Are You Ready for Battle?
7 Questions to Ask Yourself if You are A Soldier in the Army of the Lord
How many of us have been in church, stood up, waved our hands, and shouted “I AM!”, when the preacher asks the congregation “who’s a soldier in the army of the Lord?”
I know that I have, but recently I began to wonder am I really a soldier for the Lord? How many of us are ready for battle if called or prepared for the missions God has for our lives? As I was brushing my teeth the other day, I felt divinely inspired to ask myself the following questions and perhaps you too can relate:
1. Are you spiritually prepared?
If we are soldiers in the “army of the Lord”, are we first and foremost spiritually prepared? Are we truly aware that “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” (Ephesians 6:12)?
2. Can you take orders?
Can we follow orders like a soldier and listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit? Will we go where God wants to deploy us or will we go AWOL (“absent without leave”) and run from our calling like Jonah and face our own proverbial whales? Do we have a mind to, as Romans 12:2 says,” not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
3. Can you serve others?
Can we be of service to others in their time of crisis and show unconditional love even when we feel our own needs or desires have yet been met? Can we put into practice Galatians 5:13 “ You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” Also, how are we using our gifts to uplift each other? 1 Peter 4:10 says “each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
4. Do you have trust issues?
Do we have the capacity to be vulnerable, trust God and have faith that even if it looks like we are losing the battle, we will ultimately win the war? One of my favorite scriptures is Romans 8:30 – 31 “…30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?”
5. Are you easily influenced?
Are we listening to or associating with others in our platoon (spouse, friends, co-workers, relatives, etc.) who might be used as spies of the enemy to discourage, deceive, derail or destroy God’s mission for our lives? We might forget that “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
6. Is your “boo thang” a liability or an asset?
Have romantic relationships distracted us from God’s calling? If single, perhaps our desire to be “boo’d up” has caused us to forget that our first commitment is to God and to be available to the work that we are called to complete? A relationship might be a part of our life’s mission but do we trust God enough to align us with the best partner? Someone equally yoked whom God has called into your life.
2 Corinthians 6:14 says “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” The scripture is not purely stating that you should only date or marry a fellow believer, but be partners along life’s journey who have the capacity to carry out God’s work for your lives. The dictionary describes a yoke as “wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull.” I imagine that this scripture is calling us to be like oxen, walking and working together towards a shared purpose, pulling a load, sharing the weight and relieving each other along the way.
7. Are you physically fit?
Lastly, are we physically fit and prepared for active duty? Active duty refers to a full-time occupation as part of a military force. Sometimes we might fall into the reserve duty category, only wanting to sign up for part-time service in God’s army. However, if we answer the call of duty, we have a responsibility and obligation to fulfill our mission. In basic training and often in battle we will be required to walk, run or leap over obstacles. Might our lack of exercise or discipline with eating a healthy diet like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 1: 1-20), prevent us for living the best life God has for us?
Do we realize that we might prematurely end our service in God’s army because so many of us have preventable diseases (diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol) that are often caused by a sedentary lifestyle or because we are eating our way into an early grave? If we cannot perform the duties and assignments God has for us, then reinforcements will be called in to replace us.
Resources to Re-up (re-enlist)
If you are like me and have asked yourself these questions before or after enlisting in God’s army and are committed to fulfilling God’s mission for your life, here are a few ways to get ready for deployment into action:
If you need clarity, ask God to reveal what your assignment is
Read the Word
Fast and pray
Listen to the Holy Spirit
Praise and worship God
Fellowship with other believers
Seek wisdom from spiritual mentors or leaders
Be of service
Rest and sleep
Ephesians 6:10-18: “10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people”.
God bless you!