Dream word – CARE
“For by You I can run against a troop, by my God I can leap over a wall.” NKJV
The devil’s garden and operation lightfoot
One of the curses of the late twentieth century, the removal of which was championed by the late Diana, Princess of Wales, is the anti-personnel mine. Even long time after wars are over, peace is made and battles and heroes are forgotten, the anti-personnel mine is the gift that just keeps on killing!
Last night we looked briefly at the leadership philosophy of General Montgomery as he faced his great adversary at El Alamein, the German Field Marshal, Erwin Rommel. It was in fact Rommel who laid an estimated 3 million, mostly anti-tank mines, around his defensive positions and named the whole defensive entanglement of barbed wire and mines, “the Devil’s Garden”. Most of these mines are still in position today and still killing people. Imagine that.
Attacking Rommel, Montgomery launched “Operation Lightfoot” with the largest artillery barrage since WWI. It is said that the sound of it made the gunner’s ears bleed! Remember, The Devil’s Garden wasmade up predominantly of anti-tank mines, allowed advancing infantry to run through the minefields. Hence the name, Operation Lightfoot! Unfortunately, many of these mines were hard wired together, such that when one exploded, it triggered the explosions of numerous other ones. Even if you were light on your feet, the Devil’s Garden was still a most dreadful place of death.
At the fall of man, the world of course became the Devil’s Garden. Full of flesh ripping and soul-destroying barbed wire, it is also very well mined. The church of Jesus Christ, like Monty’s infantry, is advancing light footedly through the Devil’s Garden upon the tall black gates of hell. Well, some of us are anyways, and we always find at last, often times despite the advancing carnage, that according to Christ’s words, the gates of hell have not prevailed against us!
In the Devil’s Garden, comparatively speaking, the infantry get away lightly against the hidden mines, whilst it is our “big guns” that have the problems. Oh and we like our big guns don’t we? And, the truth is, we need them, for they are truly God’s provision to help us punch through some of the most heavily and brutally defended position of the enemy. Yet for our Christian big guns especially, the Devil’s Garden is a most dangerous place, as the vast majority of its millions of mines are there specifically and only, to take out these big guns of ours. We all agree that there is no more devastating and disillusioning a site, than to see a Christian big gun fall, to see them and their ministries, them and their churches, them and their futures, them and their families and all who follow after them, explode into a dead and ineffective, million little pieces.
We prayer engineers, we discerners of mines, we sappers all, must make sure that we most prayerfully and carefully, remove the mines in front of our advancing big guns. Warn them of them and even mark a way for them to go. The need for sappers in the Kingdom of God is an evident and ever pressing necessity. If you are a big gun reading this tonight, if you want to be one, then you had better halt your advance until God provides you with a few prophetic pathfinders who are light on their spiritual feet, often on their knees and willing to make a way for you to pass through the Devil’s Garden, so you might fire accurately upon your target. If you are a sapper tonight, then make sure you are indeed light on your feet and also heavy on your knees, most regularly and carefully going before your big guns and marking a way for them to go. For victory and the minimisation of casualties, both sappers and big guns must work and walk together.
Listen: “Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.” (1 Corinthians 9:26-27 NKJV)
Pray: So Lord, please protect our big guns from being blown up, either by themselves or the enemy. Help us be faithful in marking the mines lain before their pounding tracks, in Jesus name we ask it, amen.
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