…but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits
– Daniel 11:32b
Desmond Doss, a quiet skinny young man from Lynchburg, Virginia, enlisted in the U.S. Army as a combat medic in preparation for the World War II because he believed in the cause. But as a member of the Seventh-day Adventist, his belief would not allow him work on the Sabbath day or touch a weapon as he had vowed not to kill. So the army did not want anything to do with him. However, a 1940 law allowed conscientious objectors to serve the war effort in “non-combatant” positions.
Of course, the army made life difficult for Doss during training. Even his commanding officer, Capt. Jack Glover, tried to get him transferred. But hard as they tried, they could not force him to use a weapon. So Doss went with his company as a medic to war.
In the spring of 1945 at Okinawa-Japan, Doss’ company faced an arduous task climbing a steep, jagged cliff – sometimes called Hacksaw Ridge, to a plateau where thousands of heavily armed Japanese soldiers were waiting for them. Under a bombardment of gunfire and explosions, Doss crawled on the ground from one wounded soldier to another, dragged severely injured men to the edge of the ridge, tied a rope around their bodies and lowered them down to other medics below. Decades later, in a documentary, Doss had this to say about that day: “I was praying the whole time. I just kept praying, ‘Lord, please help me get
one more.”
In a period of 12 hours, Doss had saved 75 men, including his captain, Jack Glover, in one of the bloodiest battles of World War II in the Pacific. The same soldiers who had shamed him now praised him. “He was one of the bravest persons alive,” Glover says in the documentary.
Doss was awarded the Medal of Honour in 1945 by President Harry Truman.
How quickly a rejected ordinary life can turn to a celebrated life of exploits – all because of his acts of courage!
Even for the man or woman who knows his or her calling, the path to fulfilling purpose or destiny is often lined with rejections, conflicts, challenges and even contradictions. What this means is that, even for a child of God, doing exploits does not just happen. You have to contend with some discouraging, overwhelming or sometimes dangerous life situation(s) to make it happen, just like Doss.
It is therefore no wonder that our theme scripture for the month spells out in very clear terms what we need in order to do exploits. We need strength. And that strength is not raw strength; it is the strength that comes from the knowledge of God. We all need the strength, which the knowledge of God provides, to leap over obstacles on our paths, to accomplish great feats in the Kingdom, whether for ourselves or humanity in general.
It was Christopher Reeve who said, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” So, if you are facing a seeming impossibility or an insurmountable mountain right now, I encourage you to cheer up. It is all part of the journey to victory. In fact, without challenges, there will be no basis for exploits. Challenges are the necessary raw materials for the exploits God has promised His children.
Remember Daniel to whom this quote (our theme scripture) is credited? As a slave boy in Babylon, the odds were stacked against him. Although he enjoyed some favours from the kings and his supervisors under different dispensations, he knew who he was and whose he was. He was determined never to compromise his values come what may. So, in every situation where compromise seemed the only alternative, he humbly but firmly stood his ground, knowing that his covenant-keeping God would never leave nor forsake him. It was therefore no wonder he did great exploits even in a foreign land and was celebrated by every king under whom he served and brought glory to the God of Israel.
You too can do great exploits in your area of calling. There is no challenge you will ever face that will not answer to the power and knowledge of your God. In Christ Jesus, you are a supernatural being and have the power to overcome every contrary power and situation. The question is: Do you really know who you are? Do you know the power that has been made available to you in Christ? This knowledge will set you on the path of great exploits and the overcoming Christian life. You cannot have the Holy Spirit and be ordinary in life. He will continually strengthen you for exploits as you constantly fellowship with and submit to His leading. No devil can stop you this month in Jesus name.
It is your month of Covenant Exploits!
If you require counselling or want us to prayerfully agree with you, feel free to send me a mail at pastortaiwo@tfolc.org.
God bless you.
Pastor Taiwo Odukoya