More than 10 years ago, with the buildup of forces in the Middle East under Operation Dessert Storm, quite a number of National Guard units were called into active duty. After few weeks of intensive training in desert welfare, they were sent to Saudi Arabia, prepared for combat. It was assumed that these men and women were ready to die for their country.
That's what is so puzzling about a news item I read during the buildup. It told about a man who had been in a National Guard unit for 7 years, but who refused to report for duty when his outfit was called. It turns out, he says, that he has been against war all along. He never thought he'd be called on for actual combat, with the prospect of facing a real enemy with live bullets. So he decided not to report. His case was heard by a military tribunal, and he was sentenced to jail for refusing to obey orders.
He reminds me of more than a few Christians. They are willing to serve the Lord faithfully every weekend among friends. They'll stay true to Him as long as things are going well. But as soon as the going gets rough, as soon as they're put in any kind of personal danger, they back out. They will take no risks or abuse for their faith. "I didn't think it would come to this," they say.
Dietrich Benhoffer, one of the few pastors in Nazy Germany who stood up against Hitler, wrote, "When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die." That's what it means to take up our cross, to lose our lives so that we can save our lives. No backing out for those in the army of the Lord. No running away.
Following the example of Christ Himself, let us be willing to "come and die" in our battle with the world, the flesh, and the devil.
- To identify with Christ's cross is to identify with His death. if that were to put me in danger, what would I do ?
- Have I left myself a "back door" in my commitment to following Christ ? Do I plan to stick with Him only as long as He makes life easier ?
Read : Mark 8 : 27 - 9 : 1
Meditate : Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me and for the gospel will save it. Mark 8 : 35
If you were worth dying for, Jesus is worth living for.
Thank you, you've just read a reflection on "Come and Die". Think back to the word of God, and understand His work in your life. May this be a blessing in your life as well.