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Perseverance in The Last Battle

King Tirian and Jewel the unicorn are good examples of perseverance (as well as friendship) in a number of ways. What particularly grabs me is a phrase which I believe shows up elsewhere in the series (I think on the lips of Reepicheep in Dawn Treader). When their backs are against the wall, all looks hopeless and their deaths seem certain, Jewel says, “Sire – There is now no need of counsel. Nothing now remains for us seven but to … proclaim the truth, and take the adventure Aslan sends us.” Out of context this line may not seem very impressive. However, in its context it is a compelling approach to obedience in the face of overwhelming odds. At this point in the story they have done all they can to resist the enemy and yet the enemy has cut off all their hopes of reinforcement. Their duty is clear- fight the enemies who have invaded their land, enslaved their people and deceived their people with lies about Aslan. However, it would appear equally clear that their possibility of success is almost zero. What shall they do? Shall they barter their honor for their lives? Shall they abandon the ways of Aslan and make peace with his enemies since they have no way of winning? These same questions approach us in life and ministry. And many- so many- counsel obedience only when success seems probable. Otherwise they suggest compromise. Oh, how we need the example of courageous obedience that says simply, “Let us go forth in obedience and see what adventure the Lord has ordained for us. Whether we live or die we serve the Lord” (for a biblical example see Daniel 3, esp. vv. 16-18).

Do we truly believe God is sovereign? Do we owe Him obedience at all times, or did He fail to consider this particular incident? Is this all about us, our survival and success even though we drape it in language about God’s glory? Or will we see that our task is to obey and simply see what happens? God is working his purposes out and we do not know what our part will be. Our part may be to see the work of God prosper in our hands. Or our part may be to go down in noble defeat. Our own particular outcome is not to be our great concern. We are simply to be faithful and trust God to use it. I do not need to be a mastermind; I just need to mind the Master.

So when our duty is clear (e.g., discipline for an unrepentant but influential member, standing on biblical principles though it incur the wrath of friends, members, or denomination, etc.), then let us remember the noble unicorn of Narnia and like him step out in obedience, “proclaim the truth, and take the adventure Aslan sends us.” Better a noble death than ignoble survival. And who knows how many great victories are simply awaiting those with enough courage to go forth in simple obedience.

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