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Is the Cold War returning?

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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U.S. President Barack Obama frowns during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 2012 G-8 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, June 18, 2012 (Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed)

The commander of the U.S. Army in Europe has announced that the United States will be moving “pre-position equipment” into Eastern Europe.  Why is this decision significant?

According to Stratfor, “pre-positioned equipment” was a staple of the Cold War.  The U.S. placed armor, vehicles, and logistical support in areas where conflict with the U.S.S.R. could arise.  This equipment was sufficient to support several divisions, should they be moved into such forward locations.  Since troops can be moved much more quickly than heavy ordnance, U.S. forces could mobilize quickly as needed.

Now our military is reintroducing this strategy in areas at risk of Russian incursion.  They are not of sufficient size to support an offensive against Russia, or to deter significant Russian forces.  As such, they are not intended to spark greater confrontation with Putin’s government.

Rather, they serve to show Russia that America will fight if necessary.  Pre-positioned equipment assures nations on the front lines of Russian aggression that they are not alone–the U.S. stands with them.  And such supplies may be the first step in a larger alliance to counter Russian agendas in the future.

In reading about this development, I thought of Psalm 27’s promise: “​The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (v. 1).  When we make God our stronghold, we need fear no enemy.

Does this mean that we are safe from attack?  Absolutely not.  See what David says next: “When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall” (v. 2).  Note that it is “when” evildoers assail us, not “if.”  David continues: “Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident” (v. 3).

Making God our stronghold does not prevent attacks by our enemies.  In fact, when we stand with God we stand against those who stand against our Lord, and may find ourselves in greater adversity as a result.  Rather, making God our stronghold positions us to experience his power and grace when the attacks come.

“Pre-positioned equipment,” despite its intent, may provoke further aggression by pro-Russian forces.  But placing such provision now will be essential when aggression arises.

It is the same with our Lord.  Make Jesus your stronghold now.  Choose to trust his strength over yours.  Depend on his providence and love.  Begin every day by choosing intentionally to make Jesus your King, asking his Spirit to control and empower you (Ephesians 5:18) and surrendering control of your life to your Lord.  Then, stay close to Jesus all through the day, practicing his presence in all you encounter.  When you face a decision, ask for his wisdom.  When you face temptation, ask for his power.  If you fall, ask for his forgiveness and cleansing grace.  When you are grateful for something that happens, give Jesus thanks.

Keep the power drill connected to the power source.  Charge the laptop before you turn it on, and as you use it.  Stay close to your Stronghold, and find in him your peace.

Jesus came to “pre-position” the power of God on this rebellious planet.  His Spirit is now resident in your life as you fight on the front lines.  All of God there is, is in this moment.

Why do you need a stronghold today?