In studying ancient warfare, it’s interesting to note that rather than two armies going against each other full force and clambering, they would often get within ten feet of one another and just jab and throw things. In fact, sometimes this strange practice of poking and tormenting went on for hours. Interestingly, if you watch closely, you can see the same thing happen in protests today. Typically, police officers and demonstrators stand on either side of an invisible line, and as long as they remain planted and engage from a distance, nothing drastically changes. However, whether in old-school battles or modern-day marches, people get hurt when someone retreats. If just one person becomes scared and runs, more start to panic, and the line they were holding turns brittle. Interestingly, we can see this phenomenon in spiritual warfare as well. When the enemy of our soul taunts us — alarming us so that we leave our post — our behavior will affect our neighbors. We are not in this fight alone, and yielding to fear can cause us — and others — to lose hope, fall into despair, or shy away from doing the right thing.
My friend, don’t be dissuaded when people nearby you retreat. Especially in a culture that’s full of compromise, hold the line and refuse to back down from your convictions, even if others flee. Rely on the Holy Spirit’s power and become the kind of trust-filled, joyful person who perseveres in adversity and clings to hope, no matter how much it costs. You were made for such a time as this, and when you stand firm faith, regardless of what you see, you become a source of inspiration to the many searchers and seekers who surround you.