Keep Calm and Read a Psalm 46:9-11:
“He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”
They were mere farm boys—only teenagers. Yet they dutifully slung their hunting rifles over their shoulders and trudged up the muddy and ever-steepening slopes of King’s Mountain. They had climbed many mountains to reach these Carolina hills—far from home, but here to defend those homes from the British threat. The whisper of freedom spurred their bloody and muddy boots to take one step closer to the Loyalists. One step closer to bullets, bayonets, and blood.
British Major Patrick Ferguson had been sent by Lord Cornwallis to round up some colonial men to fight for the British in their campaign to take the South in the American War of Independence. These “Loyalists” had been formed into a sizable army that camped at the strategic King’s Mountain (an ironic name). But a ragtag group of colonists called the “Overmountain Men” gathered from the Carolinas, Virginia, and Tennessee to give pursuit to their traitorous neighbors. But the Loyalists held the high ground—a very high ground indeed, with steep slopes on all sides. With pale faces, the revolutionaries broke into several bands and surrounded the hill. At least they would have the element of surprise.
Bang! Boom! The battle began when the first regiment charged the hill and were spotted by the Loyalists. Tree to tree, they surged up the hill, using the marksmanship that usually took down deer against their friends and neighbors. Many fell. The Loyalists were outfitted with long bayonets which pierced the freedom-beating hearts of the patriots as they engaged in close fighting. One regiment, realizing they were no match, began to descend the hill in a retreat.
“Brave fellows!” Their militia commander’s voice rang out from the low ridge he stood upon. From his position, he could see the Loyalists were weak. They were pursuing the retreating colonists down the mountain, thinking they had won. But he could see in their haste they were unorganized and exposed. All it would take was one more turn and one more charge.
“My brave boys—turn and fight one more time and you shall win the day!” His fleeing troops stopped and looked to him. They could not understand what he was talking about. From their position, they faced only blood-stained bayonets and ricocheting bullets. They had a choice: trust their commander or give in to the fear. A risk versus common sense. Retreat versus death.
With a war cry that shook that mountain, the farmers-turned-soldiers turned and charged one more time up those slippery slopes. The Loyalists were caught off guard. They were driven up the hillside and trapped by another group of revolutionaries coming up the other side. By the time the last blood was spilled, British Major Ferguson was dead and King’s Mountain was taken—a major turning point in the Revolutionary War.
Like those boys, you may have tried to charge up your hill of lust, depression, laziness, anger, and selfishness. But you found it well-defended by the bayonets of guilt and troops loyal to your flesh, the world, and the devil. You fall into a retreat—just like you’ve done time and time before. It’s too steep a hill to be taken—they have the high ground. Impossible. But you hear a voice ring out through the trees: “Be still and know I’m God. And I’ll be exalted. I’ll end the war! Turn and fight in My power—One. More. Time.”
You don’t see what He’s talking about. There’s no hope for victory now. You’re in a hasty retreat. Sure, you’ll confess your sin after you lose the battle, and maybe you’ll try to take the hill another day. No! Don’t give in just yet. In an act of trust, I urge you to stop your retreat and be still. Look to your Commander. And engage that sin. One more time. If you know Him for Who He is—the God of the Universe…if you look to Him for the power—the power that conquered death…let me assure you—that hill will be won. Retreat can be turned into victory. One more time.
-Matthew W., SC