In God’s Army

Dear friends, today I would like to talk about being ‘In God’s Army’. Once again friends this document is written in the knowledge that you, the reader, are a ‘fully understanding Christian’. If not please friends listen to what I have to say and read some of the other documents on this website, hopefully they will give you understanding into the beautiful world of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Friends, in this life we are living we are all ‘soldiers’ for God, though some more so than others. But as Christians we are automatically in God’s army and under His banner we stand. Satan also has his army and friends there is a vast difference between the two leaders. I think we know the basics (and if not please read my other documents, there are plenty on this website describing in detail what happened), Satan/Lucifer rebelled and went to war with Jesus, the outcome? Well Satan is now the usurped ruler of this earth and Jesus is ruler of heaven and of the universe and under one of these banners we stand.

Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

No one friends can serve two masters therefore we stand under one of these two banners. We may think we are standing neutral but friends you are either for God or against Him, but don’t worry there is time yet to change sides and Jesus’ arms are ever open wide calling His children in. He is also ever calling in the sinner, come to Him in repentance and He will make you a ‘child of the King’, free to walk in His city of gold and to bask in His forgiveness and mercy, to a heavenly home where happiness reigns forever more.

Friends, I would like to take a closer look into ‘being in God’s army’ versus being in Satan’s army and what does that mean to us today. Firstly let’s take a quick look at Satan’s army. Well we know for a fact that Satan uses lies and deceit to drag you in.

John 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

1st Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

So this gives us a idea of what kind of a master Satan is, but this document isn’t about him and friends if you do happen to find yourself on his side of the fence please realise that ‘the grass really is greener’ on the other side and there is always the opportunity to switch leaders, Jesus is ever ready to forgive and welcome you into His embrace.

Friends, let’s take a quick look into being in the Lord’s army.

Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

Joel 2:11 “And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word:…”

2nd Kings 6:17 “And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”

Friends, I believe this shows the difference between the two leaders and their armies but here today I want to go a lot deeper. How are we affected? And as willing soldiers in God’s army what exactly is expected of us. Well friends, let’s start by defining the different groups within God’s army, let’s look upon them as battalions.

Firstly there is battalion one – now this battalion is the Christian that just wants to ride safely in the boat, no rocking the boat as their faith is not strong. No, they are not up to supporting anything but they love Jesus and desire to be under His wings. These Christians in this battalion are, what do we say? ‘rocked along’, they need help and support and Jesus sends it via the church pastors or a willing person nearby and these people are tenderly kept safe in Jesus’ arms.

Secondly – the battalion of Christians that really want to fight with Jesus in this warfare but they are weak, either in mental or physical capacity and really don’t have what it takes to fight with the devil. (Please let me just put in a disclaimer here, saying someone is ‘weak’ as I have here is not a insult. We are not ‘all the same’ and while some of us are ‘weak’ in some areas we are strong in others, Jesus knows this and He sends help to those of us that need it. It is not a shame to be in this category, oh no, far from it. Please if you feel you are in this battalion stand up and be proud, your witness may very well help to strengthen others. Jesus loves us all, He is ever understanding and will bring peace and comfort to everyone.) These people work where they stand and are a great support to Jesus’ ‘working warriors’. See friends, prayers are needed and these people will be impressed that a particular worker is struggling or a fight with the devil is going on somewhere and these people will take it upon themselves to spend time in prayer for these people even when they don’t know them. The people in this battalion also work within their area giving support to the people around them, helping in any capacity required, often going unnoticed. But friends, Jesus is watching and if you are in this battalion please realise that while your work may not be acknowledged on earth Jesus is watching and while no recognition may come from any earthly direction, Jesus will acknowledge and reward you openly once in heaven.

Thirdly – the battalion of fighting warriors for Jesus. But let’s digress for a moment.

I have mentioned in other documents just how these warriors are chosen and just how important their work is. Before I start though I would like to point out that Jesus loves everyone and He is no respecter of persons. He loves the cleaner just as much as His leading commander angel. Nobody is ‘above’ or ‘better’ than anybody else, all in the kingdom of God are equal and Jesus loves them all. Yes there are ‘commander’ angels and ‘leader’ angels, there are ‘ranks’ and ‘positions’ but just because one angel is in higher authority doesn’t mean to say Jesus ‘loves him more’ than others, oh no, Jesus’ love is unconditional and He loves us all.

Romans 2:11 “For there is no respect of persons with God.”

