One of my favorite lines from the "Lord of the Rings" blockbuster trilogy appears in Part One when the magnificent gray-haired Gandalf leads the fellowship of hobbits and humans, a dwarf and an elf breathlessly scurrying thru the Mines of Moria running for their lives. The defining moment occurs as Gandalf comes to the realization that this chase can no longer continue. Traditional battle tactics have afforded no victory and it’s time to confront the evil, the filth, the utter destruction – yes, the beast itself -- dead on.
Our hero whips around 180°. Straightening his frame to his full height, Gandalf squares his shoulders and faces the enemy eye-to-eye. Thrusting his staff onto the rocky corridor between them, a defiant wizard shouts from the very core of his being, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!”
It’s time for more Gandalfs in the world. Certainly here in America. And especially in our homes.
Just think of it: On the world stage, our US Ambassador to Libya is brutally tortured and dragged thru the streets in mockery of our Judeo-Christian values; In America, our leaders on Capitol Hill refuse to defend a 200-year-old commitment to one-man/one-woman marriage. And here in my backyard, under the beautiful backdrop of the Colorado Rockies, a crazed madman goes on a rampage in a theater senselessly murdering twelve innocent people.
Why? Perhaps because as Christians we’ve been running, primarily playing defense. We’ve resigned ourselves to glancing over our shoulder hoping we can outwit, out-run or out-maneuver the enemy using traditional battle tactics. We can’t. We must turn and face it.
I love the Apostle Paul's admonition to the Corinthians: "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds." (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
As a mom, I'm called to wage war on a culture which brazenly tries to seep through the cracks and snare my family. I must daily stand at the door frame of my home and with Gandalf-like boldness declare to the enemy, “No more! You shall not pass! You’re not getting my kids, you’re not getting my marriage, you’re not going to destroy my faith. Enough!” I will stand between the evil and my home and engage the battle.
Tough? You bet. Daunting? Oh yeah. And yet, I could never undertake such a calling with my own strength or my own resolve. I'm neither a warrior nor a wizard; I'm a mere flawed human. No, this battle for my family will only be won utilizing that divine truth cited by Paul. The Old Testament sums it up succinctly: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty." (Zechariah 4:6). But wait -- it gets even better: Moses reminded the Israelites: “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you...." (Deuteronomy 1:29) Fight for me? You mean the battle's already been won? Yes.
Ahhhh. Therein, my friend, lies the victory.