Greetings in the name of our majestic King Jesus. Summer is here, and I pray you will have one that is better than ever before. We had a nice Memorial Day here in Nashville, and as I reflected about those who gave all, I started to think about commitment and service.
The commitment a man or woman makes when they join the armed forces is one of great magnitude. They agree to sacrifice their lives if necessary, for this country and its citizens. Their will is given up to the will of the commanding officer and his orders, and serving that officer at any time, day or night, as the call may arise. If orders are not followed, consequences are faced for disobedience. For our armed forces to work like a well-oiled military machine, soldiers must be obedient.
One biblical identity that is given to believers is the “Army of the Lord.” We are told to wage a good warfare (I Tim. 1:18). Paul tells us to endure hardness as a soldier of Jesus Christ and not to be caught up in the cares of this life, so that we may please Him who has called us to be a solider (II Tim. 2:3-4). We are given weapons that are not carnal, but mighty against our enemy. We are also given armor for our defense.
Along with these weapons and armor, the Army of the Lord must be committed to Jesus’ cause just as the armed forces of the United States of America are committed to their cause of defending the country.
Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. (Psalm 37:5)
When we commit to this measure of service and trust as soldiers in the Army of the Lord, the heavenly Father says, “He SHALL bring it to pass!” What is the “it” that He shall cause to come to pass? Every promise and prophecy that is in the Book!
Maybe some of the things we are praying for are not coming to pass because of our lack of commitment and service to the Lord. In a day when so much perverse grace is being taught, many have come to believe that God will just shower the blessing down on them. Even though the blessings of God are not payment for our works (service), our works make our faith alive (James 2:18). We must have living faith to receive from God and, more importantly, to please Him.
For example, it was Enoch who was caught up (raptured) to the Father because he pleased God with his faith. What made Enoch’s faith pleasing to God? It was his commitment to serve the Father.
After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. (Genesis 5:22)
Three hundred years! Now that’s commitment. Every day he communed (walked) with God. He learned this level of commitment from his great grandfather (many times over), Adam, who was still alive as he grew up. Enoch committed to spending time with God daily, and I’m sure allowed God to speak to him. Otherwise, Enoch would not have known how to serve Him in a way that would please the Father.
By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrew 11:5-6)
If it were not for Enoch’s faith, he could not have pleased God. And we know that faith without works is dead (James 2:20). I’m here to tell you that dead faith will not get you a thing. As Smith Wigglesworth use to say, “Faith is an act.” Faith is not grace! But you must have faith to receive God’s grace.
Now, don’t let this get too deep because it’s simple. I know we are not saved by our works (what we do). We are saved by Jesus’ works (what He did). However, you must still do something even to be saved, which is BELIEVE! Believing is an act of living faith within you. God’s grace is amazing, but you will never experience it if you do not act in faith. Many may receive mercy (mercy is different from grace), which is not always appropriated by faith.
When you were created as a new creature (born again), your spirit was recreated to be used for the service of God. He designed and equipped your spirit to do good works (Eph. 2:10)—to serve in His Army. We need to realize the true importance of “works” from the Scripture. It is your work of sowing the Word that helps save people from going to hell. It is also your work of cultivating the fruit of the Spirit in your life so that others can see the benefits of being a follower of Christ.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)
As a soldier in the Army of the Lord, the Father has asked you to perform a reasonable service, and it is a yoke that is easy to bear. It is not a difficult task to accomplish when you are committed to serving Him because of your love for Him and what He has done for you.
Finally, this service and commitment is part of what counts you worthy to escape in the catching away. Enoch was found worthy and was caught up to the Father. Jesus says blessed is the servant who is found “doing” when He comes (Matt. 24:46). When Jesus shouts, “Come Up Here,” the Army of God will be carrying out their assignment in service to the Lord. However, when we hear that Voice (and you have to hear it . . . that is what communication is all about), we will be changed and caught away to be with the Lord forever. Revelation reveals we also come back with Jesus at His return as His Army.
And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. (Revelation 19:14)
The above passage speaks of the last day of the Tribulation Period when we come back with the Lord to rule and reign for 1,000 years. Daily I desire to fulfill the assignment of the Lord—taking new ground for the kingdom and defending it from the wiles of the devil. Dr. Mark Barclay describes us as “earth warriors” which no one can stop. Let’s all recommit to serve in the Army of Lord together, in our assigned places, and wage a good warfare against our adversary the Devil.
We are Overcomers!