18 Jul 2020

Battle-Ready for Real?

All Posts, Church life, Spiritual Warfare No Comments

In Jeremiah 48:14 (HCSB) the Lord poses the question: “How can you say, ‘We are warriors—mighty men, ready for battle’?”

Andrew Murray said this: “To take the sword of the Spirit in the hour of battle indicates that I have lived in that Word and it abides in me: I have lived it out and it is the master of my personality.”  

You must ‘Live in the Word.’ The Word must abide in you. You must have been living it out, i.e. applying it it and proving it in your daily life. You must be so one with the Word that it is who you are.

How manifested is Galatians 2:20 (NKJV) in your life? “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

We must heed Jesus’s words in Luke 14:24, 26-28A, 33 (TPT):

“I say to you all, the one who receives an invitation to feast with me and makes excuses will never enjoy my banquet.

“When you follow me as my disciple, you must put aside your father, your mother, your wife, your sisters, your brothers—yes, you will even seem as though you hate your own life. This is the price you’ll pay to be considered one of my followers.  

“And anyone who comes to me must be willing to share my cross and experience it as his own, or he cannot be considered my disciple. So don’t follow me without considering what it will cost you.

“Unless you surrender all to me, giving up all you possess, you cannot be one of my disciples.”

Surrender all. Give up all you possess. Take up your cross and follow Him. Prefer Him above your family and your life. Hate your own life.

The martyrs of the early church coveted martyrdom. It was their “fulfillment,” they called it. They desired it and accepted it—believe it or not—joyfully! They even preached to the watching crowds as they were dying!

They triumphed because they did not love and cling to their own lives, even when faced with death. (Revelation 12:11, TPT)

They were indifferent to the manner and circumstances of their death. They were willing to suffer and die even as Christ suffered and died for them. Some were scourged and flayed, sawn in half, beheaded, burned at the stake, roasted on red-hot iron chairs, torn by dogs or lions, slain by gladiators, even crucified, whatever the baying crowds demanded. If they did not die, they were brought back to the arena, some multiple times, until they passed. They could have denied the faith at any stage and been spared but they chose to go to their beloved Jesus and a far better place.

The early church martyrs, they were true warriors—mighty men and women, battle-ready.

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