Love Under Fire


Security at Wartburg

In the friendly security of the Wartburg castle, Luther rejoiced to be free from the heat and turmoil of battle. But he was used to a life of activity and hard conflict, and he could hardly stand to remain inactive. In those lonely days the condition of the church rose up before him. He feared being called a coward for withdrawing from the contest. Then he scolded himself for being idle and self-indulgent. LF 73.4

Yet at the same time, every day he was accomplishing more than it seemed possible for one man to do. His pen was never still. His enemies were astonished and confused by tangible proof that he was still active. A great many tracts from his pen circulated throughout Germany. He also translated the New Testament into the German language. From his rocky Patmos he continued for nearly a whole year to proclaim the gospel and rebuke the errors of the times. LF 73.5

God had taken His servant away from the stage of public life. In the quiet isolation of his mountain retreat, Luther was removed from earthly supports and shut out from human praise. This saved him from the pride and self-confidence that success so often brings. LF 73.6

As people rejoice in the freedom that the truth brings them, Satan tries to turn their thoughts and affections from God and to fasten them on human agencies, to honor the instrument and to ignore the Hand that directs the events God chooses. Too often religious leaders who are praised like this begin to trust in themselves. The people tend to look to them for guidance instead of to God's Word. God wanted to guard the Reformation from this danger. Human eyes had looked to Luther as the expounder of the truth. He was removed so that all eyes could be directed to the eternal Author of truth. LF 74.1