♣ Up On Your Feet, Soldier!
“…be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain” – 1 Corinthians 15:58
“…Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” – Galatians 6:9
“… lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees…” – Hebrews 12:12
FOR THOSE WHO have watched ‘Band of Brothers’, you will no doubt remember one of the most intense episodes entitled ‘Bastogne’ where the paratroopers of Easy Company (506th P.I.R., 101st Airborne), led by Dick Winters, fought hard within the Bois Jacques forest, despite being ill-equipped and heavily surrounded by the enemy in freezing winter temperatures. Notwithstanding the seemingly hopeless situation, the resilience and brotherly teamwork of these brave American World War II soldiers pulled them through to triumph. Had they given into what they felt, none of them would have returned home to celebrate their won victory and the world’s coming freedom from tyranny.
Some of us will know, to some degree, what it is to encounter weariness in such a way that depletes us of hope and stamina to carry on, especially when the odds are overwhelmingly against us. It is the seemingly no-win scenarios that wear us down and the temptation is to accept what the enemy would have us think and feel in light of our surrounding circumstances. Our adversary would have us persuaded that we cannot advance forward, that we must retreat, rest and let down our shield – just for a while, but in Christian spiritual warfare our armour is never to be loosened or discarded, no matter how uncomfortable and heated the battle may be. We are to remain resilient, standing firm on our Captain’s orders Who has already secured the victory.
One prime example is that of the early Church that spread and grew – not just in numbers, but also in boldness, courage and joy in the face of sharp and brutal opposition. Such spiritual stamina defies a widespread humanistic orientation; it is absurd to the unspiritual mind. Had the first century disciples been governed by the grim surface realities of life around them, the Church would never have advanced; had their weariness got the best of them – and weary they did feel through immense grief – the world would have been left untouched with the good news and life-transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The all-sufficient grace of God was not confined to the Apostle Paul, but for the entire Church age, individually and collectively; the never-ceasing and abounding grace of God has been laid up for every soldier of the Cross, every warrior for Christ Who leads us in triumphant victory against Satan’s suzerainty and the tyranny of sin.
It is not so much the grace of God but the God of grace Who is a very present help in times of trouble, where things go wrong and no way out is seen. Although unseen, our Leader is with us; although not always felt, He has promised never to abandon us. It is in such times when all seems lost and hopeless that our faith is geared to kick in and gain momentum. Faith will not grow where we can see and our trust in God will not increase where we can feel Him holding our hand. There are priceless moments of having our spirits refreshed in the Lord and He knows the precise time we need them, but character is developed in the heat of conflict and steadfastness reinforced in the fires of opposition.
We will find that as we determine to strengthen our weak knees and lift our drooping hands and obey God regardless of the consequences, His supporting power will be known and such strength we will find exceeding our expectations. God has made us in such a way that in times of perseverance, the law of faith is explored, that taking God at His very word, mountains indeed are moved and thrown into the sea, crooked paths are made straight – the impossible becomes the possible.
Despite grave opposition, the Church, overseen by the Apostles, continued to proclaim Jesus Christ, making disciples and always abounding in the work of the Lord wherever they went. In fact, the very things that meant to destroy the Church actually served to further the kingdom of God. It is in this heavenly war that we come to realise that no weapon fashioned against us shall prosper; it may gain ground for a time, but only for our good and the glory of God.
We can go forward because our King has already gone before us and it is in acknowledging this that our paths are made straight. It is not by leaning on our way of seeing things that a knowledge of God’s will is gained, but learning to get into God’s stride and perspective. “The secret counsel of the Lord is for those who fear Him” (Psalm 25:14).
In a world that accelerates in evil, we ought never to be discouraged in doing good for the furtherance of the Gospel, despite the fact of seeing no results. What is done for self will fail; what is done unto the Lord and in His might shall stand and come to fruition. It will reap a harvest. It is our Lord we are serving or rather, it is for Him that we are living and while we have breath in us we have no business in dying until God says our work is done; we have no business in giving up and surrendering to the wiles and lies of our enemy. We cannot afford to miss the opportunities of proving God in the throes of adversity, so up on your feet, Soldier and fight for and with Him, for in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who has already conquered.
Posted on November 11, 2014, in ♣ Devotional and tagged 1 Corinthians 15:58, 101st Airborne, adversary, adversity, American soldiers, Band of Brothers, Bastogne, Bois Jacques forest, conquerors, devotional, Dick Winters, Easy Company, faith, freedom, Galatians 6:9, God's abounding grace, God's perspective, God's stride, Hebrews 12:12, hope, Mark Anthony Williams, overwhelming odds, paratroopers, perseverance, power of the Gospel, proving God, Psalm 25:14, refreshed, Satan’s suzerainty, Satan’s tyranny, serving the Lord, Soldier!, spiritual stamina, spiritual warfare, stamina, steadfastness, temptation, triumph of God’s grace, triumphant, tyranny of sin, Up On Your Feet, Up On Your Feet Soldier!, victory, Victory over sin, weariness, World War II. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.