How will you and I respond to God's call to speak truth and to choose freedom for all?

Your Battle Plan for a Holy War

From the first syllable of Austin’s prayer, her words caught my attention. The urgent tone implied warfare, and she invoked Ephesians 6 fighting words in her pleas for protection as our team prepared to lead a group of one hundred youth on an outreach project. Austin knew we were embarking on an adventure, a holy war. We had trained the teens, prepared our equipment for face painting, crafts, and games, but our battle plan depended more on the power of our message than the preparation of our messengers.

With this same warrior heart added to her military background, Natasha Sistrunk Robinson summons readers to prepare for this kind of fight. A Sojourner’s Truth is her call to choose freedom and courage in our divided world, even if the choice involves uncomfortable moments of taking our stand in a wilderness place.

War? What War?

Here in Mid-Coast Maine, in my predominantly white church family, the small scattering of brown faces belong to my friends, and they have sat at my table and enriched my life, so the war Robinson describes in vivid detail is invisible to me.  I needed to read the poignant narratives from her childhood and stories from the inside, which shine the light of truth and lend much needed perspective. For example, the white poverty of my own childhood is different from the economic disparity experienced by black Americans.

It takes courage and commitment for those of us who are safe and comfortable to accept an invitation into the wilderness. However, as the mother of four sons, I am coming to realize their bodies would be at great risk if they happened to be encased in dark brown skin.  Natasha writes about this injustice but exhorts readers about the dangers of unfettered anger and makes the heartbreaking connection between sin and death.

The Rules of Engagement

Moses was the leader God had chosen to prepare Israel for conquest, and his instructions had all the marks of a battle plan:

  1. Do not be afraid of your enemy because God is with you. (Deuteronomy 20:1)
  2. The leaders must step up. (Deuteronomy 20:9)
  3. The commanders’ strategy was to go in peace at first. (Deuteronomy 20:9-18) (143)

New Testament instructions for wearing truth, taking action, and guarding our hearts reinforce holy war strategy that “is not against flesh and blood.” There are unseen battles on many fronts, and the church will only engage effectively if we recognize our role as sojourners and citizens of God’s unseen kingdom. Every loss will not be restored and every injustice will not be set to rights in my sight and in my time, but even so, the God who causes “righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations” is at work in his people.

He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?”  (Micah 6:8)

How will you and I respond to his call to speak truth and to choose freedom for all?

May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you,

Many thanks to Intervarsity Press for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which, of course, is offered freely and with honesty.

I  am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. If you should decide to purchase A Sojourner’s Truth: Choosing Freedom and Courage in a Divided World, simply click on the title within the text, and you’ll be taken directly to Amazon. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

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23 thoughts on “Your Battle Plan for a Holy War”

  1. When I look at all the racial injustice and strife in today’s world, I feel powerless. Doing justly (doing the right thing) and loving kindness (or acting kindly) is really all each of us can do in the area where we’ve been placed. I’ve got to believe if we all do that, it will make a difference.


  2. It breaks my heart that so many years after Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech, there are people who still judge others by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character. But as we behave justly, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God, may the ripple effect lessen the impact of prejudice.


  3. This sounds like a great book, and this post is a great reminder that we need to truly listen to others and the injustices they face and that we need to step up and take action!


  4. Thank you for your review of this intriguing book. I’m a middle-class white woman from Wisconsin, and the world you describe is foreign to me. I know I need to understand it better so I can understand other people better. This book sounds like a lovely way to begin.


  5. Michele, great post. This: “There are unseen battles on many fronts, and the church will only engage effectively if we recognize our role as sojourners and citizens of God’s unseen kingdom.”

    We have to look beyond our own daily lives, ask God for eyes to see the world and His creation as He does. It’s then that we can be more effective as sojourners in this foreign land. Thanks for making me think.


  6. This sounds like an interesting book. The past few years have been rough with respect to race. It’s sad to see that our nation seems to have taken a step backwards. I guess it’s not a straight line.


  7. It’s amazing how Scripture, written so long ago, is still relevant to today’s situations. Micah 6:8 is a great example!
    I love seeing all these new books that address the topic of race. I truly hope they inspire action. After all, it’s not enough to read and be inspired, but to act (e.g., “do” justice, “love” kindness, “walk” humbly).


  8. I think it is shocking that institutional racism, sexiam and homophobia continue to exist in the present day. Love and hope must be encouraged for equality to stand a chance. Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging


    1. Sadly, as long as there are people on the planet, there will be evil in all its ugliness.
      In the meantime, we work to honor the image of God in EVERYONE so we can do our part to be a light in our small space.


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