On June 6th 1944, one of the most pivotal moments in all of human history happened. One hundred and sixty thousand men attacked a beach in France with many being thrown into water 10 feet deep with heavy packs only to wade ashore walking into machine gun fire, barbed wire, and mines The goal was to liberate mainland Europe, or better yet “humanity,” from what is universally regarded as one of the most purely evil organizations ever— Hitler’s Nazi regime.
Why did the allies eventually succeed in storming the beach despite tactical blunders, a failed bombardment, and no strategic positions. Well, there were simply too many well supplied courageous people willing to walk into machine gun fire for the enemy forces to shoot down. What does this have to do with a “quiet” website whose focus is on prayer, bible study, and journaling. Well, last time I read the book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul tells us we are in a spiritual battle.
Here are three comparisons between our spiritual battle and the landing at D Day:
Ultimate Victory is Assured: Yes, the landing at D-day had to occur. And yes, we have a very real and important battle against evil right now. The Allied forces were able to win because they were stronger in arms, supply, and motivation that the weakening German forces. Our enemy is not strong enough to defeat his own creator. And Jesus has already won the ultimate victory against evil on the cross. But the “Prince of this World” is allowed a “brief” reign, and we see the pain and suffering of it everywhere.
The enemy really is evil but most of the individuals are not. If you grew up in Germany or Poland at the time and you were just a normal person, you could have easily well been the one firing down on the good guys storming the beach. It doesn’t excuse their actions and many noble people resisted, but let’s not think we are so wonderful we would have necessarily done something different. In some ways, our task is a very odd one. We have the task of disarming evil and influence of the “Prince of this World” by helping rescue those who are fighting against us.
You matter probably more than you think. It is important to remember that not everyone who hit the beach in Normandy made it to the top of the hill. There were many who stepped on mines, drowned, and were killed by machine gun fire. But if everyone hadn’t been willing to hit the beach, the Allies never could have won. Maybe think of things this way. The attack on church A could be taking our enemies attention away from organization B and church C allowing it to more easily to establish a beachhead. (The devil is not omnipotent.) This is why we should be very weary of pride. You may have made it to the top of the hill because someone else took a bullet for you getting out of the landing transport. (John 4:38)
For a lot of us, our battle is not a physical one. It is one for our hearts and minds. And in the western world, it may be a battle of resistance against the trappings over overwhelming affluence and worldliness that distracts us from God and his importance to what is temporary and fleeting. We are eternally grateful for the soldiers who gave their lives at D-Day but let us take advantage of what they gave us. That is an opportunity to fight evil, by living quiet lives as Paul directs in the book of Thessalonians, and delivering the good news or Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world.