Establish a Beachhead as a Man

24 02 2014



This past Christmas my youngest daughter gave me the book “Guns At Last Light” By Rick Atkinson. This is the 3rd book in his trilogy on World War II in Europe.  “Guns At Last Light” starts with D-Day and goes to the end of the war. Mr. Atkinson won the Pulitzer Prize with this book and understandably so, as I am less than 200 pages into this 641 page book and his writing makes me feel like I was there.


“Beachhead” 1) a position established by invading troops on an enemy shore 2) a position gained as a secure starting point for any action.


Chapter 1 is about the invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944. The allies needed to establish 5 beachheads in order to invade Normandy. If these beachheads were not established there would be no talking the fight to the enemy. Had the Germans been successful in preventing the establishment of those beachheads, well, no telling how the war would have played out.

“Beachhead” defines our purpose as a Christian man.

In his book “Renovation of the Heart” Dallas Willard, in chapter 1 on page 15, writes;

  “T.S. Elliot once described the current human endeavor as that of finding a system of order so perfect that we will not have to be good.” The Way of Jesus tells us by contrast, that any number of systems—not all, to be sure—will work well if we are genuinely good. And we are then free to seek the better and the best.

  This impotence of “systems” is a main reason why Jesus did not send His students out to start governments or even churches as we know them today, which always strongly convey some elements of a human system. They were, instead, to establish beachheads of His person, word, and power in the midst of a failing and futile humanity. They were to bring the presence of the kingdom and its King into every corner of human life simply by fully living in the kingdom with Him.” (Italic, bold mine)

The carnage on D-Day was, for me, staggering, unimaginable, heart breaking to say the least. The courage of the allies was beyond belief in the midst of all this carnage. Their courage and steadfastness won the day and the war. Too often we/I forget that we are at war. The carnage of this war, spiritual war, while not as bloody or gruesome as D-Day, (perhaps), can still be seen.  Broken families, addictions, hopelessness, pornography, sexual assault, abortion, shootings, and on and on and on. I see it all around me, in my family and friends, people I meet.

While todays church is focused on newer and better programs, “systems” to draw people into a building it has missed the purpose for which Christ has called us. I do not hear from the pulpit anything about spiritual warfare, let alone how to engage it. These programs have, I fear, bred buildings full of content Christians. Content to the point of complacency, taking themselves out of the battle.  In Philippians Paul writes about being content in all situations and circumstances, but he never left the battle.  The abiding peace and confidence that Paul experienced is what gave him strength to stay in the battle, to continue the fight. Paul was courageous. Paul talks of spiritual warfare and teaches us how to engage it. There are men today who talk of spiritual warfare and engage in the battle, who will come along side you to fight with you as a band of brothers, but sadly, I find these men few and far between.

(Several years ago I sat in a meeting discussing an upcoming conference on Spiritual warfare.  Several churches were represented.  I was appalled at the comments by a couple of representatives, they stated that they were offended by the word “warrior” and that word was not used in their churches. Their attitude was that Christian men should not be “warriors”. Perhaps they confused “warrior” with “brute” but I think they were complacent cowards posing as Christian men).

We have a supreme Commander, God, in the person of Jesus Christ, who gave us the “helper” to indwell in us so that we would be prepared, confident and able to fight the fight.  With this power in us we must ask…Holy God show me my beachhead that I may fight the courageous fight that I may come along side of others who desire to engage in the fight, and in the building of Your Kingdom.

The armor that Paul describes starting in Ephesians 6:10 is offensive armor. We have the offensive armor and weaponry needed to engage the enemy. But like any competent army God will have us, His army, engage the enemy on His terms not on enemy terms.

As men God designed us to go forth, not sit back. “Onward Christian Soldiers…”

In 1941 Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt met on the HMS Prince of Wales to agree to the Atlantic Charter, a church service was held for which Winston Churchill chose the hymns. He chose “Onward Christian Soldiers” and afterward made a radio broadcast explaining this choice.

“We sang ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ indeed, and I felt that this was no vain presumption, but that we had the right to feel that we serving a cause for the sake of which a trumpet has sounded from on high. When I looked upon that densely packed congregation of fighting men of the same language, of the same faith, of the same fundamental laws, of the same ideals…it swept across me that here was the only hope, of saving the world from measureless degradation”.

                      –Winston Churchill

Today we are in a spiritual war. We represent the hope of God, the hope, the truth that will save people from “measureless degradation”.

 Dave Fulton, NWMC Board of Directors



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