Wounded and Personal Pearl Harbors – Recognition and admiration of our Veterans. Thank you for serving and giving so we in America can experience a life unknown to the remaining world.

Wounded and Personal Pearl Harbors

By Delbert Young

wounded and personal pearl harbors

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Wounded and Personal Pearl Harbors

Scriptures: Revelation 12:7, Revelation 12:9, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, 1 Peter 5:8, 1 Corinthians 10:11-12, 1 Peter 5:8, Luke 22:31-32

Tomorrow is Memorial Day. It is the day we set aside to remember all those Americans who died in military services for our country. Let’s take a moment and recognize the veterans among us. If you are a veteran, will you please stand and allow us to thank you. We must never allow ourselves to neglect being thankful for those who served and died protecting our great nation.

Today I want to take a few minutes and remember and think about the wounded and the casualties of a different war. I want to talk about Personal Pearl Harbors. I’m not talking about the Christian martyrs who died that you and I could experience salvation today. I’m talking about people like you and me and people we love that were wounded in the war with darkness and became casualties. I am certain that you know some of these. Some of these are Christians. Some of these are not Christians. Some were once were strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Some have never come to Jesus. The same dragon, called the Devil and Satan, which deceives the whole world has a Pearl Harbor planned for every living soul.

Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

On Sunday morning December 7, 1941 the Empire of Japan successfully attacked Pearl Harbor. Thousands of American lives were lost. Great war ships were sunk to be bottom of the Pacific. Hundreds of fighter planes were destroyed. The horror of Pearl Harbor is that it did not need to happen. It could have been avoided, or at least been much less devastating. America knew that Japan was up to something as early as October. Telegraph and radio transmissions from Japan were intercepted concerning the attack. Telephone conversations were overheard. The planes were spotted on radar in time to get defense planes into the air. There was adequate warning and time, but no one heeded the warning. No one took the enemy seriously. Two hours later the destruction was devastating.

Satan deceives the whole world. He has a Pearl Harbor planned for every person on this planet. Those outside of Christ have no chance. They do not listen to the radio warnings about Satan. They have no weapons. Those who reject the love of Jesus have a Christless eternity awaiting them in hell. Though there is adequate time to avoid the devastation that will come upon them, they do not listen.

The situation is different with the believer. We have listened and we have the weapons to destroy the enemy’s strongholds. We have the radar and the intelligence and we know the enemy will attack. Still, we float around in the harbor on Sunday morning as the enemy flies in and destroys our families, finances, and friends. Look at 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

We have the weapons. We have the warships. We have the fighter planes. We have the radar. We have the intelligence. But few take the enemy serious. I look around and I see Pearl Harbors everywhere. But then I see others who seem to never have a Pearl Harbor. What is the difference? One must take the enemy seriously while the other does not.

The Bible gives the Christ follower much warning about this war. We are supposed to take the warning and warn the world. Listen to the words of 1 Peter 5:8.

1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Have you ever watched as someone who was strong in the Lord went down during a battle? Have you ever seen someone far from God do down as the devil attacked their lives? How did that make us feel? Do you know what I have actually witnessed? I have actually witnessed Christ followers rejoice in an “I told you so” attitude. People, that is wrong. It should break our hearts. It should make us get out there and do our jobs to save the lost and strengthen the believer. Pearl Harbors should not happen.

Another attitude is that we think that it couldn’t happen to me. We think we are too spiritual, or too smart, or too important, or too wealthy to have a personal Pearl Harbor. This is true with Christ followers and those far from God. Let me show you what the Bile says about that attitude.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

1 Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Paul the apostle had just spoken about the people of God who were delivered by the blood of the Lamb, through the Red Sea, led under the cloud, fed manna, and given water from a rock. These were important people, wealthy people, smart people, important people, and spiritual people. Yet, because they did not take their warfare seriously, they went down in the wilderness. Let’s look at 1 Peter 5:8 again.

