Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Victory or Death

We have all heard of Patrick Henry and his famous words, "Give me liberty or give me death". But have you heard of Private Patrick Ahearn? Until yesterday, I had never heard of this young man.

He fought during the Civil War and he was captured in Tennessee in 1864. He lived a life of integrity and honor. A young man not afraid of what was to come, but stood in strength. His life shouted, "Victory!"

While visiting the History Museum with my husband yesterday we walked through the Civil War exhibit. I stood in front of a portrait of this young man, a flag, and his story. What caught my eye? His words and his actions.

As this young man went into battle he would carry the flag under his uniform, for it's protection. As he went into every battle, he shouted the words, "Victory or Death".

I gotta tell you, hot tears rolled as I thought of this brave young man. As I stood, looking at the flag before me, my reflection caught my eye. It was almost as if a question was being tossed back at me. "Is this your motto? Are these the words of your life?"

See, in the Christian's life, we already know, Jesus Christ has the victory. It has already been won and nothing can take it away. But, do we walk in that victory? I can't say that I do every day. I think some days I grab my white flag and toss it about crazily, ready to surrender.

Trials are going to come. Battles are going to rage around us. We can't escape each and every one. There is going to come a time where we must stand. What is our choice going to be? Will we stand in victory or defeat? Will we carry that flag close to our heart or will we raise that white flag a little too eagerly?

There are times I think of what my last words will be. I too think of what my last actions. Will they make an impact? Will they be lasting? I must tell you, this young man inspired me. Little did he know, that he words would impact me in such a way, hundreds of years later. That's the kind of life I want to live. How about you? Not that I want others to see me, but I want others to see Christ through my life as I lived each day.

I want to live in such a way that my life shouts, "Victory or Death!" Whether the enemy is at my door step or right behind my step, I must live realizing, the victory is already won! There is nothing the enemy can do to me. See, this is not my home. Nor is it your home. Jesus knows the enemy. He has stood face to face with him and the enemy has nothing on our Jesus! Isn't that something to shout about?

When I go into battle, am I carrying the Word of God with me? The Sword and the Spirit? Do I have it close to my heart? Am I focused on what He has already done or am I allowing my fears to hold my next actions?

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."
Galatians 2:20

"But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless."
1 Corinthians 15:56-57

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life."
2 Corinthians 2:14-16

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
John 16:33


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