The Last Debate

Towards the end of the movie version of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, there is a Last Debate. The Debate is whether hundreds of Men should engage in battle against thousands of Orcs. During this scene, the dwarf, Gimli, proclaims, “Certainty of death, small chance of success . . . what’re we waiting for?”

I absolutely LOVE this line, but if these were my marching orders, would I engage in battle?

I barely engage in a war where I know the outcome.

With my intellect, I realize there is a “fixed” war. I already know the outcome. God will have victory. I piggyback God’s victory and proclaim I will have victory. It makes me happy. It makes me gleeful. It makes me gloat. It makes me lazy.

It makes me lazy? I am very guilty of taking advantage of this known victory. The main reason is lack of wisdom in processing the significance of this victory.

I have the victory. I am in a “fixed” war. Why do I need to train? Why do I need to condition? In my bedridden states, I can stay under the covers. I can mope. I can withdraw. I can take for granted that God will step in and rescue me. I can have the victory?

I have thoughts of how do I really know what side I am on? How can I be sure? What are the signs that I actually know Him vs. knowing of Him?

I think I am beginning to understand better. This knowledge should not make us lazy. This knowledge should not validate willingly losing a battle here and there because of a won war. This knowledge should propel us into battle. We should confidently engage in war against our enemy because we know that no weapon formed against us will prosper. We must prepare ourselves for battle. Read Ephesians 6:11-18.

In Return of the King, victory could not be achieved by strength of arms. Our victory will never be achieved by strength of arms either— at least not physical strength of arms. “This is the word of the LORD . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”

As we start a new year, I invite us all to engage in this battle. In truth, whether we choose to engage in battle or not, the war is coming to us. The plan to attack your life is in place, and the units are moving towards you.

Our temptations are coming, but they won’t come from the paths we suspect or are used to. The temptations are coming, and now is not the time to flirt with them.

What are the marching orders for our battle?

Certainty of (everlasting) life, huge chance of success . . . what’re we waiting for?