News Flash! War Has Been Declared!
God’s adversary, satan, has declared war. God uses an all volunteer army led by Jesus Christ. Will you join?
In this war, we will not be killing our adversaries. God’s Strategy is much more creative than that. His Plan will totally baffle the enemy, since it will be unlike anything the enemy would do. God doesn’t want dead bodies from the other side. He wants LIVE witnesses to His Love and Power!
Here’s the Plan!
You have heard that it was said, “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.”
But I tell you, “Do not resist an evil person“…
You have heard that it was said, “Love our neighbor and hate your enemy.’”
But I tell you,
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”
So, Is This Like the Military I Know About?
While Jesus acknowledged there would be wars, He did not endorse war as a way of living. However, He did not move to eliminate the military of the day. Soldiers figured prominently in His Life.
It was a soldier who demonstrated respect for Jesus’ Authority and was rewarded by the healing of his servant. It was a soldier who received healing from Jesus when Peter cut his ear off. It was a soldier who publicly acknowledged Jesus as the Son of God. It was a soldier who got Jesus’ garment after His Death. It was soldiers who received Jesus’ Forgiveness from the cross as He pled with His Father to forgive them because they did not know what they were doing. It was soldiers who witnessed the empty tomb!
Jesus frequently taught by comparing something that was well known to the people with a new teaching. So it comes as no surprise that Jesus would lead us in our spiritual battle by pointing to what we know from our earthly military.
Rules for Serving in The Lord’s Service
Be sure you get in the right line to process in!
Which mission statement sounds most like the group you want to join?
The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy …
I have come that they may have Life, and have it to the full!
Get your uniform. Be sure you get all of your uniform and be sure you wear every piece of it all the time.
Put on the full armor of God,
so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
(Read Ephesians 6:10-18 to see
the full list of the uniform you will need!)
Be Sure You Understand the Mission.
You have been sent to Planet Earth to bring Life to others. You may need to give up your life to do this. Giving up your life does not necessarily mean being willing to be laid out in a pine box. It means giving up all your old habits and ways of thinking and doing things, so you can conform to the Mind of Christ. Repeat the Mission Statement every hour or more until it becomes a part of you.
Imagine Your Commanding Officer, calling out “Why Are You Here?” and Everyone Answering in Unison:
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full!
Learn the rules and follow the rules.
Start with “The Big Ten.” Then review the Two Commandments Jesus gave. This is not just for recital. The Commander will be doing frequent inspections to see how well you are living His Rules. He doesn’t want people going into battle without understanding the Rules.
Review The Ten Commandments as recorded in Exodus 20:1-17
Review Jesus’ Two Commandments in Matthew 22:37-40
Understand Who is in Charge.
God is your Commander in Chief. He will not tolerate your allegiance to anyone or anything other than Him.
I am the Lord your God …
You shall have no other gods but Me!
Respect God’s Authority.
He is before all things,
and in Him, all things hold together.
Learn to recognize God’s Voice.
It is important, that even in the heat of the fiercest battle, you know that He is with you and that you recognize His Voice, calling to you. He knows every one of us in His Army by name. He will call us by name and tell us what to do. Listen!
My Sheep know My Voice; I know them and they follow Me.
I have summoned you by name; you are Mine!
Obey God! Obedience is the Key to Life!
If you obey My Decrees and are careful to follow My Commands …
I will grant Peace in the land,
and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid.
Scout the Enemy Territory.
Study the tactics of satan. Read the Bible and see how he got to people before you. His tactics have been consistent since the beginning of time. Recognize the tactics he uses to push your buttons.
Use Jesus’ Two Key Weapons against satan.
Jesus demonstrated these weapons when satan attacked Him in the desert.
Weapon One: Submit to God and Resist Evil!
Submit yourselves, then, to God.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Weapon Two: Use The Right Sword!
(What Jesus told Peter, when Peter chose the wrong sword:)
“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him,
“for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”
Jesus used the Sword Paul Identified in Ephesians.
Take the helmet of salvation and the Sword of the Spirit,
which is the Word of God!
Pay attention! Don’t go off course!
Satan loves to distract the members of God’s Army. Be alert and aware at all times. Don’t go off course. This enemy is patient and persistent. He will take you into enemy territory one step at a time. He will come at you again and again, as long as it takes. Keep your eyes on your Commander at all times. Follow Him only!
If anyone tells you that your Commander has gone on leave, and someone else is filling in, don’t believe them. Your Commander will never leave you on the battlefield alone!
Never will I leave you. Never will forsake you!
God’s Army must work together.
Don’t let any member of the army fall as a result of “un-friendly fire.” Remember who this war is against. Don’t injure your own team. Build each other up in love.
Satan loves any hint of division. He knows he has found the weak link. Don’t give him the opportunity to break through. Our Commander wants more from us than half heartedly holding hands when we know He is watching. He wants us to genuinely love each other! And He doesn’t make it optional. It’s not that He says, “I wish you guys could just get along.”
No, He gives a Command!
A new Command I give you: Love one another!
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are My Disciples,
if you love one another.”
John 13: 34-35
Fight the good fight in the time and places you are sent.
God will let you request your preferred assignment, but sometimes He will send you to places you would not have chosen. Remember it is He Who determines where and how you will best fulfill His Mission.
He determined the times set for them
and the exact places where they should live.
Learn to Whom to surrender.
While surrender may seem a strange word in the context of war, it is the very thing that is most needed. Don’t get confused and surrender to satan. Surrender to the Lord. The battle belongs to Him.
Submit yourselves then to God …
It is not by the sword or spear that the Lord saves;
for the battle is the Lord’s!
1 Samuel 17:27
Anticipate going home, but know that
you have work to do now right where you are.
Even when the fighting is intense, there will come a day when you will be going home. Home will be a place of victory and honor where no one will do war any more. Anticipate it! But don’t let satan distract you with the thought. You have work to do now!
Surely Goodness and Mercy will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.
The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.
Ask the Lord of the Harvest, therefore,
to send out workers into His Harvest Field.
Your Commander in Chief is with you always!
He doesn’t direct from a remote location. He is in front of you as your forward observer. He is behind you as your rear guard. He is inside of you, giving you minute by minute directions. Give the enemy a preview of what is to come for him. Instead of a salute, kneel before Your Lord and receive your marching orders! The day will come when the enemy will kneel before the Lord. And the war on earth will be over!
[Jesus said], “I am with you always,
even to the end of the age.
… At the Name of Jesus, every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the Glory of God the Father!
So Are You In?
Even though I am an earthly pacifist, I am a member of God’s Army. I am still in training. I sometimes struggle to get my uniform on. I sometimes miss a command. I sometimes go off course. But He hasn’t given up on me. He has given me an honor I accept with great humility.
He lets me be a recruiter! If you are in, it will be my joy to serve with you. Just report to Him. I can only imagine what kind of Memorial Day we will share in heaven one day!