Active Duty – Always Training

The closer a combat soldier is to the end of their tour of duty, they sharper they must be.

Text for Today – Ephesians 4:11-12 – And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

We are living in an incredibly fast-moving world.  Information and data can be transmitted across our world at almost the speed of light.  And as fast as that is, we live even faster; we are living at the speed of life

As fast as the world is moving, the church must move faster.  God has told us that grace abounds over sin.  We know that He Who is in us is greater than he that is in the world.  We know we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us.  All of that is truly good news.  Still, there is a daily spiritual battle into which we must enter. 

In spiritual warfare, one can never go backward or retreat.   To prevent that from happening, the soldier of the cross MUST stay on active duty.  There are no reserves in God’s army.  And in order to stay on the offensive in a strong, active-duty function, soldiers need to be in ongoing training.  Training improves and sharpens needed skills, makes soldiers more alert, melds them into a strongly united fighting force (we might call it unity of the faith), and makes them critically able to discern needed action. 

So, soldier of the cross, combatant in the army of the Lord, the battle is on.  You’re in action, and at the same time you must continue in your training to become daily more effective. While none of us knows the day or the hour in which our Lord will come for us, we can be, and I believe are, aware of the time.  I believe the time is now.  But soldiers in a combat zone CANNOT and MUST NOT lower their guard just because they are a few days from the end of their tour of duty in a combat arena.  If anything, they become sharper, more alert, and quicker to respond and react to the enemy of their soul.  The enemy doesn’t know when their tour of duty ends.  But what could be more demoralizing than taking out top combat troops just days before they were to ship out and go home with total victory? 

Once again, soldier of the Lord, we are nearing the end of our tour of duty.  Jesus is coming for us soon, and we will be departing this combat arena.  Now is NOT the time to get lazy, lethargic, or loose.  Now is the time to rise to our greatest potential.  Pray, stay in the Word, keep constant fellowship with the Lord and His army, and maintain a right relationship with your Commander.  You’re in active duty, so train daily.

Manna for Today – Ephesians 4: John 14:12-14

Godly Passion

We need the ZEAL of God in our hearts  to be passionate, high-level performers in Father’s kingdom.

Text for Today – Isaiah 9:7 – Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

I believe the Bible.  God said what He meant and meant what He said.  More than that, His Word will always come to pass and never fail.  And yet more; His Word will prosper in what He sent it to do.  Now, to the believer, all of that should be truly great news.  Because God and His Word are One, this news brings great assurance to the believer.  It is a true cause for rejoicing.

And still, there’s more; more work for the believer.  Look at our Text for Today.  “Of the increase . . . no end.”  There will be a constant work to do in ordering and establishing it properly.  And it will be performed by the “zeal of the Lord.”  What the believer needs to grasp is the fact that ZEAL is an element of the living, and the believer is the living being through whom that ZEAL of the Lord will work to accomplish this prophecy.  This ZEAL, this burning, fiery desire shut up in our bones must be released.  This Godly passion must perform and fulfill its purpose.

So, what’s eating you?  Are problems at work, attitudes with other people, your past, unfulfilled desires, failings and faults, or a sense of inadequacy constantly hounding your life?  Are one or more of these things, or things like them, draining your energy, robbing you of your enthusiasm, and even stripping you of the desire to rise and face the day?  If any of this is true, I have good news for you.

If Jesus is your Lord, then the love of God has been shed abroad in your heart by Holy Ghost.  That love NEVER fails.  It is that love by which your faith works, and faith pleases God.  I don’t mean to make light of the problems you face, but your problem is not your problem.  Your real problem is that you’re looking in the wrong direction.  Turn around and begin to look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith.  It is looking unto Jesus that will enable you to continue forward in your daily walk and fight of faith.  As you continue to gaze upon and draw nearer to your God Who is a “consuming fire,” not only will those things that hold you down be consumed by the living God you serve, but that same fire will be kindled once again in your heart, and your Godly passion will rise again.  The ZEAL of the Lord of hosts will indeed perform it!

Manna for Today – 1 John 5:3; Isaiah 59:11-21; Romans 3:4; Luke 1:37; Jeremiah 1:12; Hebrews 1:3