In the awesome western, “3:10 to Yuma” there is a great scene where a cowboy informs the sheriff that the stagecoach was robbed by the notorious villain Ben Wade. The Sheriff accusingly asks the cowboy “why didn’t you try to stop him, whereupon the cowboy responds…”Cause they was shootin’ bullets”.
Here’s the thing, this bystander is absolutely right. When a battle rages…when the bullets are flying, the last thing any sane person would do is stand. Yet this is exactly what Paul demands Christians do.”Flaming arrows” whizzing by? Strap on your armor and stand. What? And in case we don’t get it Paul repeats “stand” three times. In fact he doesn’t just say stand, he says “stand firm”. Whats the difference Paul? I think its because when your in a fight, when you’re about to take a blow, the most important thing to get right is your footing. Brace yourself. Plant your feet in solid ground. Wobbly legs won’t do. Stand firm.
One might argue the most effective tactic in war is to divide and conquer. We live in a culture that pretends there is no battle. This is by design. As Paul puts it, this is the “tactic” of a “cosmic tyrant”. This villain is able to divide and conquer only when Christ’s Church sleeps and make no mistake when believers unite, when the gospel is preached, a battle begins.
Here’s a thought, is it possible some day, we too may be asked, “didn’t you see your culture crumbling? Couldn’t you feel the battle raging? Why didn’t you stand…”cause they was shootin’ bullets”?