Onward Christian Soilders

When under a spiritual assault from the enemy, we must continue to “fire back” with the Word of God as Jesus did to Satan (“It is written…”) in the temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). Thank God, we need not fear running out of scriptural ammunition, and it is never wasted for it will not return void (Isaiah 55:11).

By Ron Schoolcraft

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Patton’s Battlefield Tactics


The Apostle Paul often used the analogy of military warfare to teach us principles of Christian spiritual warfare. He told Timothy to “endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier” (II Timothy 2:3-4, NKJV; emphasis added). He exhorted us to “put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11, emphasis added). He then detailed each piece of military armor and weaponry and gave their spiritual parallels (Ephesians 6:13-1 7).


While recently reading War As I Knew It, the battle memoirs of that swashbuckling World War II General, George S. Patton, Jr., I was struck by some compelling spiritual parallels in his unique battlefield tactics. Perhaps we may profit spiritually as General Patton’s Third Army and the Allied Forces did militarily.


Though somewhat controversial for his flamboyance, outspokenness and uncompromising standards, Patton was fundamentally a profoundly religious man who read the Bible daily. Using an aggressive combat strategy, he slammed the tanks and men of the Third Army across Europe at a breakneck pace. Brandishing his brace of famous pearl-handled pistols, Patton commanded the armored force that moved farther and faster than any other in World War II, insuring his place in history as one of the greatest battlefield commanders.


Marching Fire


General Patton gave clear instructions for advancing into enemy territory: Marching fire —The proper way to advance was to utilize marching fire and keep moving. He said that one round should be fired every two or three paces. The whistle of the bullets, the scream of the ricochet, and the dust, twigs, and branches which are knocked from the ground and trees have such an effect on the enemy that his small-arms fire becomes negligible. Keep walking forward. Furthermore, he observed that the fact that men are shooting adds to their self-confidence, because they feel that they are doing something, and are not sitting like a duck in a bathtub being shot at.


Of course the Christian’s offensive weapon is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). As we storm the gates of hell to do battle with the forces of evil to rescue souls, we too need to use “marching fire,” shouting the Word of God as we march forward. “Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire” (Jeremiah 5:14). “Let the high praises of God be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand” (Psalm 149:6). God spoke through Isaiah, “And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword … and made me a polished shaft” (Isaiah 49:2).

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