On January 4, 1968, Sergeant David Richard Simons gallantly made the ultimate sacrifice in an ambush by hostile forces in Vietnam. Before his death, he had written in his diary:
Tonight I feel danger, and the men around me feel danger. There is a lurking in the darkness that makes me want to watch, but I must stop now and entrust my soul to the Lord. Tomorrow I will work harder to be ready. I must be ready. I am reminded that life must be a continual warfare against evil, that the Lord came into the world, not to bring peace, but a sword. The true peace comes only after combat. I am reminded also that life is complex, and like this war, it's hard to tell the valuable from the worthlessbut that is the challenge to discern a difference and make a choice thus too, on life after this conflict.
This manual is a tribute to men like Sergeant Simons, men who see that behind the physical conflict is a much more sinister and dangerous struggle: the invisible war. Our world is locked in a death struggle we call the angelic conflict (EPH 6:10-18; 2CO 10:3-5). Whether we like it or not we live on a battlefield, surrounded by two kinds of spiritual forces: those of God-the forces of good-and those of Satan-the forces of evil. Every one of us is caught in this conflict either as a POW entrapped in the "domain of darkness" or as a combatant who, by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, has been transferred to the kingdom of light and is a soldier in the royal army of God. (COL 1:12-14)
The only way to make this advance is by growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2PE 3:18), by learning and applying the truths of the Word of God to our lives. It is in learning to meet the small struggles of daily life with Christ-centered faith that we gain the toughness and perseverance that will enable us to stand firm in the formidable battles of our times.
The great General Douglas MacArthur understood the principle that the ordinary challenges of life prepare us for the extraordinary tests. Early in his career, when he was superintendent of West Point, he had engraved on the stone portals of the academy gymnasium these words:
Upon the fields of friendly strife Are sown the seeds That, upon other fields on other days, Will bear the fruits of victory.
To meet the daily challenges of life it is not enough that we have the truths of the Word in a Bible on the shelf. We must carry them within us. In this hostile environment of the cosmic battlefield, we must have a spiritual survival kit in our souls (PSA 119:11; ISA 33:6). This manual is designed to help you put such a kit together.
It is my prayer that th truths to which this book points will provide the necessities of spiritual survival for many Christian warriors as they fight in the pain and darkness of their own private battlefields.