road in the forest

Advancing Forward in Faith

by Greg Laurie

During the Korean War, enemy forces were advancing on a military unit known as the Baker Company. This unit was cut off from the rest of the regiment, and for several hours, no word was heard, even after repeated attempts to communicate with them. Finally, headquarters picked up a faint signal. Straining to hear each word, the radio operator asked, “Baker Company, do you read me?” “This is Baker Company.”

“Baker Company, what is your situation?”

“The enemy is to the east of us. The enemy is to the west of us. The enemy is to the north of us, and the enemy is to the south of us . . . and we are not going to let them escape this time!”

That is the kind of attitude we ought to have as believers. But sometimes we feel like we are in the same dilemma as the Baker Company: the enemy is to the north of us, the south of us, the east of us, and the west of us.

Everywhere we look, we see the devil’s dirty work. It can be overwhelming. We think, “What’s the use?” But we can’t let that happen. We must have faith and say, “We can move forward. God can work through our lives.” We need to be active in the work of the Lord. The devil is active in his work, because he recognizes that his time is short and his judgment is sure.

Even if some liberal theologians don’t believe it, the devil believes that Jesus is coming back very soon. Therefore, he is stepping up his efforts. The return of the Lord is bad news for the devil, but it is good news for the church. For him, it is an incentive to attack our faith and try to make us stumble and fall. For us, it is an incentive to share our faith and live holy lives.

Simply put, the devil does not want you to follow Jesus Christ. He did everything he could to keep you from coming to Christ in the first place, and now he wants to do everything he can to keep you immobilized and ineffective for the kingdom of God. But here is what it comes down to: if you are a Christian, there is no room for spiritual pacifism, because you will become a spiritual casualty. If you are a Christian, then you are going to be in a battle.

The question is, will you advance or retreat? You can either stay in the wilderness, or you can enter the Promised Land. In the Christian life, either you are an overcomer, or you will be overcome. God has brought you out of the life of sin and bondage to bring you into a life of power and victory in which you are serving the Lord.

But unbelief will whisper in your ear and say, “Let’s stay where it is safe.” Yet faith says, “Let’s go forward to where God is working.” Unbelief says, “We can’t do it,” while faith says, “Let’s go for it.” It’s all in how you look at things.

In the Book of Ephesians, we learn a very important truth about spiritual warfare: the battle already has been won. According to Ephesians 1:21-22:

“Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else in this world or in the world to come. And God has put all things under the authority of Christ, and he gave him this authority for the benefit of the church” (NLT).

Maybe you’re thinking, “That’s great for Jesus, but what does it have to do with me?” But notice what the apostle Paul says in Ephesians 2:4-6:

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so very much, that even while we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s special favor that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ, and we are seated with him in the heavenly realms-all because we are one with Christ Jesus. (NLT)

In other words, what Paul is saying is that Christ is above all other powers. Because you have put your faith in Him, you are seated positionally with Jesus. Therefore, we don’t need to fight for victory, because we fight from it. We rest in the finished work that Christ accomplished on the cross.