Going to the Mattresses

It is reported that when Neville Chamberlain met Adolf Hitler, the Fuhrer asked him, “Did you fight in the great war?”  Chamberlain replied, “No, but I served my country.”  Hitler remarked, “I fought for mine.”  Regardless the contest, one who is willing to fight will always defeat one who shrinks from combat.  I do not imply that each engagement is the same or that there is virtue in being cantankerous, but one must employ the appropriate arms and will needed to win in any battle.  It was only when the free world engaged the Austrian devil that he was defeated.  In life, we will all have to learn to fight.  At times, we will join the fray with heavy hearts because we must though there be no glory in victory or welcoming parade at the end.

Some things are worth defending and better sooner than later.  We cannot sit at ease as small flames are kindled and say there was no warning when the blaze is beyond control.  You can’t stop the train.  Watchfulness must couple with wisdom if we are to know how to intervene and when to initiate.  I have, personally, been on both sides of the issue in responding too hastily or late in time and both to ruin.  Our society has lost its way as there is no clear star for guidance or universal consensus on what is right and good.  An older man once said, “When I was young, most people I knew were either Christians or God-fearing, but, today, we must learn to live in a post-Christian culture.”  That man is now dead, his instruction being forty years ago.

We will not be able to negotiate with the enemy of our souls.  It is true that a great many things are not worth full-scale warfare, and each of us has fought on issues that really didn’t matter very much.  In every life are many long defeats and fruitless victories.  A bitter end awaits the one who fought a ruinous battle over small concerns.  Make no mistake, however, that there are issues which will undermine our lives and spiritual welfare if we are not vigilant.  Satan is the master of sleight-of-hand and misdirection, and he will confuse us to our ruin.  We will be tempted to give in on point after point until there is no firm ground on which to stand.  Carelessness is ever the enemy of the soldier, and we should not sleep when on guard duty.

It can seem that the complicated matters of life are beyond understanding, and we may despair of finding the right road through the mists.  Cold and comfortless we may be when in the fog of doubt.  For direction we can go to God’s Word which is voluminous in length, but in which the basic matters of godliness are crystal clear.  The central truths of the Bible are repeated over and over again and throughout the Tome.  If we walk the King’s Highway, it will be easier for us to avoid pitfalls than if we scamper through the dale and into the slough of despond.  Which is written is accompanied by the Comforter given.  The indwelling Spirit of God is capable of guiding the sincere believer into all truth Jesus taught while on this earth.

The Christian is pictured as a solder for a reason.  No one who walks in the way of the cross ever does so without conflict.  The armor of God is more than sufficient to protect the believer in battle, but the gear will not win the day.  The will can be harder than tempered steel, and inanimate objects are not brave.  The victor’s crown is won by heart and nerve and sinew committed to a cause.  We will not be able to say we have served our Commander if we’ve not fought at His direction in His cause.  Our families and friends depend on us as does the work of God on earth.  Everyone going to battle counts the cost temporally and eternally.  When the Son of God goes forth to war a kingly crown to gain, who follows in His train?

Sterl            

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