‘The War Lasted a Long Time’

I am typing this article while in Canberra. Because of my work I do a lot of traveling. I speak at many places and I attend various conferences and seminars and rallies. While I much prefer to stay at home and live a quiet and peaceful life, the urgency of the hour compels me to keep active in this way.

As I have written before, those who are pro-faith, pro-life and pro-family know that there is a war going on. There are battles raging all around us. No one who is concerned about faith, life and family can idly sit by while the bullets are flying and the casualties are mounting.

Because those who are opposed to faith, life and family are so active, so dedicated and so committed to their cause, that is all the more reason why we should be to our cause. If for no other reason than our children and our grandchildren, we should all be involved in these various battles.

We should all want to leave the world a better place for our children and our grandchildren. Because we care, we get involved. That will take us out of our comfort zones. That will result in many people rejecting us. That will mean we will have to pay a price to see victory attained.

Wars are never easy and they tend to not be very short-lived. A victory may seem to have occurred, yet it may turn out that a larger conflict ensues. Margaret Thatcher once said that “We may have to fight a battle more than once to win it”.

Most things which are important in life have to be worked at. Most worthwhile things will be costly. Anything of value will have to be fought for. When Winston Churchill became Prime Minister his first speech was delivered on May 13, 1940.

Of course England was at war then. The very survival of the English nation was at stake. In his speech he memorably said, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” There is always a cost to pay for any victory in earthly wars, and the same is true in the spiritual realm.

As I type this piece, in the room immediately next to me a group of believers are crying out to God in song, worship, supplication, tears and repentance. They are engaging in spiritual warfare on behalf of the nation. People are on their knees broken before God, calling out to him, seeking his face.

The specific reason for this time of intercession and spiritual warfare is because tomorrow we will go to Parliament House to celebrate National Marriage Day. It should be a celebration, but we know it will be more than that. It will be a battle. There are enemies of marriage and family who are intent on destroying these institutions which God has blessed us with.

There will likely be activists out in force tomorrow seeking to break up this meeting, shout down the speakers, and intimidate the participants. You see, there is a war going on. The battle over marriage and family is just one of the many battles in this large and protracted war.

So I and many others have left the comforts and pleasures of home to come to Canberra to show the nation that we care about marriage and family, and we will not give them up without a fight. The battle will not be won or lost tomorrow. Tomorrow will just be one of many thousands of skirmishes in the greater war.

But in any war, the side that is really committed, dedicated, persistent, and willing to pay the price is the side most likely to win. The sad truth is, far too many battles have been lost by default. Those who should be championing faith, life and family often do not even know these battles are taking place.

Or if they do, they often do not want to get involved. They prefer their personal comforts and security to the messy and harsh conditions of the battlefield. Or they think someone else can fight for them. But the reality is, in a war, no one has the luxury of sitting on the fence. We all must get involved. No one can simply sit on the sidelines and expect the battle to go well.

I write all this especially because of what my morning Scripture reading led me to. It had to do with how Saul rejected God, so God rejected Saul. The kingdom was taken away from Saul and given to David. But the enmity continued.

I was quite taken how 2 Samuel 3:1 put it: “The war between the house of Saul and the house of David lasted a long time. David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.” Interestingly, just the other day someone asked me how I keep going, how I keep at it, instead of just giving up.

I assured him that there are plenty of times when I do indeed feel like giving up. I get easily discouraged and depressed. But a passage like this speaks to a much greater truth than just what took place some three millennia ago.

The war between good and evil, between what God is seeking to achieve and what the adversary is seeking is an ongoing battle. But the believer has the last word on all this. We know that in the end, God wins. Victory is indeed assured.

So even though the battle is long, protracted, and seemingly never going to be finally won, we know that in the end it will be won. But in the meantime we must keep at it. We must be involved, we must persevere, and we must be willing to pay the price.

With so much at stake, we can do no less.

(Concluding note: The completion of this article was delayed by an hour, because the believers in the room next door called me in so that they could pray for me. They prayed for God’s covering, protection, encouragement and blessing. I must say, it is not often my article writing is interrupted by a room full of believers who want to pray for me and lift me up to Father God. I wish it would happen more often. Thanks saints!)

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16 Replies to “‘The War Lasted a Long Time’”

  1. Keep fighting the good fight Bill! Many of us are keen readers of your column and are being motivated by you. Never underestimate your impact.
    Jeremy Wong

  2. Bill, you’ve been joined in one battle by a couple or three new books on same-sex “marriage” – see the latest Reformers Bookshop catalogue if you can.
    John Angelico

  3. Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.

    And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world–he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

    And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

    Revelation 12:7-11

    Jereth Kok

  4. Your supporters, and I’m one, are getting ever more familiar with the tricks of the scoffers, back-biters, those who would shout you down, marginalise you,interrupt and ridicule you, trip you up, misinterpret you – and watch out for the superior laugh. Be steadfast in your message and they can like it or lump it!
    Rachel Smith

  5. Good article Bill. Thank you for your passion and commitment in fighting the good fight.
    I am only very sorry that I can’t be in Canberra today for the rally also. Will definitely be praying for all involved.
    Your column is a continual encouragement and blessing to me especially when so many ‘Christians’ are seemingly enjoying the ‘lukewarm’ life.
    Annette Williams

  6. God bless you in your work. You might also like to consider the challenge to school chaplaincy while you are in the nations capital. As you no doubt know, some Wally from Queensland has taken it on himself to save us all from wasteful expenditure in this area.

    Quite frankly, his claim – that he isn’t about abolishing chaplaincy per se, just that he doesn’t think it should be govt funded – does not ring true. I bet if he could use the Constitution to ban it altogether he would.

    The school communities clearly want them, 99% of Principals want them, but Mr W*%#ker from Qld feels the need to save us all. How’s that for democracy?

    David Williams

  7. Thanks to Jereth for the awesome quote from Revelations – a great inspiration!
    Rachel Smith

  8. Bill, you do need to realise just how many people draw wisdom, instruction, enlightenment and encouragement from your writings. With the battle raging so fiercely around us now, this is surely the time for us all to draw together in love and encouragement. Remember the meaning of encourage: to give courage to, just as to enable a printer is to make it able to print. God bless and keep you and yours always, good warrior of the Truth.
    Ian Brearley

  9. Dear Bill,
    I am a new reader..2 months. You are an enormous encouragement, and you equip us for the battle. To fight the adversary we need to be well informed. Your blogs are a great source of information, and inspiration. The world is a better and saner place because of your voice. And yes thank you Jereth for reminding us of the impending victory. Deitrich Bonhoeffer went to the gallows composed because he knew what lay ahead.
    Alastair Robb

  10. Thanks for the valuable contribution you make to the body of Christ Bill. I find your articles very helpful, even if I some times disagree with them.
    Lee Herridge

  11. Thanks guys

    I should mention that we have further biblical commentary on 2 Samuel 3:1 a few chapters later, which nicely explains things: “And [David] became more and more powerful, because the LORD God Almighty was with him” (2 Sam 5:10).

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  12. Staying power – do we have it? Many falter and miss out on the promises (2 Pet 3:17) when persecution comes, and Paul’s words come to mind about running the race to the end, and that we must run it in such a way as to win the prize (Thess 1 Cor 9:24).

    Heb 12:1: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

    Garth Penglase

  13. Bill
    I was interested to read that those in the next room to where you were working on your article, called you in to pray over you. I remember from my childhood two popular expressions about prayer. To this day, I don’t know whether these two statements of truth were commonly or exclusively quoted in my religion or whether they were more widely acknowledged. They are as follows-
    (1) More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of. (2) Prayer without good works is dead.

    Now, when you consider that belief in these sayings can be compared to two legs , which are used to carry your faith. Each leg is important, but both legs are needed to move forward in the right direction.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

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