Category: Cultural Commentary Written by Jim Denison
Seventy years ago today, the largest seaborne invasion in history was launched by Allied soldiers in Normandy, France. Overnight, a military armada with more than 156,000 troops crossed the English Channel on more than 2,300 landing crafts. At 6:30 AM, troops began storming the shore on a 60-mile front.
Known as "D-Day," the battle was codenamed Operation Overlord. However, it would not have been successful without Operation Bodyguard, one of history's greatest military deceptions. More than a dozen German spies in Britain had been discovered, arrested, and turned into double agents now working for the Allies. They were used to inform Hitler that the Allies were planning to invade at the Pas-de-Calais region, 150 miles northeast of Normandy and the point closest to Great Britain.
The Allies created a largely phantom fighting force led by George Patton, the general most feared by Germany. They built dummy aircraft and an armada of decoy landing crafts, and deployed inflatable Sherman tanks. The ruse worked—Hitler sent forces to Calais that would have been instrumental in combating the Normandy invasion.
We owe an inestimable debt to the soldiers who fought and died to defend our freedom this day. Please take time today to pray for D-Day veterans and their families. And consider how you can learn from their example and continue their mission.
Matthew 10 tells the story of the first "Kingdom D-Day." Here Jesus sends his 12 disciples into the nation to proclaim that "the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (v. 7). Our Lord warns them: "Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves" (v. 16). They are to be both strategic and godly, using every means at their disposal to assault their spiritual enemy and advance the gospel.
How can we do the same? First, understand that you are at war. Your enemy has "blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:4). Would you say that our moral climate is getting better or worse? Is Satan winning the battle for the minds of many?
Second, accept your marching orders. Consider those you influence to be your Kingdom assignment, your Normandy beach. Pray for them by name. Ask God to give you discernment and wisdom as you meet their felt needs, earning the right to meet their spiritual needs. Choose to pay any price to share the love of God.
Third, pray daily for spiritual awakening. The ultimate answer to war, whether military or spiritual, is the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. Join other believers in seeking a great spiritual movement in your nation before it's too late.
Before the D-Day invasion began, General Eisenhower spoke words to his troops which are now inscribed on the National World War II Memorial: "You are about to embark upon the great crusade toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you . . . I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle." Can you hear your Lord say the same to you today?
Did you have a family member who fought at D-Day? So that we might honor their service, would you share their story in our comments section?