Every kingdom has an army, and the Kingdom of God is no different. Those who belong to Jesus Christ are part of His eternal Kingdom and are Christian Soldiers, though many walk as though they have been captured instead of operating as victorious warriors. Every army goes through a specific process with each new recruit, from induction until retirement. The process is the same for the army of God.
Let’s take a look at Ephesians 6:13-17. It is here we see the uniform that we were issued upon our conversion. “13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”
Each new recruit is issued a uniform. That is the very first thing that happens once the soldier has signed up to join the army. Once we have our uniform, we must be trained for the battle before us. Every soldier goes to a training camp. What are they being trained to do? To fight and to survive, of course, and above all, to obey without question. They are trained how to fight; they are trained how to recognize the enemy; and they are trained how to care for each other. What are they training for? WAR!
Along with our uniform we were issued weapons for our warfare. 2 Corinthians 10:4 tells us that “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)” The weapons that the Christian soldier is issued are weapons for offensive maneuvers. What are these weapons?
Prayer – Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
Praise – Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
Fasting – Matthew 6:17-18 16But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 17That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
Binding and Loosing – Matthew 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Declare and Decree – Job 22:28 Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.
Word of God – Jeremiah 5:14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.
The Scripture is full of examples of what appears in the natural to be insignificant weapons becoming mighty weapons in the hands of the people of God. Some examples are: a rod (Exodus 4:2), a jaw bone (Judges 15:15), a mustard seed (Matthew 13:32), five smooth stones (1 Samuel 17:40), a handful of flour and a little oil (1 Kings 17:12), a cloud the size of a man’s hand (1 Kings 18:44), five loaves (John 6:9), and small things (Zechariah 4:10).
We must use the weapons we are given to bring glory and honor to the Lord of Hosts. When we lay down our weapons we are allowing the enemy to steal into the camp. Sometimes we can become so lax with our weapons that we begin to dwell in the enemy’s camp. When we allow depression to reign in our lives rather than putting on the garment of praise, we have given the enemy a victory he does not deserve because we have the power to take back this stolen ground through praise and service to others. Jesus is our Commander in Chief and it is His desire that we dwell in His camp.
In training, we begin with becoming fit and learning the rules of the battle by reading the Word of God. As we become spiritually fit, we learn what our specialty is in the army. As we see in Ephesians 1:18, “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,“ we must discover what we are called to do.
Some of us, like David, are marksmen. Our faith is a mighty stone in the enemy’s forehead, bringing his works tumbling down. Others of us are medics. These are the intercessors among us who continually lift others up in prayer, rescuing us from the hands of the enemy and bringing healing to the spiritually wounded. Some are officers leading the battle; the pastors, teachers and evangelists among us.
Now that we have identified our specialty, we must train in full uniform using the weapons we have been issued. During this phase we do not enter into the battle alone, and we never leave a soldier behind. The enemy is like a wolf following a flock of sheep. He waits for one to wander off by himself and then he strikes, taking down the lone sheep, sometimes to the point of death. We battle together, just as Jesus Christ sent the disciples out two by two, so we must stay in fellowship and battle with our partner(s). In a natural army each soldier is assigned a ‘buddy’ to look out for one another. So it is in the spiritual army. We are each assigned one or more ‘buddies’ to battle beside and to care for.
The Christian soldier is engaged in a spiritual battle and there are spiritual things that will make a soldier weak. Disobedience, secret sin, indifference, iniquity, stubbornness, instability, self-indulgence, despising the Word, and failure to have mercy are examples of things that weaken the Christian soldier and make him ineffective in the battle. And as the battle rages around them, they begin to weaken other soldiers who associate with them. Often they will withdraw from the battle entirely, instead of repenting, putting their uniform back on and taking up their weapons.
The army of God is like every other army. There are different ranks, responsibilities, and rewards. We mustn’t become preoccupied with these things, however, because God’s army runs a bit differently than a natural army. Luke 13:30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last. This means, of course, that you who desire to be a general may find yourself a lowly private cleaning latrines for the rest of the soldiers. And you who think you are waiting for someone to lead you may, in fact, be in command of many regiments of soldiers. We must not think too highly of ourselves because the battle is the Lord’s and He can replace and reassign His soldiers without warning.
Let’s look at some of the rewards that the Lord has promised to His army:
Soul Winners – Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
Humble Servants – Matthew 10:42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
Benevolent – Luke 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
To Whoever Does Good – Romans 2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
Faithful Stewards – Matthew 25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
To Every Rank – Ephesians 6:8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
We can see that there is a reward for those who serve, and our greatest reward will come when we stand before Him and lay our rewards, our crowns at HIS feet. I urge you, do not give up, do not turn back, do not faint in the battle, for the King of Glory is in charge and we are assured of the victory! Take back the ground the enemy has stolen from you and stand firm in the territory you have been assigned. The battle rages, and we are victorious!