“War, huh, yeah,
“What is it good for
These are the lyrics of an old song by Edwin Starr. Originally recorded by The Temptations, Starr recorded it as a single in 1969.
I remember this song and the power and conviction as a whole generation protested war, especially the Vietnam war.
Those of us who were around in the sixties and seventies sang and still play a number of anti-war songs like Run through the Jungle, We gotta get out of this place, and Eve of Destruction.
Rumors of war! The book of Matthew (Matthew 24:6) tells us that these things must happen before the end of our time.
War is in the news again. A lot. And it is in the Bible too. Lots of places. Ecclesiastes 3:8 even tells us that is “a time for war and a time for peace.”
These things have caused us hurt and pain. But what if there was a war that wasn’t bad. It would be tough and hard, but it would be worth it? What if there was an invasion that was good? Can you imagine such a thing?
There’s another old song. I think Simon and Garfunkel sang it. It is called I am a rock. The refrain is “I am a rock I am an island”. It is a sad song.
But suppose there was an island full of bad and evil rulers. They did horrible things and were terrible to those who were their slaves. Evil masters are not fun.
One day those of us in safe and secure places receive a distress call from this island. “Save us! The rulers of this place treat us like slaves. They are evil masters! Help us!”
What would we do? We could ignore the call for help. We could appoint someone to go and take a look. We could ask God to send someone to help them. Or we could help these people. So, we ask God. He says go help these people.
How do we do this?
The first thing we do is have a small landing party that secures a small section of the island. It is called a beachhead. From there we can send other small parties to make inroads into the areas of strength controlled by the evil masters. Gradually we will have invaded the entire island and will have freed the slaves.
Here is where it gets personal. The island is us; you and me. We are that island. You are that island.
This idea comes from the book, “How Come it’s Taking Me so Long to Get Better,” by Lane Adams.
The beachhead is when we accept Christ. Now we are led to believe that as soon as accept Jesus, the invasion is complete. All of our evil is gone, and we are a bunch of born-again perfect saints. The Bible says we are saints but it also says we continue to work towards holiness. The odd time it appears to happen right away but for most of us it is a long and drawn out war.
Bit by bit our evil master, sin, is defeated. Gradually we become less and less a slave to sin and then one day, we are set free and are no longer a slave to sin.
Romans 8:6 sums this up when it says:
Before Christ, we let the sinful nature control our mind. We became slaves to our desires. Not just addictions either. Stuff like anger, fear, insecurity, jealousy, and pride are pretty common. Sin clutters up our mind and hardens our emotions. Jesus clears our mind and frees our emotions.
While the notion of being invaded may seem horrible, being invaded by the love of God is a good thing. The sinful nature will fight to retain control over your thoughts and your mind. Jesus sets us free from this control.
Welcome the invasion of Jesus and work towards a life of peace.
Andy Becker is a retired counselor and author of The Travelers, a fictionalized account of spiritual warfare (available on Amazon). He and his wife, Stella, lead Lighthouse Ministries which offers love, hope, and encouragement to one of Canada’s poorest and roughest neighborhoods, North Central Regina. His book, The Travelers, is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca