And so I pray the Holy Spirit unify us. Our world is at the precipice of eternal destruction while Christ's sheep bite and devour each other. Will you join me in prayer?
I don’t know if the Hollywood version of the battle is true, but the story makes for an intriguing spiritual parallel. Tobruk, Libya’s north-eastern port city was site of many prolonged and bloody battles during World War II. German troops and their Italian allies recognized the value of its strategic location. And so did the British.
During the height of the war, a small group of commandos set out across 800 miles of Libyan Desert to destroy the German fuel-depot at Tobruk. Several nights into their trek they spotted a dust plume on the horizon. It belonged to an Italian convoy wending its way toward them. Fortunately for the Allies, a large sand-dune hid them from the enemy column. Without safe alternatives, they settled down to wait for the Italians to pass. However, when the convoy reached the other side of the dune, the Italians stopped their tanks and began setting camp for the night. The allied commandos could do nothing but wait for day-break when the Italians would continue on their way.
The night wore on without incident until commando scouts spotted another string of armored vehicles moving toward them from the opposite direction. This one belonged to Germans.
Caught in the middle, the allies knew it was only a matter of time before one group or the other discovered them. In desperation, they executed a daring coup de grace and fired mortars toward the Germans while simultaneously firing across the dune at the Italians. The commandos hoped each army, hidden by the dark, would think the other fired on them.
The plan worked. Within moments the Germans and the Italians rained destruction on each other. In the conflagration, the commandos escaped into the night. A few days later, the fuel farm at Tobruk exploded in flames. The small band of warriors successfully completed their mission.
Knowing the Church is an overwhelmingly superior force, Satan has for millennia executed a nearly flawless strategy against it. Instead of a direct frontal attack, he hides in darkness, firing volleys to generate bigotry, exclusivity, pride, and greed at different groups within Christ’s Body. Group A, thinking Group B to be the enemy, diverts its energies from the Great Commission and wages battle against it. Meanwhile, group B thinks likewise of group C, and before long D through Z enter the fray until the Church is embroiled in a seething cauldron, devouring each other – and freeing Satan to move on toward his ultimate objective.
When the Germans and Italians surrounded them, no one in the small group of commandos cared about the race or denominational label of the person in the next foxhole. Only one thing mattered: work as a team to win the objective.
The Lord of the Church has called us to win our world for Himself. That Great Commission requires the undivided efforts of everyone on Christ’s “team.” Oh, Lord! Help us to turn our weapons away from each other and take aim against the true adversary.