Part 7 – Gird Yourself
So buck up private! You’re in the army now! You will face many different types of opponents out there on the battlefield. They will often “handle” the Bible (2Corinthians 4:2), appear as “ministers of righteousness,” “desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm” (1Tim 1:7) and speak of “Jesus,” the “gospel,” and a “spirit” (2Corinthians 11:1-15). Whether they be “religious” or not, they will want you to take “their word” instead of God’s word and they will often be very “subtle” and “seductive.” Are you ready? You had better take up “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph 6:17) and be prepared for the battle ahead. Whose “approval” are you concerned about?
“For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth” (2Corinthians 10:18).
“But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offense unto me: for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men” (Matthew 16:23).
“If the world HATE you, ye know that it HATED me before it HATED you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:18,19).
“Blessed are ye, when men shall REVILE you, and PERSECUTE you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Ye are the SALT of the earth: BUT IF THE SALT HAVE LOST HIS SAVOUR, wherewith shall it be salted? IT IS THENCEFORTH GOOD FOR NOTHING…Ye are the LIGHT of the world…Let your light so shine…” (Matthew 5:11-16).
“Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26).
One more time!
“I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood IN MY COUNSEL, and had caused my people to hear MY WORDS, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings…I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets OF THE DECEIT OF THEIR OWN HEART…The prophet that hath a dream, let him dream; and he THAT HATH MY WORD, LET HIM SPEAK MY WORD FAITHFULLY. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, THAT STEAL MY WORDS every one from his neighbour. Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, HE SAITH. Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD…And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more; for every man’s word shall be his burden: for ye have PERVERTED THE WORDS of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God” (Jeremiah 23:21-36).
And so, soldier, these are my last words to you. “Arm” yourself and NEVER GIVE UP!
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling…” (2Tim 1:7-9).
Never give up!
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye STEDFAST, UNMOVEABLE, ALWAYS ABOUNDING in the work of the lord, forasmuch as YE KNOW THAT YOUR LABOUR IS NOT IN VAIN IN THE LORD” (1Corinthians 15:58).
Never give up!
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us…While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2Corinthians 4:18).
Never give up!
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9).
“Finally, my brethren, BE STRONG in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 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. STAND THEREFORE…” (Ephesians 6:10-13).
Hold the line soldier!
“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me…Thou therefore, my son, BE STRONG in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore ENDURE HARDNESS, AS A GOOD SOLDIER of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; THAT HE MAY PLEASE HIM WHO HATH CHOSEN HIM TO BE A SOLDIER” (2Timothy 1:13; 2:1-3).
Don’t retreat soldier!
“And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evildoer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus WITH ETERNAL GLORY” (2Timothy 2:5-10).
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all PERSEVERANCE and supplication; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel. For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:18-20).
“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, REDEEMING THE TIME” (Colossians 4:25).
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain” (1Corinthians 9:24).
“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4:1).
“That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom AND GLORY” (1Thessalonians 2:12).
And know, that after that life of “faithful” service, you may look into the eyes of the one who bought you and cleansed you with His own blood, and as He reaches out to you with those nail-pierced hands you may hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
“But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2Timothy 4:5-8).
Published by David Winston Busch
David Winston Busch is an author and ambassador for the "mystery of Christ" (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:4; 6:20). His ministry mission is the edification of the saints according to the Pauline curriculum. He labors to bring saints to a knowledge of their sonship identity "in Christ" and the training their Father desires to work in them by his Spirit in preparation for the glory to come. View all posts by David Winston Busch