I live near to the place where William the Conqueror from Normandy, in what is now France, landed in Britain in the year 1066. The 950th anniversary of the conflict which followed is being celebrated as I write this, in the town of Battle where the Battle of Hastings is thought to have taken place. In that battle, William and his Norman soldiers met with Harold, the last of the Anglo-Saxon kings, and Harold was killed. William then went on to take the throne of England and life in Britain was forever changed thereafter.
Today there’s a re-enactment of the fighting, using the wooden shields, steel swords and spears, as would have happened on that day in 1066. The difference is that today people won’t get killed, maimed, traumatised, and disfigured, as would have happened originally. Fighting in the time of the Norman conquest of Britain, as is true in many places in our world today, was vicious, violent, barbaric and generally horrible.
There have been similar conflicts more recently, still using barbaric methods, yet carried out in the name of Christ. For example, the crusades in the Middle Ages. Yet what a contrast to the Bible’s description of how we ‘wage war’ (2 Corinthians 10:3).
Paul describes the warfare as being against strongholds – those put up by our enemy the devil – and as being of an entirely different nature. Rather than using brute force, we have divine power on our side. When confronted with the enemy, as happens in our ministry, we’re assured that if we rely on God’s powerful weapons we shall not be overcome, however intimidating our opponent might seem. It’s part of his strategy to make us fearful, just as William the Conqueror put fear into the Anglo-Saxon army and ultimately defeated it. However, we’re told we’re more than conquerors through Jesus, and we’re divinely equipped for the task. So let us take heart in God’s provision for our task.
Whilst our local community, and visitors from all over the world, celebrate the Battle of Hastings, we join with billions more believers around this globe in celebrating the coming of the true conqueror, who has overcome death and sin, and leads us in the victory against the defeated enemy, equipping us with weapons of divine power. Hallelujah!
Prayer. Thank You, Jesus the Conqueror, who has dealt with our sin, not by force, but by sacrifice. Thank You that Yours is a lasting victory, which releases power for all who love, follow and serve You. To You alone belongs the honour and the glory. Amen.
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