Samuel Lee, Director of Chaplaincy
Leadership, Preparation and Faith: Winning the Spiritual War
Israel preemptively commenced The Six-Day War on June 5, 1967, against the neighboring Arab countries. At the war’s end on June 11, Israel seized control of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria and West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan. The war lasted for six days.
During the war, Israel had 264,000 military personnel, including reservists, and faced overwhelming forces of over 290,000 soldiers from Egypt, Syria and Jordan. Furthermore, President Nasser of Egypt had over 100 Iraqi tanks and two squadrons of fighter aircraft of MIG 21s, along with coalition Arab forces (Saudi, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Kuwait and Pakistan), available. The Israelis destroyed most of the Egyptian and Syrian Air Force and maintained air supremacy at the beginning of the war.
Michael Oren, the author of Six Day War, shares four compelling reasons for Israel’s success in beating the odds.
- The element of surprise
The Arab countries, including America and the USSR, were caught off guard by Israel’s preemptive attack.
- Motivation for the fight
Israel fought to survive, while the Arab forces had fewer compelling reasons. An Israeli commander reminded his soldier a day before the attack, “We will thrash them as we did in 1948 and 1956. We will wash our feet in the Canal. But if we do not win, we will have nowhere to come back to” (p. 179).
- Highly educated soldiers became skilled fighters
Although the Arab coalition forces had advanced weaponry, they could not utilize them effectively due to the lack of education.
- Leadership and organization skills
Israel had better coordination skills than the Arab coalitions. The Arab countries didn’t take advantage of the overwhelming forces or the coordinated attacks from three directions.
What can we learn from the Six-Day War? How can we beat the odds when facing more prominent and better-equipped enemies? Here is the way to pave the victory in spiritual warfare:
- Preparation for spiritual leadership is not an option but a must. Jesus emphasized spiritual discipline in His teaching, such as in The Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25, to emphasize spiritual readiness. Remember that spiritual discipline is an ongoing process instead of a one-time event for a leader. Thus, prayer without ceasing is possible for a disciple focused on God’s will and righteousness. It takes time for a believer to develop a character of mature faith. That is why a church leader must not be a new believer (1 Timothy 3:6) but continually study the Scriptures and remain in the fellowship of saints to “present everyone mature in Christ” (Colossians 1:28, CSB). It is worth noting that the presence of godly leadership prevents any element of surprise.
- Remind yourself and your people about the nature of warfare. “For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens” (Ephesians 6:12, CSB). We engaged in spiritual warfare. There is no such thing as a neutral place to hide. During the Six-Day War, the religious leaders reminded the Jews about God’s protection and plan for the nation of Israel. Lubavitcher Rebbe, the prominent Jewish scholar and spiritual leader, called for all Jewish men to don tefillin as a particular merit for commitment and protection. Over 100,000 responded to the bar mitzvah and support for Israel.
- Delegate responsibilities and enhance the capabilities within the formation. One of the characteristics of a “star” personality is craving all the attention, including duties to bottleneck the decision-making process. A church pastor who makes all decisions or an elder/deacon causing trouble because of his desire to control damages the growth of all church members. The body of Christ must function well together (Romans 12:4-4; Ephesians 4:16). Train the next generation of leaders within your congregation to prepare for future assignments and utilize their talents for the body of Christ without selfish motivation. Although the Arab coalition forces had advanced weaponry during the Six-Day War, they could not use them effectively due to the lack of trained leaders.
We must continue to ask ourselves “why” to remind ourselves of the purpose of our being and the meaning of church. Knowing our identity will fuel our desire to seek the will of the Lord and focus on the priority without fear. I am thinking of David’s confession in Psalm 20:7, “Some take pride in a chariot, and others in horses, but we take pride in the name of the Lord our God” (CSB).
- A Quarterly Report is MUST for all Federal Chaplains. It indicates individual accountability to the SBC Chaplaincy and the Endorser. Please complete your report here.
- Any church/chapel can receive offerings designated to the chaplain’s endorsing agency. Ensure you follow the appropriate procedures to get approval for the Designated Offering. We use this offering to fund our military chaplain training events—any designated offering helps. If you decide to make a gift, please make it payable to NAMB-Military Chaplain Fund, 4200 North Point Parkway, Alpharetta, Georgia, 30022. If you receive a designated offering for the SBC Chaplaincy, please inform me or Ms. Pacheco at (770) 410-6330.
- Annual Training Requirements: All SBC Endorsed chaplains MUST attend yearly training sponsored by our office. Please check available training at our website or check our Facebook page.
- An Endorsement Update is necessary when your organization requires a change of job/location. Please plan two weeks before obtaining an updated endorsement. Email your request to [email protected].
- Chaplain Candidate Monthly Roundtable Schedule:
- September 5 (Tuesday) – Topic: Spiritual and Physical Fitness with special guest speaker CH Pat Hash.
- October 10 (Tuesday) – Topic: Spiritual Warfare
- November: No roundtable
- December 5 (Tuesday) – Topic: Moral Injury
- January 2024: No roundtable
- February 6 (Tuesday) – Topic: New Year’s Resolution
Published September 26, 2023