This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NLT)
This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. (2 Timothy 1:6-8 NLT)
Not long ago I was watching a show on the Discovery Channel about divers that specialize in underwater repairs. It started, I think, with a group of Navy divers who were trained to make emergency repairs. These divers had to leave the comfort and safety of the ship to do their job, job that many lives depended upon. It was cold, dangerous work but so very necessary to the fleet, especially during war-time.
We are in a war today: a spiritual war. And as much today as any time in history disciples of Jesus Christ are under attack. The attacks come from all angles, all places, from where we, often, are least likely to look or think about. Like the specialists divers, there are times when we need to leave the comfort and safety of our “boats” and get in the water. Just like those Naval divers, we have to go to the problem even if it’s out of our comfort zone and address it directly. The cargo and supplies and people the Navy protect are very important. But the eternal cost of the lives that our enemy is assailing are so, so much more important.
In this New Year, I pray that we all, the Church, will find the courage, the desire, and the drive to get out of the boat and do the job at hand. The cost of not doing so is just too high to bare.