“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 11
At a critical point in the action, when all the officers of his platoon had become casualties, Cpl. Allex took command of the platoon and led it forward until the advance was stopped by fire from a machine-gun nest. He then advanced alone for about 30 yards in the face of intense fire and attacked the nest. With his bayonet he killed five of the enemy, and when it was broken, used the butt of his rifle, capturing 15 prisoners.
Very intentionally, I begin today’s message with Corporal Allex’s Medal of Honor citation. It speaks for itself. There is nothing I can add that would make this man’s bravery, tenacity, and sheer selflessness more than what is stated above. But I do want to expand on what I see can be learned from it and applied to a kingdom man’s life.
This guy is standing there, in the fight, battling to accomplish his mission. As he looks to his side, instead of seeing his fearless leaders, able to direct him into battle, steering him the right direction, he witnesses them paying the ultimate sacrifice one by one. Imagine suddenly looking up and seeing that everyone you look up to, everyone that helps guide you and helps you make decisions, taken away by the enemy. Then amongst all of that, he decides not only to keep fighting, but to lead those around him and furthermore, go ahead himself to defeat his enemy.
I imagine there’s some people reading this that can relate. Maybe not in physical battle, but most of us, in one way or another, have lost someone that we and others around us look to for guidance. These moments are when God uses us most.
It’s in these moments that when we get knocked down to the very bones of what God built us and knows us intimately as. What I hear in 2nd Corinthians 4 is that we may be pressured from all sides, we may be struck down, persecuted, perplexed. I’m willing to bet Cpl. Allex felt all of those things. He used it as an opportunity to step up and lead; he showed he would not be crushed, abandoned, or destroyed. In Christ – we have the same opportunity. In moments of despair, we can show the power of Jesus and His sacrifice.
First let me say, it’s no comparison to the story of Cpl. Allex. I don’t pretend to have an experience that even comes close to his. Probably the closest person to me that I looked up to and lost, was my grandfather. He had a long illness that slowly took away his mobility, memory, etc. But he was one of the mentors in my life. He was one that I would call if I had good news or needed advice. Anyway, when he did pass, I was honored with writing and delivering the Eulogy at his funeral. It was interesting because it was the first time I stepped up, in front of my family, as a leader, as one who would speak and address the entire group. I would say it played a major part in me seeing a part of me that I know God always knew was there – a spiritual leader. In this sad, solemn moment, I stepped into a role that no one else could. Even in my grandfather’s passing, I was graced with the ability to stand for my family and bring Jesus to the forefront. Through Him, despair and destruction were defeated.
Daily Battle Order:
If you find yourself in the battle, and those you look to for guidance are gone, remember, we serve a God that is the ultimate leader to lock shields with. In Him, we cannot be defeated. Look inside yourself in this moment, to awaken what God has graced you with. Even in death, we glorify the sacrifice Christ made when He died on the cross, was buried, and left an empty tomb.
Kingdom Men, we will be mustering at Fredericksburg Battlefield on June 25-26. Friday-Sunday; for those able to participate Saturday only, you will receive the benefits of the TJC Battlefield training. Let’s “PRE-DECIDE” to train together!