When I sat down to do the bulletin today I had nothing. My mind was blank (not an uncommon experience for me, some might say). I began to try and organize my thoughts (not unlike attempting to herd cats) and found myself thinking about the spiritual battles around us. The news coming in from the front lines is not good. Everywhere we turn we see the enemy advancing and taking ground that Christianity once held, the public square, classrooms, the halls of government, the church pulpits, our society and our families.
It seems that the forces of evil are gathering all around us for an attack the likes of which we have never seen. My fear is not that it will happen, or what will happen to my family and me when it happens, but am I spiritually ready? Have I made my anchor sure? Will I stand when the battle is hot, or will I flee in cowardice at the first volley? Am I prepared? Is my armor on and my sword at the ready?
I already see those around me who have succumbed to the world, I see soldiers weak and wounded, I see the fear in their hearts and the lack of resolve in their attitudes and I see them abandoning the cause for Christ for comfort and ease. I see in myself these same tendencies. I see weakness in my resolve and fear is palatable in my throat. Should I stumble, will I rise and continue on or will I embrace the despair and slink back to the rear area to lick my wounds and wallow in self-pity?
I have been a warrior and I can remember when I was near battle, and the danger was just over the canal, and I know the smell of my own fear. However I was never tried in battle so I do not know if I am a man of valor or a coward. Now I face the same question regarding my spiritual readiness. Am I so anchored in Christ that I will stand, stand in the heat of battle, hold the fort of my own soul and be a standard bearer for those around me? Or will I just be another casualty who let his comrades down and weakened an already tattered line?
What doth hinder me? What so easily besets me? Where is my hope? True hope maketh not ashamed… Where is my heart? Is it only with my lips and my pen that I honor Christ, or is He truly my all in all?
I seem to have barraged you with a slew of questions I have no answers for; neither do I expect you to have them for me. I have seen the Lord of the Rings, Narnia as well as have been reading the Chronicles of Narnia lately, and I see valor in the characters who pledge their sword and lives to their king. “Is there not a cause?” Is my Lord any less deserving of my allegiance, my pledge or my life? (Oops, here we go with the questions again) Will I stand? Will my Captain choose to use me in the battle? Will I plant my Ebenezer and say, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord!”?
Maybe General Douglas McArthur said it best, “The enemy is in front of us. The enemy is behind us. He is to the right and to the left of us. He can’t get away this time!”
2 Corinthians 4:7-9
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;