Need To Take the Land
2001 Mitch Robbins
- On D-Day, the 6th of June, 1944,
one of history's largest assault forces began to recapture France
from the occupying German army. The ultimate goal of this invasion
was to defeat the Germans and liberate Europe from the iron grip
of Hitler's Nazi war machine.
- Allied air forces provided
air cover for the invasion, as well as transport for three airborne
divisions. More than 5,000 vessels of the Allied navy-from battleships
to landing craft-carried and landed the 130,000-troop assault
force along fifty miles of Normandy coast. Paratroopers from
more than 1,000 transport aircraft dropped to secure the flanks
and beach exits of the assault area. The British and Canadian
troops landed on beaches that were designated Gold, Juno and
Sword. The Americans landed on Utah and Omaha beaches.
- Good soldiers. Among the many brave units that
served during that invasion, the outstanding group known as the
Rangers is an example to us as Christian filmmakers. God has
called us-along with evangelists and missionaries-to conduct
ourselves in a way that befits good soldiers of the cross. We
have been called to be God's Rangers to establish spiritual beachheads
in our society and culture.
- At the beginning of World
War II, the Rangers worked and trained hard to prepare for the
extreme requirements of their mission. These men weren't called
Rangers until they earned it. The following quotation is from
the Rangers' History Archives.
- Promoted to major, Darby
performed a near miracle in organizing the unit within a few
weeks after receiving his challenging assignment. Thousands of
applicants from the 1st Armored Division and the 34th Infantry
Division and other units in N. Ireland were interviewed by his
hand-picked officers, and after a strenuous weeding-out program
at Carrickfergus, the First Ranger Battalion was officially activated
there on 19 June, 1942.
But more rugged and realistic training with live ammunition was
in store for the Rangers at the famed Commando Training Center
at Achnacarry, Scotland. Coached, prodded and challenged by the
battle-seasoned Commando instructors, commanded by Colonel Charles
Vaughan, the Rangers learned the rudiments of Commando warfare.
Five hundred of the six hundred volunteers that Darby brought
with him to Achnacarry survived the Commando training with flying
colors, although one Ranger was killed and several wounded by
- Resistance. Although each aspect of the invasion
was critical, and many brave men accomplished much, the landing
at Omaha Beach typifies the events of that great and terrible
- When the first wave of
American troops landed at Omaha Beach at 6:30 a.m., the men encountered
fierce resistance from the German defenses. The men of the 1st
and 29th Infantry Divisions and the Army Rangers encountered
a wall of steel, barbed wire, and land mines along the 7,000
yards of the Normandy shore. From the bluffs overlooking the
beach German positions raked the beaches with deadly machine-gun
and mortar fire. The assault was stopped at the water's edge
for most of the morning.
- By mid-morning Lt. General
Omar Bradley, United States First Army commander, considered
pulling off the beach and attempting a landing elsewhere along
the coast. The success of the whole invasion was at stake. If
the American troops could not establish a position in this area,
a German wedge in the front lines could divide the Allied forces
and put them at risk of a German counterattack.
- Colonel Max Schneider
led the 5th Ranger Battalion during the invasion. The mission
of the 2nd and 5th Ranger Battalions was to capture gun fortifications
on Pointe du Hoe, west of Omaha Beach. During the landing, heavy
enemy resistance delayed companies of the 2nd Ranger Battalion
from gaining a foothold atop Pointe du Hoe. As he and his battalion
approached Omaha Beach under intense enemy fire, Col. Schneider
realized there was no beachhead. He swung the flotilla east and
managed to bring his Rangers on shore intact, ready to fight.
- Despite fierce machine-gun,
mortar and artillery fire, three companies assaulted the perpendicular
cliffs of Pointe du Hoe and destroyed a large gun battery that
would have wreaked havoc on the Allied fleets offshore. The Rangers
fought for two days and two nights without relief, until the
5th Ranger Battalion linked up with them, storming the beach
under heavy enemy fire and establishing a position on Omaha Beach.
- The Rangers then broke
across the sea wall and barbed-wire entanglements and braved
strong enemy machine-gun and mortar fire to take the pillbox-rimmed
heights. Then they advanced four miles to the key town of Vierville.
This opened the beach for supporting troops to land and expand
- Every year we remember
the sixth of June 1944 and the thousands of brave men who laid
their lives on the line at Normandy. With great pride and sadness
we honor their sacrifice and the place they won in our history.
Their determination and faithfulness to the enormous task before
them enabled the Allies to establish a critical beachhead in
Europe. This successful invasion was the beginning of the end
to the terror and bloodshed of World War II.
- Another war. Today we are in another war, which
some describe as a war between a moral and an immoral culture.
On the surface, this is true. However, the real battle is a spiritual
battle between the demonic forces of Satan that hold people captive,
and God's people who will overcome the enemy by the blood of
the Lamb and the word of their testimony. The Church of Jesus
Christ has been commissioned to spread the gospel and to liberate
people from the enemy's bondage. As Christian filmmakers, we
believe God has called us to proclaim the gospel in film and
- God's Requirements
for Entering the Battle
- When thou
goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses,
and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them:
for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out
of the land of Egypt. And it shall be, when ye are come nigh
unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto
the people, And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach
this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts
faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified
because of them; For the Lord your God is he that goeth with
you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying, What man
is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated
it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle,
and another man dedicate it. And what man is he that hath planted
a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? let him also go and
return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another
man eat of it. And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife,
and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house,
lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.
