Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Fleets in Being

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the power of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Eph. 6:10-17)
In the past, between wars, there was an expression “a fleet in being.” It had the same connotation as “a standing army.” It meant that we were ready for war but not actually in war. We were always in training, but never fighting. One time, on December 7, 1941, the U.S. Navy “fleet” in being got sunk by the enemy because it was not at war.

Many of our churches and Christian organizations have become fleets in being. In other words, they don’t think they are in a war. It is the same with many individual Christians: they have no intention of “going into harm’s way.” They think they can live in peace.

The problem is that they are in a war. There is no honorable discharge from the service while they are alive. There is no furlough and no “rest and relaxation.” However, if they are not consciously participating in the war, they may be aiding and abetting the enemy. This is the next thing to treason; or if that is not the case, they become captives, ineffective, marginalized or immobilized by the enemy. All of this happens because they think that they are not in the war.

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