top of page

A Case for Influence

God has begun to work among us. As one friend put it, quoting C.S. Lewis in The Chronicles of Narnia, “Aslan is on the move.” I am firmly convinced that the Lord has already started a cultural and spiritual restoration of our country and that He is doing it outside of traditional church or denominational boundaries. As he leads, and as men and women of faith follow on his terms, we can be part of that restoration.

I invite you to consider what is, by any human measure, an impossible objective -– to realize the revitalization of Christian faith and character in America within your lifetime. It is the most far-reaching thing you will ever consider and, quite possibly, the most important of your life. For, if we succeed, we will have participated with God in the transformation of a nation for his purpose in the lives of our children and grandchildren.

Seventy years ago, in World War II, thousands of young Americans risked their lives in defense of this great nation. They prevailed. In so doing, they secured a future of freedom and opportunity in which we now stand to endorse foundational American principles of life and belief.

One of the stories that emerged from that war has inspired my thought. In December 1944, an entire American armored division was retreating from the German army in the Ardennes forest, when a sergeant in a U.S. tank destroyer spotted a lone American soldier digging a foxhole. The soldier, a private named Martin of the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, looked up and asked, “Are you men looking for a safe place?”

“Yes,” answered the tanker sergeant. “Well buddy, just pull your vehicle behind me. I‘m 82nd Airborne, and this is as far as the [enemy] is going.” Private Martin was not as polite in his reference to the enemy as I just related, but you get the idea.

Apparently, the tanker found Martin’s invitation to be compelling. He pulled behind the lone soldier and turned his gun to the east. One man, one foxhole, and now, one tank in the face of one of the fiercest mechanized attacks in military history.

Those men had to have concluded that the action to which they had committed was not only impossible but could only end in their deaths. Yet they stayed.

But, the story does not end. As the day progressed and as other American troops and tanks moved west away from the onslaught, they saw the unmistakable silhouette of that American tank and made their way to it. By the end of that day, one man's courage and influence had become the new American line. It did not break again.

The attitude of that young soldier is the attitude that men and women of faith in Christ must adopt if America is to be transformed. It is an attitude that must be expressed clearly, “I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and I am an American citizen. I will retreat no further from the truth of Scripture and the commands of Jesus. I will follow Jesus on His terms no matter the cost.”

The encounter between Private Martin and the tank crew occurred on December 23, 1944, and I have adopted that date, Twelve23, as an inspirational marker in my life.

But there is another Twelve23 to be considered — the words of Christ, recorded in John 12:23 – “Jesus answered them saying, ‘…the hour is come that the Son of Man should be glorified…’” (KJV)

Twelve23 is about realization of our national condition and of the weakened condition of the Church in America...a condition to which I have contributed. It's about God-directed action to change it. And, it's about an attitude...the attitude demonstrated by a young soldier under attack in a freezing forest far from the land he swore to protect who said, "Here is where I must stand."

Consider the influence of your life. Consider where you must stand. I caution you that it must be something to which God leads you and to which He assigns you. It cannot be something you decide.

I do not speak of standing for or against some socio-political issue. I speak of a determination to follow Christ on His terms. He takes care of the rest.

It’s time…to commit.

It’s time…to lead.

It’s time…to transform America.

bottom of page