The recent blockbuster movie Hacksaw Ridge chronicles the life of a conscientious objector during World War II who, nonetheless, would not be deterred from serving his country.
Despite his convictions as a self-described “conscientious cooperator,” Desmond Doss still felt called to enlist. But he wanted to stay true to his faith, which led him to not carry arms.
Although he suffered much for his beliefs and for taking a stand for the Lord, it did not deter him from loving his men as Christ loved them. On more than one occasion he bravely risked his life so that others might live. And for his sacrificially gallant service to his men, Doss was awarded our nation’s highest award—the Medal of Honor—while never bearing arms nor firing a single shot.
In my last article, I highlighted the three main points of the Daniel 11:32 verse: know God, stand firm, take action. I identified the critical aspect of knowing your God, which has two main truths to it: He created us and knows us, and He seeks us and sent His Son that we may know Him. The Creator of all wants us to know Him!
In this post, I am highlighting stand firm. Because Private Doss knew his Lord, every moment of every day he stood firm on who he was in Christ, and that dictated his behavior toward others. Doss’ stand took a great deal of courage: physical, emotional, intellectual, social, moral—and above all, spiritual.
So, what is courage? Most of us are familiar with the popular definition: “The ability to do something that frightens one.” The word courage actually comes from the Old French word corage and from Latin cor, both of which mean “heart.” By combining these meanings we derive what I believe is a truer definition:
Being motivated from the heart to do something brave.
Scripture goes on to tell us: “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong” (1 Cor. 16:13, New Living Translation).
While it might seem strange to talk about displaying courage in everyday life, I am convinced that being and acting as a Christian today, as well as integrating your faith into your family life and profession, does take tremendous courage against the drastically changing landscape of today’s society. And the best place to start is in your own life and within your family. As proclaimed in Joshua 24:15, which is one of my life verses, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Being a Christian takes tremendous courage against the changing landscape of today’s society.
What does that look like today? How are you courageously standing firm personally and in your family? Are you modeling an integrated life of faith, family, and profession to your family, those around you personally, and in the workplace? Consider these points:
- Do you have a daily quiet time, where you search Scripture and go before God’s throne to pray?
- Do you have someone in your life to hold you accountable?
- Does your family engage in Bible reading, prayer, and a daily devotional?
- Are you involved in corporate worship?
- Do you seek out Christian fellowship opportunities?
- Is your professional competence such that it draws others to seek you out for insight?
I have been blessed by many of you through your stories of struggle and triumph as you serve our nation and the Lord. Several have expressed the challenges of standing firm when you feel isolated and perhaps asked to carry out policies that go counter to your beliefs. I encourage you to engage with others in fellowship, either personally or virtually, and I invite you to attend one of OCF’s two conference centers—White Sulphur Springs in Pennsylvania or Spring Canyon in Colorado—where you will feel connected, get immersed in God’s Word, and have plenty of time to reflect, refresh, and be prepared for your return to your family and workplace.
“Two people can resist an attack that would defeat one person alone. A rope made of three cords is hard to break” (Eccl. 4:12, Good News Translation).
I leave you with this quote from Private Doss:
“I wasn’t trying to be a hero. I was thinking about it from this standpoint—in a house on fire and a mother has a child in that house, what prompts her to go in and get that child? Love. I loved my men, and they loved me. I don’t consider myself a hero. I just couldn’t give them up, just like a mother couldn’t give up the child.” He added, “I just kept asking, ‘Lord, please help me get just one more man.’”
May we all have the courage, the heart, to stand firm and show the love of Christ to all those around us.
About David Warner
Brig. Gen. David B. Warner, USAF (Ret.), and his wife, Lori, are the Executive Director couple of Officers’ Christian Fellowship. They assumed the position in August 2010, after retiring a month earlier from the United States Air Force out of Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. He is currently serving on the board of the Christian Service Charities, and as an advisory council mentor for Faith Comes By Hearing. David and Lori live in Monument, Colorado, and have two married daughters, Brittney (Andrew) and Ashley (Chris). In their spare time, David and Lori enjoy spending time with their four grandkids.