“For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.”
Philippians 1:20-24 – NLT
I read about D-Day. I read it probably 15-20 years ago. The details have faded but i remember some of it. The assault on Omaha beach was not going well. For various reasons most of the men from the first wave were dead. A machine gunner In a pill box on the top of the hill was shooting up everything that moved.
5 men avoided the German marksman and yet found each other, they had survived the massacre. They found a spot out his gunsights and devised a plan the take out his pill box. Two men would be positioned to lay down suppressive fire while another man would attempt to climb the hill. One of the two to lay down suppressive fire was Mac Smith. He had already been shot in the head and face. Part of his skull was missing but he was somehow still conscious and coherent. The group told him he could sit this one out but he insisted on doing whatever he could as long as he could. “I’m dead already, I may as well keep fighting until I can’t anymore.” (I paraphrased him).
This is the attitude I want to have. It is the way Paul lived his life. Our battle is not against flesh and blood and we don’t fight using rifles and grenades but we fight against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Our weapons are prayer and the word of God. (Ephesians 6)
The assault on the pill box was semi successful. The officer that climbed the hill made it to the top. Unfortunately The German machine gunner got out and escaped. But his rain of bullets was stopped. In the morning they found Mac Smith slumped over his rifle dead. He had been shot several more times but continued fighting until he breathed his last.
Paul says this about our conduct: “Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.”
Philippians 1:27-30 – NLT
The privilege of knowing Jesus brings the privilege of suffering for him.
Please forgive any inaccuracies in my retelling of D-day. The message is there, whether I live or die, I’ll keep moving forward advancing the kingdom for Jesus. My citizenship is no longer a citizen of earth, I am headed home, home to heaven and to my family there. I should behave like a citizen of there, not of here. My rules are to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and love love my neighbor as I love myself.
And when I fail, I ask for forgiveness and I am forgiven and cleansed.