If you’re not singing the song in your head now… I apologize in advance that your childhood was a little less exciting than mine. There was nothing better than marching in place, flying around pretending to be a fighter jet, and blasting off artillery fire while singing a song about Jesus.
We often miss the metaphor of Christian life being a battle. We forget that earth is a cosmic battlefield with God’s Kingdom fighting against the forces of darkness, evil, death, and chaos. Our sights get set on human beings rather than the evil that directs them.
Consider this. How would you characterize your church in this battle? Is it a group of non-interventionists who watch warily from the edges of conflict desiring nothing more than to let the war run its course without getting involved? Is your church a squad of highly developed saboteurs, running around tossing verbal bombs into crowds of unsuspecting people who are hit by the shrapnel and venom spewed by uncaring words? Is your church a command center, giving orders out to the community in order to “rally the troops” to fight the culture war?
I thought about it… and came to the conclusion that our church buildings are probably closest to field hospitals, considering that our main objective is to go out and carry those too wounded and sore to move into a safe place where they can heal. A field hospital, or any hospital for that matter, can be a hectic, chaotic place, especially in the Emergency Room. The nurses I know tell stories of frantic days, close calls, and miraculous saves that make me wonder how they keep it up.
I guess what I’m getting at here is the idea that we so often want to pick up a sword or a gun and have at the enemies, or what we think are enemies, instead of picking up the wounded man beside us and getting him to safety. Most of my military experience is video games and films, so take all of this with a grain of salt. The phrase “no man gets left behind” permeates moments of self-sacrifice as a soldier picks up another and carries his limp, but still living body to the rescue zone. How many times in our lives as Christians do we say together on Sunday morning, “no man gets left behind,” and walk by rows upon rows of wounded people on Sunday afternoon at lunch, or Monday at work? How many times instead of picking up wounded people, do we shout at them to pick themselves up or kick them again as we assume they’re enemies?
Paul described our battle as, “not against flesh and blood but against the dark powers that rule this world.” I cannot tell you how exasperated and saddened I am when I continually watch Christians confuse fellow human beings for the real enemy.
So maybe, just maybe, as a soldier in the Lord’s Army, we can begin to fulfill our mission of pulling one person to safety in Jesus at a time. One person at a time.
How do your children picture the Christian life? Who do they see you attack on a regular basis? When do your children see your compassion for others?