And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they
shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted?
let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren's heart
faint as well as his heart. And it shall be, when the officers
have made an end of speaking unto the people that they shall
make captains of the armies to lead the people.
- This passage makes it
clear that not everyone is ready for the battle. It takes personally
knowing God and His greatness and power. It takes trusting in
Him, not in the arm of flesh. It takes courage born out of seeing
God work over and over again in our lives and others' lives,
knowing that nothing can stand before Him as He goes before us.
It takes having an undivided heart toward God and the purpose
for which He has called us.
- Notice that after saying,
"Be not afraid of them," God has Joshua and the priests
name the things that would disqualify someone from taking part
in the battle.
- What man is there that
hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? ... that hath
planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? ... that hath
betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? ... And ... that is
fearful and fainthearted?
- The first three have to
do with a divided heart. They are not evil things. They are not
sin. They are areas of our lives where we find ourselves distracted
or unprepared to give 100% to the effort of the battle. God knows
the times in our lives, such as right before or after we get
married, when we may not be ready to concentrate on the battle.
He tells those to take care of their responsibilities with no
rebuke or stigma attached.
- Everyone who finds himself
in this situation needs to attend to those distracting things
and let God bring him back to a singleness of heart concerning
His purpose for him. That person can still be a big part of God's
plan through prayer and support, but it may not be God's time
for him to join the front line action.
- The fourth point addresses
those who are fearful or faint-hearted. God is not talking about
nervousness or "butterfly stomach" that may bother
us when sharing the gospel. I often feel this way myself, because
I know my own inadequacy to share the gospel effectively and
my need to trust God to work through me.
- The fear God is talking
about here comes from a lack of trust in God's love and infinite
power. This can be a big problem, because this kind of fear is
sin. It was one of the main reasons God did not allow the first
generation of Israelites to enter the Promised Land. If we find
ourselves in this frame of mind, we must turn to God and humbly
acknowledge this sin. We need to spend time getting to know Him
and let the Holy Spirit begin working in our lives and our families'
before stepping out in the serious ministry of spreading the
gospel. We need to let God prepare us, lest our fear affect others
around us and hinder the work of the gospel.
- Rigorous training. Christian filmmakers, God wants
us all ready to fight in the battle. We need to train to be the
best in every technical and artistic aspect of production, marketing,
distribution, and support services. More than that, He wants
us to be spiritually prepared. We need to read God's word and
through faith and obedience learn to walk in God's ways. God
wants to bless the work that we do, but His blessing is for those
who diligently listen to His voice and obey Him.
- Leviticus 20:1-12 says-
- And it shall
come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice
of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments
which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set
thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings
shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken
unto the voice of the Lord thy God.
Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be
in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the
fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase
of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy
basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest
in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee
to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee
one way, and flee before thee seven ways. The Lord shall command
the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou
settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land
which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as
he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments
of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways. And all people of
the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of Lord;
and they shall be afraid of thee.
And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit
of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit
of thy ground, in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers
to give thee. The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure,
the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and
to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto
many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.
- God has called
us to take the land. Joshua 1:1-9 foreshadows our ministry to
win people to Jesus Christ.
- Now after
the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that
the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying,
Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan,
thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them,
even to the children of Israel.
Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that
have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness
and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates,
all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the
going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the
days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee:
I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good
courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance
the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe
to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded
thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that
thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou
shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe
to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou
shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good
success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage;
be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God
is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
- This passage shows that
God will go before us and give us the land wherever our feet
shall tread. We won't take back the land by just waiting for
God to hand it to us. He has the power to do it, but He has chosen
to involve us in the process. He will not give us any land that
we do not step out in faith and walk upon. There are many areas
of the film industry that we will need to take by stepping out
in faith and doing what God tells us to do. There are areas of
financing and production, areas of marketing and distribution.
All of the technical, artistic and spiritual aspects of this
industry will need to be taken back from the enemy by faithful
obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
- We can't let the size
of the task or the faces of those occupying the land cause us
to shrink back. We can't let the hardship of our part of the
mission discourage us. Some will be able to establish their part
of the beachhead with little initial resistance. Others, encountering
the brunt of the enemy's defenses, will need to make great sacrifices.
- Our commander. God knows where He has placed
his forces. On the Normandy beaches, some of the toughest assignments
fell to units of the United States Rangers. Whether by providence
or by the skill of the Allied commanders they were the best prepared
for that kind of fighting. If less-experienced units had been
assigned to scale the cliffs next to Omaha Beach, they would
have almost surely been defeated. But the Rangers could do the
job because of their training and preparation.
- The same is true of us
as Christian filmmakers. As it wasn't enough for a man just to
call himself a Ranger, it's not enough for us just to call ourselves
Christian filmmakers. We must equip ourselves and equip others
in every aspect of the work God has called us to do. Our personal
lives as well as our films need to reflect moral and spiritual
purity and loving obedience to God's word. As our commander,
God has laid out clear specifications for those who want to join
His army. It's up to us to let Him prepare our hearts as well
as our technical skills for the battle ahead. Be not afraid
God will go before us!