle in the spiritual realm? Is your faith tactical?
As a culture, we are entering unfamiliar waters where the spiritual conflict will unfold in ways many have not experienced. This is not a place for the huffers and puffers or those who live in a spiritual la-la land. Life can be gritty and dangerous. When the light of truth displaces the darkness of deception and when hope displaces despair hell will come at us to bring its challenge. Being forewarned and forearmed will help us survive and overcome anything hell tries to throw at us - even a surprise attack on a peaceful morning.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses”(II Corinthians 10:4).