Acts 10:34 “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:”

Friends, the reason for my ‘digression’ is to explain the difference in ‘warriors for Jesus’. Friends, as I mentioned above not everyone can work in the same capacity, some are ‘stronger’ and the strong one always leads the ‘weaker’ one home. Now as we also mentioned above Jesus loves them both the same and there is to be no ‘shame’ cast upon either, that is not Jesus’ style, that kind of mentality belongs to the devil, only the devil casts shame and reproach upon people. Jesus loves the weak and the strong alike and He sends people out to help the others through. Friends, this path we are walking is hard indeed so Jesus needs to choose His third battalion team carefully. Now there are many people who ‘want a go’, they are the first to put up their hand, wave it round and say “pick me”, but friends, when push comes to shove they are often the ones who drop out of the race first, but that’s ok, Jesus gave them the opportunity they desired and they ‘fell off the bandwagon’ so to speak but Jesus still loves them. Then there are the warriors that are not chosen, these ones are often a trial to Jesus as they force or muscle their way into situations that they are ill prepared for and they often work against Jesus. But the warriors in this third battalion are the ones who are the main fighters in this battle for heaven, these warriors have given their all, sacrificed everything, some even life itself. Let’s take a look at a few examples in the Bible.

I think the first examples that come to mind are the four Hebrews captured and taken into slavery by the Babylonian armies. Their stories have been retold many times and one of the stories I loved the most. Such faith and a inspiration for us all. Now while Jesus did save their lives many others sacrificed even life itself but their example and testimony has been a inspiration to us all. The same Jesus that stood with Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego also stood beside Peter as he hung on the cross, and while He wasn’t there in person He was there in Spirit when John the Baptist suffered and died for his Saviour. Friends, this same Saviour is with us today and as these people in the past sacrificed everything for their Lord and Saviour so to it is for us today and the help they received is a given for us today. Let’s look at a few of those people.

Daniel – Kept his faith even though he was thrown into a den of lions. This was just one of the examples of faith shown by Daniel, his whole life was dedicated to Jesus and many a lesson in ‘blind faith’ we can draw from him. Daniel also worked in the Lord’s army and we can take his experiences as faith that Jesus is with His servants.

Daniel 6:16 “Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.”

Daniel 6:21,22 “Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me:…”

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – stood unwavering for their faith.

Daniel 3:20,25 “And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace… He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

Joseph – Kept his faith even when sold as a slave by his brothers then put into prison for a crime he did not commit.

Genesis 37:28 “…and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.”

Genesis 39:20 “And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.”

John the Revelator – Exiled to Patmos.

Revelation 1:9 “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

John the Baptist – Lost his life working for Jesus. He was the first of the martyrs and a example for all who followed.

Matthew 14:8,10 “And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger… And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.”

Friends, the warriors we are talking about today are the same as these examples in the past, the difference? Their story has been written and ours has not. So let’s jump right into being one of these warriors in God’s army today.

Thirdly – the third and final battalion of fighting warriors for Jesus. Before we start, (no I’m not digressing again), I would like to point out just why this battalion is needed and why it is so important. See friends, in the battle for heaven and hell Satan made many a accusation against Jesus, one of the main ones was that the law of God was unjust and couldn’t be kept. He also charged Jesus of keeping the angels as robots, slaves without free will.

Isaiah 14:12,13 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:”

Revelation 12:7-9 “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

Friends, Satan may have started this war but believe me Jesus will finish it. But the war this time round does involve the ‘human element’, see friends, the angels have already fought their battle and chosen their sides, their battle was fought in heaven and the devil was cast out. Friends, this up and coming battle is about us, it is ‘our turn’, we have to choose our side and fight for our leader. Now not all of us stand in a position to fight and we will get a little deeper into that later in this document but we all must choose a side. Satan accused Jesus of some serious stuff and these accusations need to be justified and a group of warriors specially trained by Jesus will take on this fight – but I am getting ahead of myself here.

Friends, Jesus needs to be justified, if He isn’t then the same accusations can be made over and over and this battle will never end. We all know this ‘end of time’ battle is proving to the universe that God’s law is just and can be kept and that is what this final battle is all about. There is one other factor that I would like to touch on briefly and that is the Christian who doesn’t have the strength to ‘fight for salvation’.

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Friends, the wages of sin is death, yes Jesus died on the cross to save us from sin but friends, we are living in a world of sin and with the devil in the detail it is impossible not to sin. Jesus stands ever ready to offer forgiveness and no-one will be shut out of heaven because they lose the battle with temptation but friends, someone has to walk this path and prove it can be done. Friends, some of the warriors in God’s army are fighting this path for these people who are too weak to walk it themselves. These ‘weak’ people fight with the devil daily but they just don’t have what it takes to defeat the devil, therefore Jesus has made allowance by training soldiers to walk the path in their stead. Jesus has made provision for everyone friends, and when the Trinity created the covenant they made sure that every angle, every possible scenario was covered and no-one would be shut out of heaven because of ‘a clause’ or lack of within the covenant. Jesus loves us all friends and He has made provision for all of us to enter the pearly gates no matter of our ‘status’ or which battalion we stand in.

