In the waning moments of World War II, the Nazis read the writing of an Allied victory on the military wall and pulled out all the stops in a desperate last ditch effort to avoid what appeared as inevitable defeat. This is the contextual backdrop of the movie Fury http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2713180/. And despite its crude language and graphic depiction of violence, given the brutal nature of the story, I thought neither of those things was presented in a gratuitous or unrealistic manner.
Just before the pivotal climax of the film, there’s a great scene when the Brad Pitt character, an American Army Sergeant, does not require the men serving under his command to join him in a dramatic last stand suicide mission. At this point, one of his soldiers, the Shia LaBeouf character, a bible verse quoting Christian, recites Isaiah 6:8; “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” However in this instance, LaBeouf’s character doesn’t cite the reference just the text. In response, Pitt’s character says, “That’s Isaiah 6.” And then one by one all the men join their sergeant in an act of heroism that barring miraculous divine intervention will require nothing less than the sacrifice of their lives.
This scene spoke to me on a visceral level. We live in a world that’s going to Hell in a hand basket! The adversary is quite familiar with the writing of a Messianic victory on the biblical prophetic wall; and there’s soon coming a day when he will pull all the stops in a desperate last ditch effort to avoid inevitable defeat (cf. Rev. 12:12). And so even though things are bad now they’re not nearly as bad as they shortly will be!
In the meantime, right here/right now; as Messiah followers, living lives of cowardly semi-isolation is not an honorable option. We can’t retreat because we’re afraid of getting emotionally hurt if we really put ourselves out there representing Jesus to people! Of course we’ll get hurt, and other people will be hurt by us! We’re all part of a fallen race in a fallen place operating at different levels of immaturity and inherent selfishness. And God uses incredibly flawed messy insecure imperfect people to accomplish His perfect glorious will. So, it’s time to disciple-up already! Plus, here’s the deal; over the long-haul, despite the precarious up/down rhythm of life; if we courageously find purpose and contentment in serving God by communicating the gospel and modeling Messiah’s character, if not in this life then certainly in the life to come, everything eternally comes out in the wash. And so if part of our sovereignly ordained life script is literally sacrificing our physical life before the Messianic Bridegroom comes for His Ekklesia Bride to remove her from the world prior to the 7 year countdown to the enemy’s inevitable defeat, then so be it. “Here am I. Send me!”