Hey, spiritual warrior, you might want to consider this …
The name Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen may not be familiar to you, but the title of the “Red Baron” probably is.
That title was bestowed upon Richthofen not just because he flew a distinctive red Fokker aircraft as a fighter pilot for the Germans during the first World War, but also because he shot down more combat planes than anyone on either side of the war. His known “kill tally” was 80.
But on April 21 of 1918, the Red Baron’s terrorizing of the skies would change when he began chasing a Canadian plane trying to escape battle over the Somme river.
As the Red Baron pursued his prey, he strayed over enemy lines, and then failed to notice Canadian pilot Arthur “Roy” Brown coming up on his tail to help his comrade.
We will never know if it was a shot from the ground, or a shot from Brown, that killed Richthofen. But what we do know is the Red Baron came to his end because, as one report succinctly stated it, he made the mistake of pursuing the Allied plane “… too long, too far, and too low into enemy territory.”
World War I is long part of history now, but battles still rage, especially spiritual battles. And too many Christians today find themselves shot down because, like the Red Baron, they have followed temptation for too long, too far, and too low into enemy territory.
Today, we talk a lot about wandering into the world to “build relationships” with non-Christians so that we can be the light of Christ to them. Others talk about grace to such a degree they believe they can do just about anything and be okay.
But there is still an enemy out there …
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour,” 1 Peter 5:8.
Sometimes we think we can roam deep into enemy territory on our mission of the Gospel, but spending time far inside the enemy camp comes with temptations you might think you can withstand, but many don’t. Jesus’ warning to His disciples is a good warning for us today …
“Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” Matthew 26:41.
Are you exposing yourself to temptation that you shouldn’t be? Are you spending too much time too deep in enemy territory, exposing yourself to more than you should? How are you being alert and watching for temptation that can shoot you down?