Laws of Combat

(Update of a devotional from 1998)

In 1998, someone sent me a copy of Murphy’s Laws of Combat that was given to Cadet Matt Greb during his first month at West Point. It was interesting to me to see how well those rules seemed to fit in with the Christian life. They fit so well because we as Christians are all involved in combat, a spiritual war.

Several of those rules were right on, such as: “Anything you do can get you shot – including nothing.” How true! Whether we are fighting for our Lord, running away, or just standing still we are fair game for the enemy. If we think that the enemy will leave us alone if we do nothing we are mistaken. The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Sometimes it is easier for the enemy if you are just sitting there doing nothing.

Another one of the Laws of Combat that got my attention was: “You are not Superman.” There has only been one man that was tempted at all points without sin and His name is Jesus Christ. We need other Christians around us as we live the Christian life. There are several verses in the Bible that communicates this need, such as:

Matthew 18:19, “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”

Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Here are a few of the other Laws of Combat and some thoughts that crossed my mind. You may be able to think of some other ways that they apply to the Christian life:

“Don’t look conspicuous – it draws fire.” (Pride.)

“When in doubt empty your magazine.” (Don’t be content with just enough holiness to keep the devil at bay.)

“If your attack is going well, it’s an ambush.” (When souls are being saved and a church is growing the enemy will launch a counterattack.)

“The important things are always simple.” (How simple is the gospel? So simple that a child can understand. What do we need to do to be happy? Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.)

“The easy way is always mined.” (There are two roads of which the Bible speaks, the narrow road and the broad road that leads to destruction.)

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:10-12).”

Since we as Christians are all involved in the same spiritual war I hope that these laws of combat will provide a little wisdom for your own theater of operation.

(We Christians are all involved in combat, a spiritual war.)

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