1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Peter says, “Your enemy the devil . . .” How many of us would admit that we have been hurt since we have come to Jesus? Most all of us have been wounded at one time or another during our journey with Jesus. Perhaps you are wounded now. Some people never recover from their wounds and go down to stay. Have you ever heard someone say something, “Yes, the devil is like a roaring lion, but he just a toothless bully?” You better not believe that one. That is a horrible teaching and contradicts scripture. He will devour you.

I remember a time years ago when I was critically wounded. I had dropped my guard and the devil shot me. It looked bad. It looked really bad. I honestly thought I was going down for good. I was a deacon at the church that I was serving. Judy and I were having problems. I became very weak in my faith and I was looking for a way out of this Christ follower thing. People noticed that I had become weak and questioned me about it. Here is what I said, “I’m fine. I’m going to take a sabbatical for a little while.” The truth of the matter is that I was bleeding to death. It always bothers me now when someone says to me they are going to take a sabbatical. I know what is happening. I know that I have a wounded soldier on my hands. They have been in a battle and need some healing. When we are strong in the Lord and his power, we want to fight, not take a sabbatical.

Why are there casualties in and out of Christ? I think there are two primary reasons. First, we Christ followers don’t want to admit we are hit. We project that we are too spiritual to be hit. Being wounded means we have done something wrong. Secondly, we turn our backs on our wounded especially if they are a Christ follower. We call them “backsliders,” “hypocrites,” and any other derogatory name we can come up with.

For the next few minutes, let’s talk about this. Let’s talk about three thoughts: (1) “Recognizing the wounded”; (2) “Healing the wounded”; and (3) “Resurrecting the casualties.”

  1. Recognizing the wounded.

We can easily see when a soldier in the natural military has been hit by the enemy. There is bleeding out of blood. Often there is a missing limb. The hit was the physical man. In the spiritual realm, the hit was to the spirit man or to the spirit and soul of the person. The spiritual life is bleeding out. We dry up. If the bleeding is not stopped, we will have a casualty on our hands. We die to spiritual things.

We look and important limbs of their life are missing. Assembling for meeting is missing from that life. Fellowship is missing. Prayer is missing from the life. Reading the word is missing from the life. Ministering with spiritual gifts is missing from that life. Evangelism is missing from that life. The spiritual life dries up and the wounded become a casualty in Christ. I’m not talking about a person losing their salvation. I’m talking about the wounded soldier who will become a casualty in Christ if the bleeding isn’t stopped.

The danger is that often we neglect the bleeding. We attempt to pretend that it’s not there and we are not wounded. So, we keep bleeding and keep getting weaker and weaker until we become a casualty. We don’t think that could happen to us, but neither does a soldier in the natural think it could happen to him or her. Let me tell you, it can happen to any of us and it does happen daily.

I know how I am when I am healthy. I read the word every day. I pray every day. I minister every day. I reach out to people far from God consistently. There is a joy in my heart and my mind is clear of bitterness. I also know how I act when I am wounded. I shared earlier about my being critically wounded years ago. Every area of my spiritual life dried up and nearly died. I was bleeding out my spiritual life. I knew it was happening, but I would not tell anyone it was happening. I was a deacon. I was the adult Sunday School teacher. I was the guy who had the perfect family. But, I could have been a Christian Casualty. Instead, I got help and I got healed.

  1. Healing the wounded.

How do we heal the wounded? Can we heal ourselves? The first step is for the wounded to recognize they are wounded and ask for help. That doesn’t mean we are hypocrites, backsliders, or lost our faith. It means we have been in a battle. We can act like we are not hit and die. Or, we can admit we are hit and get help.

The bleeding must be stopped. Once stopped, the wound must be cleaned and cared for. If not, infection – unforgiveness – will rage through the body and will cause a casualty. I watch this happen often. The bleeding stops, but the infection spreads and brings tremendous fever and damage. The infection can cause brain damage – soul damage – and severely retard the soldier. Warped thinking is a result. The soldier is of little use in the kingdom and the enemy has a victory.

