Monday, June 11, 2012

You are behind enemy lines!

But understand this, that in the last days will come  perilous times of great stress and trouble, hard to deal with and hard to bear. 2 Timothy 3:1 Amplified

Our current world is in turmoil. We are facing worldwide economic collapse, a coming war in the Middle East, the possibility of terrorist attacks, job loss, the disintegration of the family, cultural depravity, and natural disasters.   God warned us about such things, and He even said they would get worse.  But we, as His children, do not need to run around panicking and worrying and complaining like the rest of the world.  Yes, we will be hit by some of these things. We may lose our jobs, may lose our homes, may lose a loved one in a war, may become deathly ill, may even be a victim of terror.  (How's that for the prosperity gospel?)

Why? Why does God allow such horrible things to happen to His children? I was asking Him this very thing the other day and He answered me quite clearly. He said, "My children are behind enemy lines."

I saw a movie some years ago called "Behind Enemy Lines."  It was about this navy pilot who was shot down in Serbia (I think), which was deep in enemy territory. He was all alone with no one to help, but he knew if he could just make it to this one rendezvous spot, the US Navy would rescue him. Trouble was, it wasn't very close by. During the entire movie, we watch him trek across this horrid war zone, trying to evade the enemy. He is caught, beaten, tortured. He is hungry, thirsty, cold, exhausted, injured, with no where to lay his head. But there's one thing that keeps him going. One thing that gives him hope and peace in the midst of all his struggles. He trusts in his commanding officer to be at that spot to rescue him.

Folks, we are behind enemy lines. This world is a war zone and belongs to our enemy.  Why then do we expect it to be a bed of roses?  Why do we complain so much when things go wrong? You have been shot down by the enemy and you are surrounded. But unlike the pilot in the movie, you are not alone. God is with you. His Holy Spirit empowers you, and He's sent an angelic escort to protect you!

So, what are you to do? What is your job? 
To follow His instructions to the rendezvous point and to bring as many people along with you as you can.

But you must trust that God will be there with open arms or you will falter along the way. You'll lose your hope  when the enemy captures you temporarily or you are injured, hungry, or cold. Without that trust in your commander, you will get angry and worried and lose your peace.

The Apostle Paul knew what it was like to live behind enemy lines:
In 2 Corinthians 11, he describes just a few of his experiences as he traveled through enemy territory
  • Given forty lashes 5 times
  • Beaten with Rods 3 times
  • Stoned to near death once
  • Shipwrecked at sea three times
  • Spent 24 hours adrift at sea
  • Perils from rivers, bandits, from the Jews, from the Gentiles.
  • Perils in the city in the desert, at sea, from counterfiet Christians
  • Hardship
  • Sleepless nights
  • Hunger and thirst
  • Cold and exposure
  • Lacking in clothing

Still in Philippians 4, he said,
I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency.

In another letter, he added.
. . .I am positively persuaded that He is able to guard and keep that which has been entrusted to me and which I have committed to Him until that day. 2 Tim 1:12

Paul knew his Commander. He knew Him personally and He trusted Him with his life. Paul finally made his way to the rendezvous point, enduring the trials along the way.. He suffered much. Fought the good fight and ended up with a victorious life and a glorious eternity.

I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race, I have kept (firmly held) the faith. 2 Tim 4:7.  

How could he do this? Because He trusted His commander to see him through.

God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9

So, don't give up! Don't fear. Don't worry. Keep going. Keep heading toward the rendezvous point! Your savior awaits you with open arms!


  1. Mon June 11th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    Another terrific post ... and "timely Word in due season" !
    What a reminder -- that we are behind 'enemy lines'. "For now" anyway ... satan must be having a hay-day ... as he stirs things up and watches God's children -- suffering, discouraged, depressed, frightened, shot-down, trodden upon, and fearful of 'what' tomorrow will bring. But only ... "for now".
    Because, we DO have a glorious hope and calling ... we KNOW what the ending of this story will be !Our life is but a vapour. Our Senior Pastor was always saying: "This too shall pass", and I've held on to those words many a time (when going through difficulties).
    Love the final picture you chose ... of the Lord Jesus welcoming and bear-hugging His child "Home" !!! So, I press on, "knowing" that my Saviour awaits for me ... yes, with open arms !!! Praise the Lord !!!
    Thanks MaryLu ... truly, for these great truths and reminders !!!
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. Very inspiring post and so true!Thoughts like these often keep me going in the thick of the war. Couldn't help thinking though...what happens if there's a traitor in your midst? Or your fellow warriors don't care about getting to the rendezvous point and discourage or distract you? Happens all the time, and while you can still go on by yourself, it makes life doubly hard!

  3. Such a tremendous devotion, Marylu! And so, so true. Your articles often bring tears to my eyes because they seem to "hit the nail on the head." Thank you for your faithfulness in writing posts for others to enjoy and learn from!

  4. Amen, MaryLu! No matter what happens to us in this sin infested land, God still wins. He is the victor! And thanks for that reminder of some of the troubles Paul faced. Makes my issues look pretty pathetic when you compared the two!

  5. Amen, Brenda!! This too shall pass. I just started reading Job this morning so this post really fit. What a battle that poor saint endured!

    Diane.. good point about traitors and other warriors who try to discourage you.. A few come to mind in my own life! They only make it harder, right? We can try and encourage them to come along, but in the end, we must keep moving with or without them. It does make things much harder.... which means our reward is much bigger!

    Glad you were blessed, Tammy!

    Emma, yes indeed. God wins! It's so comforting to know that.

  6. Hi MaryLu! This was an awesome devotional and very timely. What a perfect way of putting it - "behind enemy lines." We most certainly are but we know how the war ends, Amen? My prayer is that I'll stay standing in Christ in these last days. To make sure not a day goes by without the whole armor of God on my spirit man. To stay in the Word and in constant communion with Christ - we won't make it any other way. God had an awesome quote come across my path again the other day by Eric Ludy in his book, "Wrestling Prayer" and I think it goes well here:

    "We mustn't claim to stand for our King but then deny Him by living a fleshly existence. Our King's Mighties don't shy away from the blazing searchlight of God's Word, but rather, willingly expose their souls and cry, 'Dear King, if there be anything that stands between You and me, if there be anything that shrouds Your glory, if there be anything that will weaken my sword in battle, purge it, slay it, utterly destroy it."

    In the book Eric goes on to remind us that God's people and David's mighty men in the Old Testament were surrounded by hostile territories. They were "behind enemy line!" Only through Christ we will do valiantly BUT we have to remain in Him... even when everything in this world today works together to tear you away from His side.

    Thank you for sharing this, MaryLu! It is a most needed reminder to God's people for today.


  7. Amanda, excellent point! Wrestling prayer sounds like a great book. I often feel like I'm wrestling when I pray. And yes.. everything in this world seems to be trying to keep me from fellowship with God. Thanks for sharing this with us!