God's Word for Today: Surrender. On a day when we honor our Veterans, this word is most fitting. It is a word even to this day, our Veterans do not have in their vocabulary. Unless it is use cause other to surrender. The pride we have as a nation carries into the strength of our Veterans. As a veteran myself, I still overwhelmed with a strong emotion when our National Anthem is played. And yes, at times a tear comes to my eyes as the song progresses and I think of all the lives sacrificed for our Freedom.
Another country that refused to use the word surrender is Paraguay. I don't remember if we studied about it in World History or not. If we did, I soon erased it from my memory after the test we took on it. And, most people have never heard of, or want to forget the war that almost completely annihilated Paraguay.
There are always 2 sides to a story. I have received the Paraguay side. This I will share with you. In 1865 the War of the Triple Alliance began. The exact cause of the was is still in dispute. The facts are, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay formed a coalition with the intent to take over half of Paraguay's land, eliminate it's army, and remove its current leader, Francisco Solano Lopez. Known in Paraguay as the Great War, it lasted until 1870.
For 5 years, Paraguay fought an alliance that was 25 times larger than itself. Numbers are disputed, but in those years of war, somewhere between 70% - 90% of the Paraguay men were killed, and 40% - 60% of the entire population was eliminated. Most due to disease and starvation caused by the war. The war didn't end until Lopez was killed. At the end, with so many men killed, it came down to boys disguised with fake beards, trying to fight with sticks that were painted to look like guns. The slogan for all Paraguayans was "victory or death". There was no surrender to them, it almost completely destroyed Paraguay.
John 20:21. Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."
What personal war are you waging today? Are you a veteran of a war that is slowly trying to destroy you? What in this world has such a tight grip on your life that you are stubbornly sticking to "victory or death"? Is it a war caused by personal loss you have suffered and you want to blame God because it is the only solution you have? Or, do you have a preferred mind altering substance that temporarily helps you forget the battles you fight everyday? Maybe it is a war to succeed in financial gain.
Whatever your battles. Whatever the war you are waging, how long before you surrender? If something of this world is your release from reality, are you succumbing to its pressures as a form of surrender? What is taking you in the direction of "victory or death"?
Victory or death can also be a motto to be proud of. You are going to fight the good fight. You will give it everything you have to win. If focused correctly, and in the right direction, you can and will have victory, overcoming death. You can actually surrender and have victory.
Today, know that there is really only one true way to obtain victory. Jesus did it first. Jesus surrendered himself to all the evils of this world. We killed Jesus. Then, he had victory over death. They only way Jesus could open the door for the rest of us to truly know God and receive His grace was surrender and then victory. If you want to live. If you want to defeat death, don't be afraid of this word surrender. I know, I know, it seems to be a pride thing. But realize if you keep surrendering to the ways of this world, there is only one result. Don't let this world eliminate you. Surrender to Jesus and have Victory.......................................
Prayer: Dearest Lord of all Armies, I thank you for the victory you offer. On this Veterans day, I pray for those who have surrendered their lives so I have the freedom to choose. Forgive me when I have chosen the temporary fixes of this world. Today Lord, I surrender to you that I might have Victory. I don't like death. I know through you, I can have life everlasting. In Jesus' who started the ultimate Victory thru his surrender, I pray. Amen.