In the Battle Together
In the Battle Together
My years of military service taught me the incredible cost of freedom. I have cried with families who have lost loved ones. I have prayed with service members who have lost limbs or bear deep scars to the soul. I have witnessed tears on the faces of aged veterans as they stand at attention on memorial day remembrances. It is important for us to remember the lessons of history, and to and learn.
Over seventy-six years ago a tremendous battle took place that required extraordinary courage and exacted incredible sacrifice. On June 6, 1944, 160,000 allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. On D-Day alone more than 5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, 277 minesweepers, and about 13,000 aircraft supported the invasion. By day’s end on June 6, the allies had gained a foothold in Normandy. By the end of that month 685,000 troops disembarked. None of them could accomplish this alone, but as a unified force they could and they did.
The cost paid on D-day was extremely high. More than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded on that day alone. But more than 100,000 Soldiers pushed through and began a march across Europe that defeated Hitler. What a remarkable time, and what heroes they were! What an impact their sacrifice has had upon us all! They fought the fight and won the war together.
Followers of Jesus Christ, we too are involved in a world war and the stakes are high. The powers of darkness are entrenched and strong. We can see where they have taken the land in the moral decay of the culture around us, and in the decrease of unity and influence of the church. We witness and may share in the endemic malaise of spiritual apathy. We all experience the struggle. We see the evidence and advance of evil throughout the world, and we can too easily conclude there is no way for righteousness to advance. But such a conclusion is wrong.
The Lord Jesus Christ is our Supreme Commander. We all owe our lives and freedom to Him. He would have us believe and trust and remember that by His death and resurrection He has already won this war (Colossians 2:15). He wants us to know that in Him we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). Jesus Christ destroys dominions, authorities, and powers (I Corinthians 15:54). Our part is to enlist, and train, and follow Him wherever He leads us, accepting any assignment He gives us, going into the battle as He equips and direct us, together with others who also love and follow the Lord.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the One who leads us in every battle, and like the allied troops on D-day, we must be fully aware that this may cost us dearly. We must believe in the cause, and be pledged to our Savior, determined to follow Him even to death. Our enemy will attempt to destroy us, but cannot. We will be together in this battle until the end.
Paul’s words to the church speaks to our conflicts in this broken world. “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” (Ephesians 6:12).
In Christ we must not run from the front lines or shrink back from fear! We serve our victorious Lord, and we already know the end of this story. We know that in the fullness of time Jesus Christ will return in triumph and glory, and Satan will be cast into the lake of fire! As we look forward in faith to that glorious day, we know the battles we now face may rage for a little while longer. But Christ calls us to believe, to remember our training, and to serve wherever He will send us.
God has not called us to a fight any battle alone. He places us in local churches, in the Body of Christ with others who have sworn allegiance to the Lord. So what is our part in this battle? What is our individual responsibility? It is to have our faith centered, our heart yielded, and our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ. It is to stand firmly on the truth of Scripture, and to fight for what is right, and to do all that we do for our Lord. It is to be in fellowship with others, and thus in the battle with others who love Him too. It is to live together in Christian love, being faithful and vigilant and diligent in prayer.