Today is, “A day that will live in infamy,” according to Franklin D. Roosevelt. 75 years ago today, Pearl Harbor (and the US as a whole) was attacked by the Empire of Japan. 353 Imperial Japanese fighters attacked and damaged all 8 of the US Naval warships in the harbor, sinking four of them. 188 US aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded (figures taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_Pearl_Harbor).
The US and Japan had been in formal negotiations to hopefully keep peace in the Pacific during World War II. Well, when Japan attacked, this pretty much ended those negotiations and the US officially entered World War II.
For the most part, everyone in the US was surprised by the attack. For the most part, everyone in the US thought negotiating with the Empire of Japan would be the best course of action to avoid entering World War II. For the most part, everyone in the US was mistaken.
We learned a valuable lesson from the attack on Pearl Harbor. It seems we “let our guard down,” if only for a moment, and paid a heavy price.
As I contemplate this, I can’t help but think about another war we are involved in...our war with Satan. Too many Christians are trying to negotiate with Satan. Too many Christians believe that all they have to do is assist and support those actively fighting Satan (i.e. ministers, missionaries, etc.) and impose sanctions to limit Satan’s involvement in their life, and, well, that’s all they have to do.
Unfortunately for too many Christians, Satan doesn’t honor treaties. Unfortunately for too many Christians, Satan doesn’t fight fair. Unfortunately for too many Christians, Satan just cares about himself and his own victory.
Just before asking Congress to declare a state of war with the Japanese Empire, FDR made this statement: “Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph. So help us God.”
Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12 that we are truly at war and that our fight is spiritual in nature. That we fight against the rulers, authorities, and powers “of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
He also warns us to put on “the full armor of God” so that we can “stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6:11-18).
Peter cautions us to, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
Hostilities do exist. Our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in the fact that God has already won the ultimate victory through Jesus Christ, I urge you to claim that victory.
Don’t negotiate with Satan, don’t entertain his ideas of what the Christian life is, don’t think that he’s a harmless kitty cat.
He is your enemy! Declare war on him!