My favorite mini-series is “Band of Brothers.” Based on the book by Stephen Ambrose, it chronicles the experiences of a unit of paratroopers in World War II. Known as “Easy Company,” this group of soldiers jumped into battle on D-Day and fought until the war with Germany ended almost a year later. In one memorable scene, Easy Company is tasked with taking a small village from the Germans. The battalion commander gives these instructions to the commander of Easy Company before the attack begins, “Move forward, don’t stop or the enemy will fire their mortars and artillery on you.” Motivated by fear, the commander of Easy Company failed to move his unit forward. The attack stalled and several soldiers were killed and many more wounded as a result.
This scene parallels some of the situations we can experience in life. There are times when we must decide to either move forward, stay where we are or go backwards. These decisions are usually not easy. The Bible records such an experience in the book of Jeremiah:
“For when I brought your forefathers out of Egypt and spoke to them, . . . I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in the ways I command you, that it may go well with you. But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward” (Jeremiah 7:22-24).
That last line in v. 24 stands out: “They went backward and not forward.” God’s people had seen His faithfulness to them, but they still followed their own “stubborn inclinations.” They chose to go backward. That is sad!
Our church has made the decision to move forward, to “be bold.” I have been encouraged by the response of the church family to our decision to move forward. We are attempting great things to advance the Kingdom here in Hall County and around the world. This can only happen because God is in it. I am convinced that He is! One day, the euphoria of September Startup will wane, but our boldness cannot wane. Our faith in carrying out God’s mission can’t falter. In those moments where we hit some bumps in the road, we must do the opposite of what we read about in the book of Jeremiah. We must continue to move forward and resist the temptation to stop or even to move backward. God will continue to be faithful to us!
We need to do this collectively as a church, but we must also do this individually as well. What do I mean by that? A question I like to ask myself each year is this: Am I in the same place in my relationship with God now as I was a year ago? If so, I can change that. That may mean pursuing things like a renewed emphasis on prayer, Bible reading, service and exercising compassion to others. It could mean getting involved in a small group Bible study or participating in one of the special classes here at LCC in the days ahead. Whatever it is, the goal is to advance in our relationship with God. We can’t stay where we are. We can’t be satisfied with where we were a year ago. Otherwise, the devil will lob his artillery on us and pick us off. It has been said that “movement is life.” That is certainly true in our relationship with the Lord. Let’s keep moving forward individually and together! It’s one of the boldest things we can do in the next season here at LCC.
Not going back,