By Darlene Melcher

“Randy, courage is a decision. We may or may not be born with it, but it is certain that if we do not apply it, it will never be real. Come, we’ll go together.” ~ Doors of Destiny

It’s more than two hours before my alarm will sound, but I know I must get up. The only way I can explain why I’m awake is to say that this is just what you do in a war. In a war you get up out of a warm bed and go to battle, no matter the hour. Not because you want to, but because that’s what your Captain expects. I write to call all Christians to arms!

My husband and I recently watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy (again), and right now the last battle scene is playing on the screen of my mind. The remnant of good men and elves are taking a stand before the Black Gate. As the scene unfolds, the enemy pours from the gate and begins to completely surround the defenders of Middle Earth. The movie’s aerial perspective shows the clear line between the surrounding enemy and the brave warriors. Once again, good and evil are face to face, with the fate of countless numbers hanging in the balance.

After watching an epic battle like the aforementioned one, I notice a longing in my husband’s eyes. He even commented to me that he thinks he would look pretty good in armor! He wonders if maybe he was born in the wrong era, too far removed from battles of honor and courage.

But to Christians everywhere, I submit this—you have not missed the war. It rages all around you. Today there is armor to be worn and a sword to wield. The battle is real, and there is a seething enemy to slay. There are families and futures, homes and happiness, and the fate of all that is good depending on the outcome. This great need cries out for your bravery, your courage, and your willingness to fight. And like the battle for Middle Earth at the Black Gate, you are surrounded.

“And where is this battle, and who is this enemy?” I almost hear you asking the question. The battle is all around you; sometimes visible, but many times unseen. It is a battle in the spiritual realm. A fight for the landscapes of your hearts and the territory of your minds, for the places that belong to righteousness, to God, and to your families.

And who is the enemy? The temptations for self-gratification, and those spirit beings who have fallen. Please do not sigh and turn away as if I have gotten your hopes up only to disappoint you with intangible words and ideas.

The battle is real. Just because you can’t hear the cries for help, or the grunting enemy, or the clash of swords with your ears doesn’t mean there is no fight. And yes, you are surrounded; you are bombarded by temptations everywhere you turn. No place is unaffected; your home, your office, your car and even your church can be places of attack. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world” (1 Jn. 2:16).armor

You can refuse to believe the war is real, like  Lord Denethor in Lord of the Rings. You can try to hide away and ignore the reality of threat. The enemy, however, is not so deluded. It both creeps and brazenly marches right to your gate, and intends to breach your walls and destroy everything in sight. You cannot avoid this battle by ignoring it—war is at hand. The fight is good because it is a fight against sin, bondage and the father of lies. The fight is good because our weapons are prayer, the Word of God, love, and self-sacrifice. The fight is Good because Christ has already won. Forgiveness is the victory that overcomes our sin.

Someday Jesus will unleash His power to destroy all evil once and for all. The victory is secure. But for the moment, the fight and some questions remain. Two of those questions are: which among us will be numbered among the victors, and what rewards will our Captain bestow? When the smoke clears and the dust settles, we will see the results: those who chose to stand and fight and those who were swept away. So fight the good fight! Put your heart, time and energy into a battle worth fighting for, a victory worth winning. You were not born too late, but for such a time as this. Fight for the King, for honor, for your families—FIGHT!

Excerpt from Doors of Destiny Traveler’s Companion.