“And whatsoever ye do, in word, or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him; and whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” (Col. 3:17)
Like many Japanese citizens in pre-World War II society, Hiro Onada was raised by a strict code of honor and discipline. When his country called upon their young men to fight, he didn’t hesitate to enlist and fight for his homeland. He was trained as an intelligence agent and sent to the South Pacific where in December 1944, his duties would take him to the Philippines.
Within a few months of arriving, all but three of his men had been killed. Shortly after that, the island was taken over by the Allies, and the Japanese had been defeated. Due to the lack of communication devices and contact with the chain of command, Onada and his men continued to fight a guerrilla style war until he finally surrendered in 1974, some 30 years later, to President Ferdinand Marcos. Amazingly, he appeared in his original uniform with his family sword and much of his original gear still functional!
While none of us expect to find ourselves in this unique situation, what is exceptionally notable about Hiro Onada was his devotion to duty. What would it look like today if we as Christians, had the devotion and duty to our Lord and Savior as Hiro had to his Japanese code of honor and discipline?
All of man’s actions are dictated by desire.
The same is true for Christians. The difference between Christians and non-Christians is God’s grace in changing our desires by changing our heart. True devotion to God is a state of the heart which fills our mind. It is that state of the will in which everything–our whole life, and being, and possessions, are a continual offering to God. This spirit of devotion will make the most constant cares and the most pressing problems into the means of the deepest and most constant communion with God. The more constant and pressing our duties are, if they are performed for God, the deeper and more non-stop is our communion with Him. Whatever is done in a spirit of devotion is communion with God. Let us always remember, “whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”
By Al Litton
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