restoring our biblical and constitutional foundations


The Tenacity of a Stonewall

 David Alan Black 

In my office hangs the portrait of a man of God. This unassuming Virginian had not mere knowledge of the times but understanding as well. He knew what he ought to do. Today there is plenty of knowledge of the times but little understanding and even less a sense of duty.

General Jackson was not unlike many of us. He was born in humble circumstances. Yet he was more honorable than his brothers. He stood higher in character and integrity than many of his contemporaries. He called on the God of Israel. His prayer was, “Oh, that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!” (1 Chron. 4:9-10).

In a way, Jackson reminds me of a seeing-eye dog. This guide of the blind completes a rigorous course in which he learns one thing above all else: he lives for another, and everything is to be subordinated to being eyes for his sightless master. When he sees a cat, instead of chasing it as his nature would require, he looks straight ahead without the flicker of an eyelid. Jackson knew such devotion for his Lord. With his spiritual blinders helping him to look straight ahead he forgot the things behind and reached forward in single-minded service to God.

Feared he the battle? I dare say No! He realized that the victorious Christian life is not attainted in some peaceful retreat away from the noise and the din. It is not found through religious tranquilizers or in self-serving seeker sensitive services. Jackson was under constant pressure throughout his career yet peace was his in the midst of the conflict. I am not talking about a perfect man. There are no perfect Christians, but there can be undivided loyalty. Like Nehemiah, when confronted with distractions and temptations, he uttered, “I am doing a great work so that I cannot come down!”

It will take the rugged tenacity and inspired stubbornness of Jackson to see it through these difficult days. The temptation abounds to get by with shoddy work and build cheaper edifices, but we are to give our very best in view of the Day when our work will be made manifest. Jackson knew that the flesh profiteth nothing. He relied completely upon God. Likewise, all of our time, talents, and efforts spent in religious work will go for absolutely nothing if it is merely produced by the natural man.

Our Father would be pleased to give us much more if we had faith to ask for it. The fact is that there are few today who emulate the faith of a Lee or a Jackson. How we take the gospel for granted and forget the lordship of Christ! May the goodness of the Lord lead us to repentance!

September 14, 2005

David Alan Black is the editor of If you would like to know more about becoming a follower of King Jesus, please feel free to write Dave.

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