Today is Veterans Day. On this important day, Americans pay particular tribute to those special individuals who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend their country with their life.
I would also like to remind you that God has asked us to lay down our lives as well. But God wants us to fight a different kind of war and make an even deeper sacrifice. This war is not fought against others or on foreign soil. This war takes place even closer to us than our homeland. It is waged on the battlefield of our very own personal turf—within our hearts and minds.
This important turf is that upon which our spirit dwells. This spiritual ground consists of the principles we inwardly stand for and defend. It is a battle between choosing God’s tenets of spiritual love for others or favoring our own selfish motives.
When one belief system is victorious, the other dies away. This death happens before physical death. In the Bible, this process is referred to as the death that needs to take place before the “second death.”
When false principles and a life that opposes God’s wisdom is rejected during our terrestrial existence we will have nothing to fear when the physical body dies. Our life choices determine the quality of our spirit and therefore the quality of our eternal abode. This is the true meaning behind the Christian concept of being “reborn.” In order to obtain heaven, one must first be reborn. And in order to be reborn, something must die.
But victory does not happen overnight (as some Christians suggest). We must ask for God’s help and bravely battle our negative inclinations throughout our entire lives (otherwise our convictions would not be genuine).
So today I would also like to honor those who, throughout human history and from many different faith systems, have fought the greatest battle of all and sacrificed their old ways for a new spiritual way of living. These good-hearted people often go unnoticed.