My grandfather was an engineer in the Army in World War II. He was promoted to sergeant. In the days just before the Army pushed across the Rhine into Germany, he was put in charge of clearing a road of land mines. When a lieutenant and my grandfather, plus a driver and a medic, jumped in a jeep and headed down the road, suddenly there was a great orange flash, and the jeep and all of them together erupted into the sky. My grandfather remembers waking up in the impact crater, riddled with holes. Surprisingly, the medic landed on his feet and began administering first aid. The driver had broken his arm. The lieutenant was dead.
I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to be in a war. To be maimed physically, psychologically, to be torn apart. My deepest respect goes out to all those who have fought and died.
But the truth is, is that all of us, whether we like it or not, are immersed in a battle. A sinister one. One side wants our good, the other wants our destruction. It’s painfully real. This battle may not only maim a man in the arm, but take his soul, too. It’s an epic struggle that determines his eternity, one of pure death; the other, of eternal life.
Both demand a cost. The cost of death is that he ceases to exist. The cost of life is his sacrifice, wholly, to give up his way that was leading to death, and to head in a new direction, taking action, offering up his being to Jesus, the One who paid the penalty of death.
One side takes everything he has and destroys him, but Jesus gives everything to him, flooding him with His life. Satan says to him, give me your heart, and I will give you the world. But Jesus, having paid the penalty, says, “I swallowed this world and its death. If you give me your world, I’ll take all your wounds. All your fears. Everything that wants to destroy you. They’re all mine. All I ask is that you die to your world, and receive me as your King. Come into my kingdom and fear no more.”
War wasn’t meant to be. This turmoil we experience is devastating. But fortunately, the battle is the Lord’s. What we don’t know and could never conceive, God has conquered by His grace and love. The battle for me is to let go and rest in Him, and let Him fight my battles for me. God has never lost a battle, nor will He. His sole battle is to save each one of us. So what will we choose?
“All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s.” (1 Samuel 17:47)