I once asked the Lord about His army. He answered me on a sunny day in October, 1997 in Washington, DC. When He spoke, I was standing by the Washington Monument looking back toward the Lincoln Memorial. The National Mall was filled to overflowing with more than a million men, both young and old. None were in uniform. They did not appear to be armed or dangerous. Instead, they were united in faith, worship, and joy. As I walked from one end of the mall to the other, I had rejoiced in their camaraderie, diversity, and kindness to me, a woman, in their midst. When I stopped and looked back upon the assembled Promise Keepers, I heard these words. Melody, this is my army. (Promise Keepers Gathering Again July 31, 2020 in Arlington, Texas.)
ARE YOU SERVING? The New Testament often refers to Christ followers as soldiers (II Timothy 2:3, Phil 2:25, Philemon 1:2, II Tim 2:4). As with the Israeli Defense Force, being of the feminine gender does not disqualify anyone from this call to submit to God’s authority, training, and personal discipline that we might serve in His Army. Even advanced age or physical disability does not prohibit us from being a formidable prayer warrior and wielding spiritual weapons effectively. Have you answered the call?
ARE YOU AWOL? Perhaps you did so long ago and are now battle weary, wounded, or even AWOL (Absent Without Leave)? Some tell of victories won in Jesus’ name in their youth. It seems they were soldiers once, powerful and effective in prayer and ministry in Jesus’ name, but they have been wounded or distracted, retired or de-commissioned somehow. How might we help you or them return to active service?
ARE YOU WOUNDED? In the movie Hacksaw Ridge, the compassionate and heroic Desmond Doss returns to the dangerous Okinawan battlefield again and again to carry or drag the wounded back to the cliff’s edge for medical attention. I believe the Father would be extremely pleased if we, in similar compassion, carried “just one more” of His soldiers to the foot of Christ’s cross in intercession. Life on earth is a war zone. It should not be surprising that so many among us are deeply wounded. Thankfully, our Commander is the one who willingly suffered that we might be healed (Isaiah 53:5). Let’s intercede for the wounded among us to be restored to active service in God’s army.
This spiritual war between the Serpent and us began long ago in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15). The three components needed for our ultimate victory are listed in Revelation 12:10-11 CJB.
They defeated him because of the Lamb’s BLOOD
And because of the message of their WITNESS.
Even when facing death, they DID NOT CLING TO LIFE.
Every Christian is well aware that Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, already shed his BLOOD to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9) and redeem us from eternal damnation. Few, it seems, are armed and ready with the second weapon called a WITNESS or a TESTIMONY.
ARE YOU EQUIPPED? To become so equipped, I suggest you review your life of faith and recognize how Jesus has worked in you, for you, and through you. I admit this is a challenging endeavor, but the result is a powerful weapon in your spiritual arsenal. It can be written out, video-taped, shared conversationally or at a podium during your memorial service. Initially, it may seem somewhat presumptuous to tell your story. However, your testimony is not about you. It is about what happened in and through you after you opened the door of your life to Jesus Christ (Revelation 3:20). The power of your witness, or His story in your story, is listed along with the blood of Jesus in its power to defeat the devil. A weapon that powerful is worth the effort of a life review, much prayer and soul searching. (This exercise is listed in the Heritage of Hope Checklist on page 22 of your HOH Workbook.) What is your life’s message? How might you best share that?
The third weapon needed to overcome the Accuser of the Brethren is dispensing with your fear and dread of death. Once you deal with death, fear is no longer an issue was the claim of A—Team’s Mr. “T” (also known as B. A. Baracus). This lines up with the words and attitudes of both Paul and Jesus. Paul speaks of this in Philippians 1:21 where he describes his desire to be with Jesus. Similarly, Jesus speaks of “going to the Father” more than 20 times in his Upper Room Discourse. Both men are looking beyond death to reunion, as must we, in order NOT TO CLING TO THIS LIFE or be afraid to die.
ARE YOU ARMED & DANGEROUS? What if every Christian was cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, prepared with their testimony, and ready to see Jesus Christ face to face? According to Revelation 12:11, the Accuser of the Brethren, the Serpent, the Enemy of our Souls would be defeated. Let’s do it! HERITAGE OF HOPE is a way to prepare to see Jesus, to identify your testimony as well as get your affairs in order. As a soldier in God’s army, why not prepare for “deployment” and make your fourth quarter the most victorious, fruitful season of your earthly life?