Uncommon Valor, A Common Virtue

We stood in line for three hours to tour the White House. It was cold, rainy, and miserable. But it was worth it. We walked from the Wash­ington monument to the Lincoln Me­morial. We were hungry, tired, and sore. But it was worth it.

We got lost trying to find the Iwo Jima memorial. We missed the exit, took wrong turns, and had to turn around fourteen times. But it was worth it. That statue of the sol­diers raising the Ameri­can can flag made the hair stand up on the back on my neck. It still does. What I remem­ber most was the inscription written at the bottom, describing the courage and character of those Marines. “Uncommon valor was a common vir­tue.”

We are soldiers at war. The army of God is engaged in a conflict with heavenly forces commanded by the devil himself. And it can be very discouraging to look around and see what we’re up against. We’re fighting the entertainment industry, the corpo­rate world, political or­ganizations, even the schools and the homes. The Christian seems to be the underdog, vastly out­numbered, losing many of our own to the other side. How can we maintain our and fortitude; can uncommon valor be our common virtue?

Look to your Leader. Don’t ever forget who’s fighting for you. When you are with God, it’s the other side that’s mismatched and outnumbered.

No matter how big the opposition, it is never bigger than Him. As the song suggests, “whoever in the strength of Jesus trusts is more than conqueror.” We’re with the majority, and the battle belongs to the Lord.

Inspect your arms. Too many of us are afraid to go and fight because we are unfamiliar with the sword of the Spirit, the word of God. How can it be “living and active” (Heb. 4:12) when we never take it out of its sheath? The words will come alive off of the page when you see them in action, when you see them at work. If you want to “fight the good fight” with all boldness, learn to wield your sword effectively.

Keep good company. We need each other. No matter how much our world tries to sell independence, we need the strength of our fellowship. We must constantly remind one another to “be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, and be strong” (1 Cor. 16:13). When we surround ourselves with peo­ple who are striving against the same forces, then we can draw from a com­mon Source and conquer any enemy to­gether.

Remember the battle plan. The difference between our conflict and wars among nations is that the final outcome has already been deter­mined. Jesus describes hell as a place “prepared for the devil and his an­gels” (Matt. 25:41). Satan will be overthrown, his army defeated, and all those who have pledged their allegiance to him will be cast into this eternal pit of destruction. He may be the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31) but not of the next one.

It made me proud to be an American when I saw the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, and Arlington National Cemetery. It humbled me to think that I was walking and standing where many of our nation’s heroes have walked and stood. But my ulti­mate thrill will be to stand where Je­sus is now standing, at the throne of His Father. It will be for Him to rec­ognize me as a soldier of His cross who no longer has to wait for His crown. There, the unknown will be known, the uncommon will be com­mon. - Bubba Garner

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