It is usual for salvation to be described as having past, present and future aspects. As we think of each Christian soldier protecting his mind in the midst of the battle, we see that he needs to look back (a good memory), to look up (a right attitude), and to look ahead (clear-sighted about the future).
As he looks back, there are three levels of reminding himself about the salvation he has received. First, he can look back to the time when he came to know Jesus personally as his Saviour. His conversion may have been a dramatic one, about which he can name the exact time. Yet many believers cannot identify when they were converted, the change in their lives seemed to be a gradual one. What is important is that both types have been converted. Christian soldiers, in the midst of the conflict, have to remind themselves that they belong to the Lord because of their conversions.
Second, the Christian soldier can look back farther than his conversion, right back before the creation of the world to the thoughts of the triune God in the past eternity. As he looks back, in the midst of the battle, he encourages himself that God has eternally loved him, not because he would fight a good warfare without a wound, but because he loved him. The eternal God wanted him not only as a soldier but as a son in his family.
Thirdly, as he fights the devil, the Christian soldier can recall many incidents in which he has been enabled by God to overcome the ruses and attacks of the devil. Often, the soldier was at his wit’s end, bombarded from all directions by Satan’s fierce attacks. Yet, in the midst of his weakness, as he looked to his Commander, strength came into his heart and mind and he won the victory.
These three aspects of the past should be at the forefront of our minds as the devil assaults us. Each should say, ‘I belong to Jesus by personal choice (conversion), by divine covenant (God‘s eternal plan), and by ongoing deliverance. The next arrow from Satan, while it may wound me if I am not careful, will not destroy me.’