Tensions were high on June 5, 1944. In a matter of hours, Allied forces would storm the beaches of Normandy and attempt to liberate Europe from the deadly Nazi grip. Knowing the importance of victory, General George S. Patton addressed his military leaders on the eve of battle.
Though the outcome of the invasion was far from clear, Patton’s expectations were crystal clear.
Standing before the leaders of his beloved Third Army, “Old Blood and Guts” let it be known exactly what he expected of his men during the upcoming invasion:
I don’t want to get any messages saying, “I am holding my position.” We are not holding…. We are advancing constantly, and we are not interested in holding on to anything…. Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep advancing, regardless of whether or not we have to go over, under, or through the enemy.
Patton wouldn’t be satisfied with anything but total victory. And he knew that victory depended upon his men rigorously and continuously moving forward.
In Matthew 11, Jesus told His disciples about the Kingdom of Heaven that was “forcefully advancing.” Then, in Matthew 16, Jesus taught His disciples about the church He would build that could conquer Hell. Finally, in Matthew 28, following His resurrection from the grave, Jesus gave His disciples an urgent command:
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 18-20)
Too many churches are content with being comfortable and “holding their positions” while the world around them lives – and dies – apart from God. This attitude is anything but biblical, and even contradicts the final instructions of Jesus Christ.
If the men of the Third Army were willing to obey a mere general on June 6, 1944, the Church of Jesus Christ should be more than willing to obey the command of the King of all kings and the Lord of every lord.
Charge! History’s Greatest Military Speeches by Steve Israel. Naval Institute Press, 2007, Page 203.
Topics Illustrated Include:
World War II
(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)