Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
From the middle of the 17th century to the 19th century, European land armies relied on line infantry during military combat. Whereas Maurice of Nassau and Gustavus Adolphus are generally regarded as the pioneer of line infantry, militaries through the ages have used line infantry. A line infantry consisted of two to four ranks of foot soldiers drawn up side by side in rigid alignment and thereby maximizing the effect of their firepower. Line tactics required a strict discipline and simple movements, practiced to the point where they became second nature.
This morning the Holy Spirit whispered in my ears, “hold the line.” These have been some challenging and frustrating times for me and a lot of other people. With the deadly onslaught of the pandemic, the frustration of seeing many more black men getting shot by police officers, the emotional anguish of ministering to people that have lost their jobs, or struggling in their marriages, or mourning the loss of a loved one, it has been challenging for me to keep it together emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
When I saw partial footage of Jacob Blake getting shot in the back by police officers, I wanted to scream. Since then, I have been on an emotional roller coaster between anger, frustration, and a sense of hopelessness that black people will ever feel safe, or treated fairly in this country. This is not the type of emotion someone like me who has devoted his life to building bridges between people of different races, ethnicity, and economic classes should feel.
During prayer this morning, as my prayer partners were expressing their frustration with the treatment of black men in America, the Lord told me to hold the line. Particularly, the Holy Spirit told me not to allow myself to be consumed by bitterness and hatred. He reminded me that hatred cannot defeat hatred. Only love can overcome hatred. The Spirit reminded me of the many believers that are struggling to cope and need reinforcement.
We are all foot soldiers drawn up side by side in rigid alignment to maximize the effectiveness of our mission as ambassadors of Jesus Christ. During this time of mental and emotional challenge, believers have to hold the line so we can inspire and empower others to trust in the Lord as they take a stand for justice and equity. Let us continue to treat others as we would want to be treated regardless of race, ethnicity, or personal preferences. We cannot allow our unconscious biases to define our interactions with others.
Husbands and wives should do their utmost to hold the line in their marriage. Do not allow the mental and emotional stress of this season to destroy the life you have worked so hard to build. Parents should hold the line in the upbringing of their children and not allow the depravity in this world to ensnare their minds.
Let us hold the line by not speaking evil of no one, avoid quarreling, be gentle, and show perfect courtesy toward all people (Titus 3:2). When we honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks for a reason for the hope that is in us, we are holding the line. We are in a cosmic battle against the forces of evil. Our victory is already guaranteed. However, we have to hold the line so we can push back the advancing enemy that is terrorizing our country, our families, our health, our finances, and our spiritual walk.
Prayer- Blessed Lord, please help us to walk humbly in your presence and show perfect courtesy toward all people as we honor Christ in every area of life.