June 6, 1944 – the largest military invasion in the history of the world began as paratroopers dropped into occupied
France and troop transports steamed across the English Channel towards the beaches of Normandy.
The commander of this invasion – General Dwight Eisenhower – wrote this letter to his troops:
Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.
But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-1941. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory! I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!
Good Luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
Signed….Dwight D. Eisenhower
That happened 67 years ago. It is quickly becoming relegated to history as each day there are less and less people who lived through D-Day and World War II.
But we are still at war today. I’m not talking about the War on Terror or the conflicts in Afghanistan or the Middle East.
We are at war against evil. This war started with a temptation by a serpent in a garden thousands of years ago.
But there was an invasion – not by a expeditionary force but by one person.
Jesus Christ, born of a woman, born under the Law, came to redeem each one of us. He fought the good fight, died on the cross and took the sin of the world away.
Jesus won the war, but the battles still rage.
Satan is a defeated enemy, but he’s still fighting against us. Our battles are not “against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 ESV).
How are we to continue to battle? We can learn from the example of the men who fought in the world’s battles – battles like D-Day, Monte Casino, Bastogne, the Argonne Forest, Waterloo, Gettysburg. We learn their history not to glorify war, but to find ways to fight against evil in this present day.
We also learn from the people on the front lines of today’s battles – certainly the men and women who wear our nation’s uniform. But also others – pastors like Rev. K and Rev. M; teachers like Mrs. R and Mr. D; writers like Kat and Billy, youth ministers like Natalie; moms, dads, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Saints and sinners who – through faith and with the Word of God – stand up to evil and say “this further and no more.”
Today can be your D-Day – your Deliverance Day from evil and sin. Jesus Christ called many to this fight and they are praying for you to be saved.