Christians in the West seem to settle into a peacetime mentality for the most part. Most do not have a sense of urgency about the spiritual war we’re in.
As a result, we don’t know the positive things we’re missing when we don’t live a wartime lifestyle …
The Queen Mary was a British ocean liner that carried passengers between Southampton, England and New York City beginning in 1936. The ship was converted into a troop transport for Allied soldiers during World War II. It holds the record for the most troops in one passage—15,740 on a run from the U.S to Europe in July of 1943.
When you convert a passenger ship into a troopship … that’s a picture of a wartime mentality! There were many changes like this during WWII. People embraced the reality of the war and lived a wartime lifestyle.
John Piper gives us 6 reasons why Christ-followers should live a wartime lifestyle. See this podcast from Desiring God: Is Wartime Living the Same as Minimalism?
Living in this way is for the glory of God, the good of mankind, and our maximum joy.
See if this resonates:
The World Needs Christians to Embrace a Wartime Lifestyle
Reason #1 — We are to subdue things!
The Jesus view of the world is that it’s created by God and intended to be “subdued.” Cultivated. Potential released. It’s a worldview issue. We receive this mandate with thanksgiving, and it’s sanctified by the Word of God and prayer (1 Timothy 4:4-5).
“God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness’ … God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule …'” (Genesis 1:26, 28).
Reason #2 — Like it or not, a war is on
A war between God and Satan has been on since the rebellion of Lucifer and the fall of mankind. It’s a conflict between creative purpose and destruction. Everyone is born into a war scene through our natural birth.
Certainly, the “born again” experience Jesus spoke of (see John 3:1-8) delivers us into a heightened state of war … whether we like it or not. This war is not against humans, it’s spiritual in nature.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:11-12).
Reason #3 — Creation is both a good and a danger
Piper says that since we have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, the God-created world is both a created good and a danger that we must guard against. As in the Parable of the Soils (see Luke 8:4-15), the Word of the Kingdom can be choked by the cares, riches, and pleasures of this world. Even good things. It’s sad that even good things can destroy us if we let them.
Reason #4 — Self-denial shows that Christ is supremely valuable
Jesus calls us to real self-denial as we follow him. Authentic discipleship necessarily includes self-denial. We show Christ to be supremely valuable, not possessions or self-worship. We can then be trusted to rule and reign with Christ now!
“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:23-25).
Reason #5 — Freedom to be significant
The aim is not that we go without, but that we’re able to accomplish more things because of a reallocation of life resources: time, treasure, and talent. We live with margin. We’re lean. Agile. Fast.
Reason #6 — Filled with maximum joy!
As we lead a wartime lifestyle, we discover maximum joy. Now. And in the new heavens and earth to come. It’s more blessed to advance the cause of Christ than to accumulate things or entertain ourselves into a sleepwalking state.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44).
John Piper says living a wartime lifestyle is all for …
- The glory of God
- The good of mankind
- And our maximum joy
We will be alert. Self-controlled. And in command of our person, our personal world, and our influence in the world-at-large.
What do you think? As you look around, is this the type of Christ-following you see? Are you living a wartime lifestyle as one who follows Christ?