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 powers 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 the 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.
- Ephesians 6:10-17
Old soldiers never die,
Never die, never die,
Old soldiers never die,
They just fade away.
- An Old Traditional Army Song (modified from a British Army song)
Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring,
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.
- Standing on the Promises, 1st verse, Russell K. Carter
Three quotes. What on earth could put these three quotes into one thought? Simple, a dream.
Peter quoted Joel 2:28 in Acts2:17. Old men will dream dreams, but I rarely remember my dreams. But rarely isn’t never.
First, the dream. I was a soldier, but I had no visible uniform or weapons. I wasn’t standing on the earth. I was kind of floating, at first. I was at war, but I could see no enemy, hear no distant bomb blasts, or smell no cordite. There was a dense fog, but then a cubical opening appeared with fog on all six sides. On the floor of the opening were white M&M shaped discs, about three feet in diameter. I was instructed to ‘stand on the verses.’ The large white discs had nothing written on them, but I figured out that I needed to stand on them. They were bright white as if the sun was shining on them, almost glowing, but there was fog in all directions (all sides and up and down). I saw no one else, but I knew that if I stepped off the disc, I would sink into the fog below. I had heard anything, but my mind remembered the screams as other soldiers sank into the fog, fading away forever. I never saw the enemy, but I knew that it was the greatest evil foe ever imagined. Somehow, that didn’t bother me. I wasn’t scared. As I got into a defensive stance to fend off the approaching enemy, I woke up.
The simple answer to the three quotes is that I’ve always wondered why God had my intended engineering career track derailed due to an Army commitment. Why? I have a skill set now that has laid dormant. Yet, I am an old soldier that will one day just fade away, like the other combatants that slipped from ‘the verses’ and sunk into the fog below (fading away). My armor wasn’t visible, but it was the full armor of God, as described in Ephesians. My instructions were to ‘stand on the verses.’ I understood this, in the dream, to be scriptures, but it could be the Promises of God. I started singing the old hymn after I had awaken.
A few days later, we were driving back to Pennsylvania and we were in Kentucky, just north of Bowling Green. There were dense clouds overhead, but no rain. Yet, off to the right there was a water tower. I told my wife that there had to be a break in the clouds for that water tower to glow. My wife thought that someone had installed lights, but the bright white was too bright and too evenly disbursed to be artificial light. We looked at the clouds. They were thick with no breaks. Now that we are at home and I can reflect, I remembered seeing the same color in the same situation. A water tower with the earth beneath, but dense clouds above. Yet, it glowed a bright white. That water tower was my burning bush, and I drove right past it. It was the same as the M&M shaped discs with no external light, but they glowed a bright white.
Even without stopping to talk to God on the spot, I know that God is trying to get through this thick head of mine (even thicker after bringing back sinus problems from our time in the South).
Since I didn’t stop along the road, what do I do now? God has given me the helmet of salvation. I need to read the word of God to gain the sword of the Spirit. Ephesians 6:17
But one thing I will always do. I’m going to stand on the verses. This old soldier isn’t going to fade away without his sword in his hand and braced, ready for battle.
The enemy is coming. Brace yourself by not just reading, but studying God’s word.
And, please, stand on the verses.