I am a history buff. I love reading biographies of those who have lived in the past. I love reading about the World Wars. There is just something about gaining a perspective about how our freedoms have been won through the sacrifice of many who have fought bravely for our country.
I recently have been watching a documentary called, Band of Brothers, which dramatizes the history of Easy Company (part of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division) from jump training in the U.S. to fighting in Europe to Japan’s capitulation and the war’s end.
There was one thing that one of the men in the documentary said that spoke volumes to me. He said:
“Losing a fight doesn’t mean you have lost the war.”
As I have watched the battle scenes, there were times that it seemed as if they were defeated. As they fought in terrible conditions, as they say their friends die on the battle field, my heart grew weary for the men, but the interesting thing is they didn’t quit. When the weather was unbearable, they didn’t resign. Again, when their buddies got blown to pieces, they didn’t give up. Were they disheartened? Was it a struggle?
They had a goal in mind and that was to defeat the enemy-the Germans and then the Japanese. They didn’t allow one defeat to determine their next steps. They had to continually look at the goal in the midst of hardship. Their one defeat did not mean they had lost the whole war.
I fear that there are too many Christians who have allowed one defeat in life to cause them to hang it up, to feel as if they are not capable.
- One defeat that causes us to not get back up because life is too difficult.
- One defeat to become spiritually lazy.
- One defeat that questions God.
- One defeat to turn to the world.
- One defeat to say He’s not worth it.
- One defeat to keep our eyes off the prize.
- One defeat to determine our lack of worth.
What defeat has left you wounded and still on the ground? What has paralyzed you from doing what God wants you to do? I think at one time or another, as my friend Cory says, and I agree, that in varying moments we are all guilty of quitting the war because we lost the fight. There are times that one defeat keeps my eyes off the prize.
Even with this, I have to be reminded that the war has already been won.
“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” 1 Corinthians 15:54-58
So, how does one continue in the battle until the war is over (when Jesus returns)?
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” Hebrews 12:1,2