Fresh Hope – 27th December 2018

In my travels, I have visited many castles. One thing that castles all have in common is that they are all built on a “higher ground”, and surrounded by a wall of protection. A higher ground allowed for optimal view of approaching enemies. However, war in the 21st century has since been revised. Despite the “higher ground” strategy being used for centuries in war, the most advantageous place to be in the battlefield isn’t in fact on an elevated piece of terrain.

In a recent article by ‘’ I read, ‘We can’t battle Al Qaeda the same way we did the Germans in World War II. Sitting on top of a hill with superior firepower is no longer an advantageous position. In fact, it’s actually counterproductive when fighting an insurgency or an enemy that blends in with the local population… In order to win this “terrain” we have to come off the hill and immerse ourselves in the community. We need to create relationships with the local people, understand their fears and needs, provide security, and show them that working with us is more prosperous than siding with the insurgents. We have to win their hearts and minds.  It’s personal.  It’s face-to-face combat.  The only way to win the war is to create one positive relationship at a time’.

When it comes to taking terrain for the kingdom of God, we likewise have to come down from our hill. The ‘high ground’ in our military tactic is in fact the people in our local community. Our battlefield is where God has placed us in our small spheres of influence. It is about getting with the people – face-to-face. It is winning their hearts and minds, one relationship at a time. It is about knowing their fears and needs and providing security.

When you move into new territory there can be an onslaught of attack. You may feel like as you take new ground in your personal life, family life, or workplace, there is resistance. This can be in the form of anxiety, depression, or fear, but stay true to your strategy. The world isn’t looking for a defensive church situated high on hill. It needs an army, who is willing to get down with the people. It is looking for a people who can step into their lives and battle for hearts!

Do not fear taking new ground in 2019. Get in there! Get your hands dirty in the sometimes messy lives of people who need Jesus!


Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.