The battle for the world is in the hearts of Christian men.
I’ve been encouraged by older men with the phrase, “don’t waste your youth!” (perhaps most eloquently by J.C. Ryle in his book.) The question is, how to utilize the time that god has given? Many young men have taken up causes, and campaign against evil in the world. Some have taken up arms against sin in the world, and I know some young men called to preach, as was John the Baptist.
All that is well and good, and needed. But I received some wise counsel from another wise man–the battle for the hearts of nations begins in your own heart. The battle for the things of God, holiness, purity and righteousness–that conflict is most present in your own heart, Christian.
Your task is to extend the dominion of Christ over the spheres where God has given you influence, and to work out the reality that our Father has put everything under His feet. And your influence and authority is greatest over your own heart and mind. (Primarily, the Bible describes the center of consciousness as the heart, what we often consider our minds.)
Yes, if you father a family, your are the primary one to lead them in submission to Christ. And if you are an elder in the Church of God, you have a primary calling to bring Christ’s flock to His fold. If you are a civil magistrate, your duty is to bring your sphere into submission to Jesus as Lord. Men are placed in authority in this world. Christians are guides to the world, Christ’s representatives on earth. If Christian men fail, the world fails.
If you fail in your heart, the catastrophe of that failure will rock any success in other spheres. If you cannot walk humbly before God with a clean heart, your ability to help others do so will be severely hobbled.
That’s where the battle is, in your heart.