We run our website the way we wished the whole internet worked: we provide high quality original content with no ads. We are funded solely by your direct support. Please consider supporting this project.

normandy

Vacationing in a War Zone

Suppose a family decided to go on vacation to a nice cabin on a beautiful shore in a distant country. This vacationing family naturally wanted to tune out the problems of the world, indulge themselves, relax and enjoy life and each other as much as possible. This is simply what families do on vacation.

Now imagine that the place this family chose to vacation was Normandy Beach in France and the date their vacation began was June 5, 1944. They would not have known that this spot would be center stage to the most important and one of the most ferocious battles found during the second World War and that it was about to begin the very next day.

Imagine this family waking the next morning to the sounds of guns and bombs all around them. Suddenly a captain of the U.S. forces knocks on the door and informs them of their situation, and then he explains how their cabin and their assistance is needed to give shelter and care for wounded soldiers. The family responds by explaining how they are on vacation and that they need to rest and relax so that they can enjoy their time away. They want to tune out the problems of the world, indulge themselves, and enjoy life. While this attitude was perfectly acceptable on June 5, 1944, would it not be completely unacceptable on June 6? The attitude that is appropriate when one is on vacation is utterly inappropriate when one is caught in the crossfire of a war.

This analogy applies to those of us who live in America and who have committed our lives to following Jesus as our Lord. Most in our culture have bought into a vacation mindset with a vengeance. It’s called “the American Dream.” We are conditioned to believe we have a right to pursue and enjoy as much of the “good life” as we possibly can. We are indoctrinated to crave as much comfort as possible, to acquire as many possessions as possible, and to avoid unnecessary inconveniences as much as possible. In short, we’re socialized into viewing our life as though we are on vacation.

But we’re not! As followers of Jesus, we are to understand that the earth has become the Normandy Beach of a vast cosmic conflict, and we are each called to play an important role in how it unfolds. We each have a domain of “say-so” that our Lord calls us to use to advance the wartime effort by aligning our will with his. We are called to set aside our vacation attitude and embrace the mindset of a soldier who understands that our sole call is to please our commanding officer. As Paul wrote, “No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.” (2 Tim. 2:4).

Satan is an ever-present thief who continually tries to kill, steal, and destroy all the good God wants for us (Jn. 10:10). Or, in the words of Peter, he’s an ever-present hungry lion who seizes every opportunity to prey on us (1 Pet. 5:8-9).

Do we ignore this biblical teaching because it upsets our Western vacation mindset, or perhaps because our secular outlook has trouble taking things like Satan, angels, and demons seriously? Either way, the fact of the matter is those who take following Jesus seriously must also deal with the fact that “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 the heavenly realms” (Eph 6:12).

Photo credit: PhotosNormandie via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

Related Reading

Smack Talk on the Idolatry of the Family

Ben Ponder doesn’t pull any punches in his article Idolatry of the Family. He argues that, contrary to some evangelical claims, “Jesus didn’t die on a God-forsaken cross to preserve your horn-rimmed vision of 1950s Americana.” Can a marriage or a family become an idol? Ben thinks so. What do you think? From the article:…

What the hell are we doing here?

Meet Collin Simula. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, and is a part of Central Vineyard church. He is a 30-year-old graphic designer, and a happily married father of three. Collin has spent his whole life in the Church, in every denomination imaginable, from Calvinist/Christian Reformed churches, to a Baptist high school, being a part of…

The Victory is Already Won, But Not Yet

Christ came “to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8), to disarm “the rulers and authorities” (Col 2:15), and to “destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil (Heb 2:14). The result of this victory is that he is seated on his rightful throne, the whole cosmos is…

Podcast: Is Satan Just a Copout?

Is Satan just a copout for what humans should take responsibility for? http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0101.mp3

Tags:

Black Lives Matter, the Police, and Spiritual Warfare

Christ calls us to stand for a different kind of kingdom and this requires that we think in different ways about the violence that is gripping our country. In this short clip from Greg’s sermon this last weekend, we are introduced to a different way. Listen and hear the challenge to understand the deeper reality…

Jesus Said a Lot of Weird Stuff. What If He Actually Meant it?

Our friend Shane Claiborne has a way with words (and deeds). In this article from a few years ago (sent to us by a reader: thanks Jason!) he asks the question, What if Jesus meant all that stuff? How would the rest of the world see us if we actually did what Jesus did? From the…