War has been declared. The battle lines have been drawn. That ancient serpent has transformed into a prowling lion, disguised as an angel of light. And although we know and believe with faith that the Lord of hosts has the victory already in-hand . . . we cannot see it yet. We are still constricted to the here-and-now of flesh and earth, with the war raging around us in the spiritual realm.
Some of us are fighting hard on the front-lines, right in the middle of the action, receiving fire from all sides. Some of us have been wounded and left for dead, possibly even by the hand of a brother or sister. Some of us have fought for a while, off and on – but when the battle requires too much effort, we shrink back and retreat to hide. Some of us are sitting on the sidelines in our recliners, eating popcorn and just watching. Unity and purpose elude us.
But as you look around, you begin to notice something . . . we are not the only ones on the battlefield with the enemy! There are others all around us, those who are not among the believers. They have no armor like us, and they are taking hits as well! Some of them have been wounded and left for dead. Some of them are wandering around amidst the chaos, not knowing which way to go or what to do. They look like lost children. Some of them are angrily fighting against us, with everything that’s in them.
Another thing you may not have noticed is that your Commander is right next to you. And He is constantly speaking to you. Sometimes the battle is so loud that it’s hard to hear His voice. So turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. Then you will hear His commands.
He is reminding you that you not only have armor on to protect you, but you also have a sword to fight with. His call is: “Do not be afraid! Because I am with you. And who am I? The Son of God, the Lord of hosts, the King of kings. I am all-powerful and all-knowing. I have strategically placed you in this very place for a purpose. I am calling you to engage in this battle with Me. And it is not you, but I who will do this work. Because I love you.”
He gestures to the fallen and wounded: “You must go to them and help them. I will show you what to do.” He gestures to those wandering like lost children: “You must guide them and show them the way to Me.” He gestures to those on the front lines, being bloodied by the heat of the battle: “You must go and fight alongside them, holding up their weary arms.” He gestures to those hiding and those on the sidelines: “You must be an example before them, so that they will see what a child of Mine is supposed to be like.” He gestures to those who are fighting against us: “You must not fight back against them, but instead you must bless them and love them. I will give you the strength to do all these things.”
Then the Commander turns to look at you, with tears in His eyes. “Because I love them, too.”
So let’s put on our war paint and armor, grab our swords, and get out there and show Christ’s love to the world. But I say we go beyond just talking about it. Let’s LIVE it. God has already put you in a community . . . let’s be the community. Let’s put on some good walking shoes, get off our duffs, and be INTENTIONAL. Let’s show the world what the Kingdom of God really looks like. Let’s make it something tangible, not just lofty words or ideals.
If at this point you’re still not motivated, think about that one person you love who doesn’t follow Jesus. There’s got to be at least one person you really care about who needs to know Christ in a real, personal way. (If not, then you need to get out there and meet some more people!) Picture that person in your mind’s eye. Now picture Jesus there too. Think about how wonderful it would be to see that person running to Jesus and falling into His embrace. Right now, there are obstacles in the way. But the Son of God can destroy the devil’s work! Let’s pray and move toward that end.
We will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace us in His arms
and in the arms of our dear Savior
there are ten thousand charms