Tuesday, 22 April 2014
Easter: After D-Day
My Grandfather was one of the lucky ones. He never really spoke of his experiences duringWorld War Two, and it was a number of years after his passing that we discovered from a family friend that he had been involved in one of the first waves of assault on the Normandy Beaches invasion on June 6th 1944.
He was miraculously uninjured in the assault - one of the few who were.
I watched the opening scenes of "Saving Private Ryan" some time ago. The battle for the beaches was fierce and bloody.. It was horrifying to realise my grandpa, this gentle man was there as a battle-hardened warrior.
I walked on the beaches as a teenager. Stood in some of the remaining gun implacements and stared at the ruins of the landing platforms left littering the beaches.
The battle was ferocious. The Allies succeeded in capturing the beachead and pushing the Axis powers back, allowing the reinforcements to be brought through.
But the war didn't end on June 6th 1944. It ended in 1945.
Our Spiritual D-Day happened on Good Friday 2000 years ago. The ground was taken, but the enemy continues the fight despite the certainty of knowledge of his loss.
Just as the Germans knew they could not defeat the onslaught of Allied forces crushing them and forcing them back into a contunuous retreat until their commander in chief took his own life, so Satan's minions continue to attack and resist the inevitable defeat tey will suffer at the hands of the believers in Jesus's Name.
Allied soldiers died between D-Day and the surrender in 1945. The never tasted the vistory their deaths had won. But they knew it was secured.
After the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, the surrender was immediate and absolute. Not so in Europe. The battle raged on for almost a year and thousands more died.
So it is for us as Christians.
Easter Day, the Resurrection was our D-Day. Jesus stormed the gates of Hell and took captive Death and vanquished Sin.
But the battle rages on.
We fight habitual sin every day. We are in a contant war which ends only when the Enemy finally surrenders on the Last Day. We know from Revelation that this day will come. We can be certain of the promise.
We can be trained by the greatest Commander of all time, Jesus Christ Himself to fight with His strength in our arm.
But be not deceived - the war rages on around you, even as you read this. Even as I write it.
Our lives are still in danger from persecution, from the insidious and pervasive nature of the enemy's weapons to distract us from the Truth of the Fulness of the Gospel. He may not e able to prevent us from accepting Christ, but if he can prevent us receiving the fulness of the victory then that's a close second.
The Gospel is "GOOD NEWS"
What's good news to someone dying of cancer? What would good news be to someone financially destitute? What is the good news for someone trapped by abusive spouses or sexuallt molested children?
It doesn't have to be this way.
Good News: You can be freed from this situation - NOW!
In Exodus, the plague of frogs fills Egypt and Pharoah calls Moses to ask him to remove the plague. Moses response is interesting, and profound: "Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray to the Lord to take the frogs away from me and my people, and I will let your people go to offer sacrifices to the Lord.” Moses said to Pharaoh, “I leave to you the honor of setting the time for me to pray for you and your officials and your people that you and your houses may be rid of the frogs, except for those that remain in the Nile.” “Tomorrow,” Pharaoh said.Moses replied, “It will be as you say, so that you may know there is no one like the Lord our God. The frogs will leave you and your houses, your officials and your people; they will remain only in the Nile.”" (Exodus 8:8-11)
"Tomorrow" say Pharoah. Why not "NOW"? Anther night of warfare against a plague of frogs.
We do the same. We fight because we don't surrender the strongholds in our hearts.
D-Day has gone. We have the Victory. Live Holy lives and kick the frogs out!
But we fight. We battle. We struggle.
We have something my Grandfather didn't have. We have the authority to command the victory in our Spiritual life. Grandpa had to fight to Berlin and take the city by force. We have the honour of following the commander who has already marched in and destroyed the enemy's power.
We will meet resistance. We will be scarred. Battles are ugly things, and we will be hurt and betrayed. The German spies didn't quit after D-Day. Neither do Satan's minions.
We must remain dressed for battle, but fight knowing we are coming from a place of unstoppable Victory.
So what if you're broke right now? Or sickness is in your body?
We have the Victory. By His stripes we are Healed. He has provised all we need in His riches in Glory.
Realise it. Learn it.
Fight for it. With every breath you have.
And in the words of Winston Churchill "Never give up. Never Give up. Never!"
Fight on in Jesus's Name. And never, ever give up.