Faith: know what’s true

What you believe determines what you do.

Hiroo Onoda was a lieutenant in the Japanese Army, stationed on the island of Lumbang in the Philippines during World War II. He was an incredibly committed soldier, convinced his country would never lose the war. He was so committed, in fact, that after the war ended in 1945, he remained at his post.

Onoda-young

When leaflets were airdropped on his position explaining that the Empire of Japan surrendered, he was sure it was an enemy ploy to capture him. He and the three soldiers he was commanding at the time, subsisted on coconuts, rice, bananas and whatever else they could forage in the jungle.

Onoda continued holding out year after year. In 1959, he was declared killed in action by the Japanese military. Still he fought on. It wasn’t until the Japanese government flew out his former commanding officer to the island of Lumbang, that he finally surrendered. Hiroo Onoda laid down his weapons on March 10, 1975, 30 years after World War II.

Surrender. 30 years late.

Surrender. 30 years late.

Onoda’s mistaken belief, his misplaced faith, led him to spend 30 years of his life hiding in a Filipino jungle, eating coconuts, awaiting an impossible victory.

What you believe determines what you do. If you believe the gospel, that Jesus has set you free from sin, that you are now free to follow him, you will. If you let other stories, other beliefs, other gospels crowd out the truth of what Christ has done, you will continue living in slavery to sin.

Faith means I know what’s true. And if I know the truth of the gospel, the truth will set me free.

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