Warfare that counts
DO NOT LOVE THE THINGS THAT ARE IN THE WORLD
He married, and took his beautiful bride to a foreign country, which I cannot name, because they’re still working there. They settled in a valley that had no roadsyou trekked in and out.
They lived on the same food the locals ate, with the occasional taste of “home” they carried by backpack. They began to learn the language and the culture, with the goal being to eventually translate the New Testament into a language that had never before been written down. Soon their children spoke the local language well. In time, a road came into the valley, and a few years later the drug lords arrived.
The locals had a choiceeither grow marijuana (MJ) between their corn for unheard of amounts of cash, or die. They always chose the former. After a few years the colonel of the provincial military base “invited” Bob to his offi ce for “an interview”. He bluntly informed him that he knew that Bob knew who was growing MJ in the valley, and he wanted the names of the farmers. Bob looked the colonel in the eye for several seconds, then said, “Colonel, let me ask you a question. If they kill me for telling you the information you want, will you promise me that you will come into the valley and spend the rest of your life translating the Bible for those people?”
“Don’t be ridiculous” the colonel sneered, and then, as calm as a man in combat can be, Bob said, “In that case, Colonel, I’ll make you a deal. You do your job, and I’ll do mine.”
The colonel smiled probably for more than one reason. Perhaps because he recognised a brave man when he saw one, but there was another reason. Not long after the “interview” Bob learned that the colonel was one of the largest growers of MJ in the province. In trying to discover his competition he learned that day that Bob would not be telling anyone, anything. Indeed, Bob may have saved his life and his life’s work by just saying, “NO” to drugs.
You will never read about Bob and his still beautiful wife in any newspaper, unless something goes seriously wrong; and probably not even then. They have invested their lives in a small group of despised, diffi cult, and drunken heathen men and women who have largely rejected them and their message for over 25 years, yet, there are a few believers. Through medical work they have saved the lives of children who have grown up to persecute them and the believers. They don’t have churches full of happy Christians, and yet their faith is unshaken. I’m reading lots of “feel good” articles these days about the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I don’t want to take anything away from themthey do deserve our prayers. But, all things considered, not one of them displays the commitment to the Kingdom with their guns and boots that Bob and his family demonstrate in that lonely jungle valley with their laptop computer and their malaria and their little clinic as they try to save a few lives and introduce a few souls to a new kingdom. Kingdom warfare is for eternity.Sure, they could use some encouragement
and they would love to have someone praying for them daily. But just as important, you can use their example to help teach your Sunday school class, or children in your family, that some wars are more important than others, and instead of glorifying soldiers who are armed to the teeth, our children need to be preparing their hearts and minds to live, and die if necessary, for the Kingdom of God.
Appeared in Issue 13.1 CETF 39 MARCH 2007
"...contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" -- Jude v3