Summary: As Christians, we have dedicated our lives to service for the Lord.
“How To Become An Effective Christian”
BE A GOOD SOLDIER!
As his men were preparing to attack the Maeda Escarpment, a 400 foot cliff that stretched across the island of Okinawa, Lieutenant Goronto called his men together, “Fellows, come over here and gather around. Doss wants to pray for us.” Corporal Desmond Doss was a medic assigned to Company B of the 77th Division of the US Army during World War II. Doss had taken his share of ridicule from his fellow servicemen because of his religious beliefs. The army had tried to discharge him at one time because they claimed his religious beliefs made him mentally unfit to serve. Doss was resilient and faithful to the Lord as he continued to serve his country. After fierce fighting in Guam and Leyte, they found themselves in Okinawa with the daunting task of taking this 400 foot cliff that was entrenched with camouflaged enemy, tunnels, caves and enemy gun emplacements. When the order to attack had come, Doss told Lieutenant Goronto, “I believe prayer is the best life saver there is. The men should really pray before going up.” What Doss had in mind was that each soldier might want to spend some personal, private time in prayer before the attack. Nevertheless, Doss prayed for the men in his company and off they went into battle. Company A went ahead of them and reported casualties so high that they could proceed no further. So Doss and Company B were ordered to move ahead knowing that they would have to take the cliff by themselves. They engaged in fierce fighting but by the end of the day they were able to sweep across the territory and be victorious. Amazingly, not a single man from Company B was killed and only one soldier sustained wounds and they came from a falling rock hitting his hand. The next day, a follow up inquiry was made to determine how Company B had accomplished such a miraculous assault without a single casualty. No one could figure out how they had done it. Finally, with no other way to conclude the report, the official answer was filed all the way back home to the United States. The official answer was simply, “Doss prayed!”
Tertullian writes in Address to the Martyrs, “No soldier comes to the war surrounded by luxuries, nor goes into action from a comfortable bedroom, but from the makeshift and narrow tent, where every kind of hardness and severity and unpleasantness is to be found.”
John Stott writes, “Soldiers on active service do not expect a safe or easy time. They take hardship, risk, and suffering as a matter of course.”
Tonight, we continue our message series out of II Timothy on “How To Become an Effective Christian”. Tonight, we see that effectiveness as a Christian takes the dedication of a good soldier. As Christians, we have dedicated our lives to service. We have enlisted ourselves in the army of the Lord and are soldiers in a spiritual war that is ongoing all around us. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12