My son, give Me your heart, and let your eyes observe My ways.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me.
You received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
My brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier...
The first step a follower of Christ must take is a voluntary fall: a step off a cliff named faith. It's a surrender of our will, plans and life to His will, plans and life. His response? Adoption. He catches us, cares for us and raises us like beloved children. I call it enlistment.
The second step is basic training (a.k.a. growing up): we learn His commandments, and we practice them. We mess up and try again. It's hard work, a narrow path--even an obstacle course. As new recruits, we can get scared, distracted or lazy.*
Sadly, many wash out. Scripturally, 'Few are chosen' (Matthew 22:14). Repeatedly, God encourages us: 'Remain steadfast to the end' (Hebrews 3:14).
The third step is active duty. Earth is a battleground, and we have a commission in the army of Jesus Christ. He, the 'Captain of the Host of the Lord' (Joshua 5:14), gives us marching orders: 'Go and make disciples of all nations' (Matthew 28:19).
He also gives us a uniform; it is spiritual, but seen clearly by 'All the host of Heaven standing by, on His right Hand and on His left' (1 Kings 22:19)--both the good and the evil.
To God and to them, we are 'Clothed with white robes' (Revelation 7:9), 'Made... white in the Blood of the Lamb' (Revelation 7:14). Therein, we 'Put on Christ' (Galatians 3:27).
This identity is our protection, our privilege and our duty. The Apostle Paul says it this way:
'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. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God' (Romans 12:1-2).
As soldiers in the Army of Christ, we prove to the world Who He is by our actions. We serve and we help. When necessary, we fight. But we do not fight for ourselves--nor should we fight among ourselves. We fight for Him. We fight for the lives of unarmed civilians.
To Be Continued...
*The Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23) highlights many of the challenges facing His recruits, as well as The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), The Parable of the Faithful and Evil Servants (Matthew 24:45-51) and The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Chain of Command series.