Today, June 6th, is the 75th anniversary of Operation Overlord, code named D-Day, the Allied invasion of northern France.
The assault began at daybreak when Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower gave the go-ahead for the largest amphibious military operation in history.
By the end of the day, 155,000 American, British and Canadian troops had successful stormed Normandy’s beaches and were able to push inland. While many were wounded and died, the campaign was ultimately successful. And within three months, northern France would be freed and the Allied forces would enter Germany.
The heroism, courage, and devotion to duty displayed by the Allied troops deserve our utmost respect and genuine gratitude.
However, as important as that campaign was, there is another war that is being waged today that is even more serious. It is the battle for the souls of men and women, boys and girls. Our families are under attack. Our values are being belittled. Our Christian faith is ridiculed. But, “In times like these, it’s helpful to remember,” as the late Paul Harvey put it, “that there have always been times like these.”
So, the Bible rings with multiple metaphors of war, and of Christians courageously arising to fight our spiritual foes.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Eph 6:10-12).
In a culture today that detests war and will settle for peace at any price, these images are unpopular. Even in religious circles. Some churches have deleted from the hymn books songs like “Onward, Christian Soldiers” that mention warfare.
Yet, the war is real. The enemy is engaged. And the battle is being brought to our very family rooms. Satan and his minions mean business. In the past 50-60 years the basic moral values of Western civilization based on Biblical principles have gradually been eroding. Through racy TV shows, raunchy movies and licentious literature, humanistic and hedonistic influences have been promoted and popularized in our culture. Years ago I remember older preachers saying that we were “slouching toward Sodom.” Now it seems that we’re moving at warp speed.
Our iPhones, iPads, the internet, and 24-hour cable news bring everything good and bad into our homes and minds immediately. There’s little time to filter anything. And our public educational institutions are not helping as they promote a liberal, secular, anti-Christian agenda. If we’re not careful, the precious, pliable minds of our children and grandchildren are soon corrupted by the onslaught of Satan’s mischievous, immoral message.
A recent Gallup poll on Americans’ views regarding 21 moral issues is sad, but not surprising anymore. While some progress is being made in the fight against abortion, 42% still believe taking the unborn baby’s life is morally acceptable. 71% believe that sex between an unmarried man and woman is okay. And 63% believe that homosexual relationships are morally right.
The call to “fight the good faith” (1 Tim. 6:12) has never been more important or sorely needed than now. Of course, the “weapons of our warfare are not carnal” (2 Cor 10:4), but spiritual.
Let’s not get sidetracked by minor issues, personal opinions or fighting each over petty problems. Let’s realize some things are non-negotiable. Truth cannot be compromised under the guise of love. Biblical moral values are unchanging, regardless of what society says. And eternal principles given by God supersede our cultural tolerance toward sin.
Preachers, pastors, and parents, let’s clothe ourselves with God’s spiritual armor. Protect yourself with the breastplate of righteousness. Take the shield of faith to deflect Satan’s darts. And courageously wield the sword of the Spirit.
While it sometimes may seem like Satan is winning, the Bible assures us that God’s cause will ultimately be victorious. You’re not alone. Our Commander, Christ Jesus, leads the way. And you’re surrounded by many courageous Christians soldiers.
Arise! Be strong. Stand firm. And keep marching forward.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman