I saw a movie recently that told the story of 12 U.S. Special Forces soldiers who were some of the first responders sent into Afghanistan after the bombing of the World Trade Centers in 2011. I have always been drawn to the military and serving the country. Although I did not enlist and serve myself, several of my family members have served in the Army. I love the idea of serving and laying down one’s life for something greater than one’s self. To me, it is one of the most honorable acts that a human can do. For that I am and will forever be truly grateful.
But let’s go back to that movie for a second. There is a scene in the movie where the captain of the 12-man unit is laying out a strategic plan to flank the enemy in a location where many of their weapons and man power was funneled. The mission, however, would mean that the soldiers would be out of range from any cover, have almost zero GPS communication capabilities, and be very far from access to food or water. Essentially, the captain was explaining that the mission was highly likely to result fatally. After the captain explained the plan he told his men that he couldn’t make any of them do it because of how risky it was and how unlikely it would be to return back to the base. He looked around at his men, waiting for three volunteers who would be willing to lay their life down in hopes of thwarting the enemy’s progression. No one volunteered. But what happened next was so much more powerful to me. As he waited for three to volunteer, one of his soldiers said, “Captain, just give the order.” The captain then gave the order to that soldier and two others to carry out the mission. The soldiers responded saying, “Nothing I’d rather do; I thought you’d never ask!” Their willingness to serve on a moment’s notice with zero hesitation and with excitement was inspiring.
Where am I going with all of this? As Christians, shouldn’t our willingness to serve Christ and go where He leads be the same as those soldiers? At the end of Matthew 28, Jesus tells his disciples to go to all nations proclaiming the Good News. It wasn’t a request. It was an order. It was a charge. But why are we so hesitant to obey the order? Jesus is our Captain isn’t He? He promised us that He is with us always, to the very end of the age.
Whether you want to admit it to yourself or not, we are in a battle. As Christians, our battle is not against flesh and blood like those soldiers faced but our battle is against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. We must fight! We must put on the belt of truth buckled around our waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place. We must fit our feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. We must take up the shield of faith with which we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. We must put on the helmet of salvation and wield the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Walk confidently in this, that before we even spoke a word the Lord was already singing over us. Before we even took your first breath, the Lord breathed His life into us. He has equipped us with everything we need to fight. Let’s walk in victory into the fight. Let’s be like those soldiers eagerly awaiting the order to be given so that we can go forth into battle!
My hope and prayer is that the Lord will touch our hearts and give us a spirit of serving and in doing so I pray that our response to His calling and leading would be “Nothing I’d rather do; I thought you’d never ask!”