We were on vacation several summers ago. My son and I were going fishing in the Gulf. My boat had pulled alongside the bait boat to purchase some live bait. I was holding the two boats apart when a wave that I was not prepared for came along. It slammed the bait boat against my boat. The problem was that my right thumb was between the two boats. It crushed the end of my thumb. It looked horrible and the pain was excruciating. The end of my thumb was flat. The thumbnail was still attached, but sticking out. It was bleeding. My son said that we needed to go to the emergency room. I said, “No. We are going fishing. What could the doctor do? He will only take off the thumbnail which is going to come off anyway.” So, we went fishing. All day long, my thumb throbbed and bled. I stuck it in ice. I wrapped it in gauze. For the next several days, I washed it with peroxide and kept it bandaged. I needed to come home that weekend for church. While I was here, I decided to call my doctor and tell him about it. He said, “Delbert, you need to get that taken care of. The nail needs to be removed, but if it is crushed, the bone fragments in the thumb could cause infection and gang green. You could lose your thumb.” Well now, that got my attention. I was at his office in a few minutes. We took care of the thumbnail and I was given some medicine to stop infection. Then I was told that I would probably lose some use of my thumb because of nerve damage. I would need to rehabilitate my thumb.

We are like that in the spiritual. We know we got slammed and crushed. We even know we are bleeding spiritually, but we don’t realize the seriousness. We want to doctor it ourselves. What can anyone do, right? We think that with a little peroxide and a little gauze, we will be alright. We have no idea that the crushing could cause serious damage and even amputation of a necessary member.

We need to call someone and get their opinion when we admit that we are wounded. Perhaps gauze and peroxide will be enough, but what if it isn’t? Look around at people that you know who became casualties in Christ. Had they gotten correct help, would they have become casualties? No, not a one of them. They decided to heal it on their own. Don’t do that.

  1. Resurrecting a casualty

The wounded and the casualties must be prayed for. Remember when Jesus told Peter that Peter would be hit by Satan?

Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

See, all of us, even a Peter, is not immune from being hit by Satan. My point is that Jesus prayed for Peter and that prayer would bring Peter back around to minister again. Prayer can resurrect someone who denied he or she ever knew Jesus. Prayer can resurrect someone who cursed Jesus.

I came to church that Sunday with my crushed thumb. I prayed for people to be healed and filled and fixed. But no one prayed for me. There I was with this huge gauze bandage on my thumb and no one prayed for me. Finally, after the service was over and dismissed, Linda Wilkey, a woman in our church came up to me and said, “No one prayed for your thumb.” She had experienced a similar accident a few years earlier when she smashed her thumb in a car door. She asked if she could pray for me. I said of course. She knew exactly how to pray. She prayed my thumbnail would come back correctly. She prayed medical terms about the restoration of my thumb and thumbnail. I was greatly impressed with her prayer. Today my thumb is just fine. I experienced no lose of use. I never had rehabilitation on it.

Often we notice that someone is wounded, but we don’t do anything about it. Someone in the body of Christ has been wounded the same way you have been wounded. They know exactly how to pray for you. They know what you are experiencing and how you are hurting. You can be completely restored. There is no need for any Christian Casualties. Pearl Harbors should not happen. All we need to do is admit we are wounded, call someone, get the wound proper care, make sure infection does not set in, and get prayer.

I shared about my nearly being a Christian casualty years ago. I believe today that I was a goner, but was brought back to life in Christ. How did that happen? My wife prayed. My pastor prayed. I was never condemned. They kept on loving me. They kept encouraging me and kept using me. They made certain that I knew my worth to the kingdom and to them. They kept praying for me. It took a little time, but I became stronger than ever. I picked up my rifle and put on my helmet and I went back to the front lines to fight again.

How do we resurrect a casualty? Love them. Pray for them. Use them. Tell them how much they are needed and how valuable they are to the kingdom.

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