By Dan Cook
Dan is a student leader at Emmanuel Bible College in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.
So here we are, and what’s next? This life of pursuing God and being obedient to him – it’s not easy. At times it’s joyless. At times there is no peace, and no rest.
God leads us, but to where? What is He doing and how is He involving us? It can be so easy to ask question after question about what is going on. I wonder how Abraham felt when he was asked to leave everything he knew and just go. “Go where?” He didn’t know.
Or – how about Joshua, when he was told he would be leading God’s people into the promised land. “What, me?” The sure thing is that God has called us, and we are a part of his purpose.
I was speaking with a friend the other day, and I want to use the same analogy to illustrate something that came up in our conversation. We had been talking about where God leads us and how He does it and it seems so hard at times to know exactly where we’re going.
Then, when we finally get some understanding of things, it feels like we’re inadequate for the task. Truth be told though – we have the Holy Spirit and He will be strong in us in the midst of our greatest of weaknesses.
What I thought of was that, if we are in the army, we simply don’t know where we’re going – ever, until we are given the command to go. Surely, we are all in the army of the Lord – and so this fits quite well.
You see, those who are in the army don’t know that they have to go halfway across the world overnight until something happens halfway across the world which demands their involvement.
They simply won’t just go and be sitting ducks. Neither would they go in advance and anticipate that something is going to happen. No – instead, they wait. And while they wait, they train, and they become more disciplined and more ready.
They learn more strategies and learn the tactics and strategies of the enemy so that when the time comes, they will be able to go in without any problems.
The waiting time. It’s hard, right? We’ve all been there. Jesus had a waiting time – it was actually most of his life. He was 33 when he died, having had a couple decades of “training” and then three years of ministry.
There is a time and season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3). So here is a challenge: when you’re in the waiting time – waiting for your “orders” – be ready, and be stretched. And don’t miss the orders when they come!
The other aspect of this is that as the orders come we can be sent anywhere. Presently, God is doing a lot of things all over the world. It’s not hard to see it. The same can be said about the enemy. The powers of darkness are desperate, trying their hardest to disable the church from fulfilling the Great Commission, and also dragging the rest of the world into the pits of darkness.
Constantly there are battles going on in the heavenly realm, yes the spiritual war that we are involved in (“our battle is not against flesh and blood…” Eph 6:12, see also 2 Cor 10:3). God has strategies and has planned times of attack on the enemies strongholds.
Part of the reason we need to be so attentive to the Holy Spirit while we intercede is so that we can properly discern what battles are being fought and then join in as He leads. God can use us in spiritual battles that are being fought halfway across the world.
He can take us there in the spiritual realm, or, he can take us there physically. Half of the battle is fighting against the powers of darkness. The other half is showing love to a lost and dying world. So we engage on two fronts.
So we wait to be given orders. If we’re open enough to it we can be given orders all the day long, every day. Be led by the Spirit, put on the armor of light, and do what He desires. God is calling many of us to go halfway around the world to serve Him among the nations.
Are those your orders? Have you ever really asked yourself this? Would you be ready tomorrow? Be ready, because when the orders come, they come, and you go.
In summing up – we’re all in the army of the Lord. Some of us have different roles, but we’re all involved. Be useful to the Lord then on these two fronts – through prayer, fighting the powers of darkness, and through showing love and providing hope to this lost and dying world.
I want to challenge you to go beyond your limits. Learn about spiritual warfare. Learn about what you need to do to tear down the strongholds of the enemy. It seems that our churches (for the most part in North America) have given up on this war we’re in.
It’s as if we’ve gone up to the front lines, and laid down our armor and weaponry, and ran the other way. It’s as if we’re losing without putting up a fight.
Rise up above this! You have been recruited by the Lord of Hosts for a purpose. Be strong in the Lord (Ephesians 6:12), live it out, and let the Lord live through you. Be the warrior. Go and fight!