I like courtroom drama. One of the shows I used to watch regularly is JAG (which stands for Judge Advocate General). This show was about a Navy lawyer who used to be a fighter pilot. During the course of the show's run, Harm (the Navy lawyer) went back to flying Navy fighter jets. One of the things that they would always say to each other while flying was "I got your six." This referred to the 6 o'clock position of the fighter which was directly behind him. The pilot could not see behind him, and was therefore dependent on someone else to keep his "6" clear.
The same is true in the Christian life. There are positions in life that we cannot see...we might call them blind spots. We need brothers and sisters to "watch our six" so that we might be safe and free from failure. ("Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness..." Galatians 6:1).
But even more significanly, God's promise to us is that He's always "got our 6." On the cross He took care of sin and death, and we can trust Him for that. So no matter what you might face today...no matter how big and tough and scary the enemy is...you can know that God's "got your six!"
"No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Joshua 1:5).
Relationship with the Living God, the King of Universe, can be an intimidating, even fearful thing. As we embark on our journey of faith we can’t begin to know what lies ahead of us, where God’s will will lead us. Turning our life completely over to the care of one we cannot see and don’t yet fully know or understand can seem uncertain a best and downright risky and scary at worst. And yet, if we trust Him to be the benevolent God He claims Himself to be, we can jump into the future with a kind of reckless abandon.
C.S. Lewis, in his classic tale THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, attempts to paint a picture of this mysterious trust relationship. Two of the main characters, Lucy and Susan, are young girls who find themselves in a strange land of talking beasts and fanciful kingdoms locked under a spell of evil—a place where it is “always winter, but never Christmas.” They come upon the company of Mr. and Mrs. Beaver and begin to inquire of them about the prospects of kingdoms and peoples of this strange land ever escaping the grip of evil that has descended upon them. The beavers begin to tell them of the great lion, Aslan, who is coming soon to conquer evil and restore the land to peace and security. What’s more, the children discover that they will become key players in Aslan’s great plan of redemption:
“Is—is he a man?’” asked Lucy.
“Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. … Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion—the lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he—quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver, “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he is good.”
John Eldredge, in his book THE SACRED ROMANCE, brings home the application:
Like … Susan and Lucy …, to find ourselves not as spectators but as central characters in the play of life is somewhat daunting. The stakes are truly high, sometimes literally life or death, and God rarely if ever yells “Cut!” just as the dangerous or painful scene descends upon us. No stunt doubles come onto the set to take our places. Many of us feel that we have been playing these kinds of senses ever since we were children. We wonder if our hero will ever show up to rescue us.
We would like to picture goodness as being synonymous with safety. When we think of God being good, we perhaps picture someone like Al on the old TV program Home Improvement. He is someone who carefully plans out each task ahead of time and has all the proper tools and safety equipment in place; someone who has thought out every possible danger ahead of time and made allowances to ensure our safety as his workmate …
Being in partnership with God, though, often feels much more like being Mel Gibson’s sidekick in the movie Lethal Weapon. In his determination to deal with the bad guy, he leaps from seventh-story balconies into swimming pools, surprised that we would have any hesitation in following after him. Like Indiana Jones’s love interest in the movies, we find ourselves caught up in an adventure of heroic proportions with a God who both seduces us with his boldness and energy, and repels us with his willingness to place us in mortal danger, suspended over pits of snakes.
Every good actor will tell you that to give your best performance you must learn to trust the director. Like the director of a great action-adventure movie, God will call us to perform all kinds of wild, harrowing, seemingly dangerous stunts. Truly, as Lewis asserted, God isn’t “safe” but He is “good.” Knowing this reality, we can find the courage to jump off any ledge, knowing that “underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27).
Have you ever felt seven feet tall and bullet proof? Some say they find this feeling in alcohol and drugs. But, of course, what they experience is nothing more than a chemically induced delusion. No one is invulnerable to the threats and unpracticabilities of life, are they? The biblical answer to that question just might surprise you.
Submitting ourselves to God is important for many reasons, but chief among them is the key role it plays in allowing us to experience God's goodness. For example, in the Old Testament we read the story of how Joseph's brothers became jealous of him and sold him into slavery. They perpetrated this crime against Joseph with nothing but bad intentions.
The remarkable part of the story was how Joseph chose to respond to his circumstances. Rather than becoming angry, bitter, or playing the victim, Joseph submitted himself to a God who had nothing but his best interests in mind. Because he submitted himself to God in the midst of his trial, it really didn't matter that his brother's intentions were bad.
By committing Himself to God, Joseph allowed God's good intentions to override the bad intentions of his brothers. It is important to note that it was only because Joseph responded the way he did that he was able to overcome his circumstances and experience God's good intentions. The same is true for all of us.
As we live out our lives, we will be met by forces that do not have our best interests in mind. And just as Joseph was outnumbered and overpowered by his brothers, so it will be for us. At these times, we will seem to have no choice but to be subject to the forces that have marshaled themselves against us. But we will have a choice. Like Joseph, we will still have the option of committing ourselves to God, and the choice to endure our circumstances with an attitude of humble submission.
The bottom line is God takes care of whatever we entrust to Him. As long as we yield ourselves to Him, it really doesn't matter what bad intentions others might have for us. We don't have to outsmart or outmaneuver every bad guy in our world. All we have to do is dedicate ourselves to God, without reservation. When we have given all that we have and all that we are to God, the bad intentions of others will not prevail against us.
We are seven feet tall and bullet proof!
As Joseph explained to his brothers, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people" (Genesis 50:20, NLT).
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).