So having pointed out the various ‘warriors’ I would like to get to the main point of this message, ‘the warriors fighting the final battle against the devil at the end of time’. Friends, we believe in the second coming of Jesus, and in the time of tribulation just prior to His coming.

Acts 1:11 “Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

Daniel 12:1 “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation…”

Friends, warrior battalion three comprises of the people especially trained of Jesus to fight through the time of trouble and bring God’s people home and friends they are going to have to be a very special ‘breed’. Many are asked but few are chosen and many a willing saint has withdrawn when the fires of affliction and the furnace of training became too hot. Friends, I’ll not lie to you this final battle is going to be fierce.

Matthew 22:14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Matthew 24:21,22 “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”

Jeremiah 30:7 “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.”

And Jesus will not send anyone in to fail – therefore the training has to be ‘spot on’ and Jesus has to be one hundred percent positive that His children walking this path can make the distance. Jesus will by no means put anyone through this trial to fail, therefore friends the furnace of affliction is going to burn hot and many of us will come out shining like gold.

There is a major factor that needs to be addressed here and that is the fact that we are fighting a battle, this battle is very real. It was originally fought in heaven when the devil rebelled and now it is being fought again – this time over dominion of this earth and as it is over planet earth they cannot just fight it out in the skies, humans are going to be involved. Friends, it is written in prophecy roughly how it is going to go but what about these fighters for Jesus, the people under God’s banner? We know that Satan just forces the conscience (that’s if we let him) and ‘takes control’ of anyone who is willing to be on his side, once they have served their purpose Satan just casts them out and finds someone else. But friends, Jesus is a God of love, He forces nothing or no-one and His service is voluntary only. Jesus also loves His followers dearly and He is out for the salvation of all. Therefore the training for the final warriors is intense, thorough and all complete, no-one friends is going in to fail, all will be throughly trained. Now friends, let’s look closer at this up and coming battle and the people fighting for Jesus. Well firstly they are asked then Jesus assures them that He will be with them through the fires (Jesus is with everyone not just these people in training) and the training for war begins.

Isaiah 48:10 “Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.”

Zechariah 13:9 “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them:…”

It’s not just about training the warriors, it is also about ‘army tactics’. Jesus has to know exactly how this is going to go, what moves Satan is going to make. This is going to go down to the wire and Jesus must be one hundred percent confident that He has every angle covered and that absolutely nothing is going to take them by surprise. Jesus will be leading this battle and we know He will win but friends, He will take nothing for granted and before this battle begins Jesus is going to make sure all bases are covered. This is where the more intense training is done and many a person may query “why”? Why is Jesus starting and stopping, ducking and weaving, making ‘dummy runs’ and running the warriors in training over the battle grounds over and over again? Friends, Jesus must know for a certainty exactly how the devil is going to react, and it is by these methods that Jesus is one – creating His army and two – preparing the battle grounds. Friends, I think we can find our answers if we take a look at how our earthly army trains as it is similar with our heavenly army.

This information was ‘gleaned’ from the internet.

The army train their soldiers for the time when they will go over the line of entry into a battle situation where they may not be able to just ‘get out’ or ‘go back’. The objective is to stand with courage and determination, push forward, execute commands exactly and without hesitation or question and see it through until the commander shouts ‘stand down’. This situation is not a drill, they cannot stop the drill when it is going bad, they cannot turn and run out of the situation. They are fully committed to the purpose. They train and train and plan and plan for this situation. Everyone on the team who goes over the line of entry has to be fully equipped to deal with all the possible scenarios that they may encounter once over that line. They train for so many things, things that they may never use, but then they may so they have to know what to do. Soldiers have to train for things like how to purify water, how to fix any of their equipment or improvise, medical treatment, mechanics, firearms, how to cook, extensive emotional control techniques, survival skills, physical ability and of course battle tactics and techniques. It’s so extensive because they just don’t know which of those skills they may need but if they need them it will be to save their life.

Friends, Jesus is doing this training right now, He will leave nothing to chance. But back to the army.

“The army (and this is where Heaven comes in) need a group of people trained for anything, ready to obey without question, fully committed. Those guys go through hell. The movies glamorise it but in the interviews they say there is nothing glamorous about it at all. The army also put their teams through brutal training and exercises over and over again because they have to know who they can send into battle. Battle is horrific and those guys pull on all their skills and more is learned as they go. They have to ’see it through’ because there is no going back, people are literally relying on them for their lives.”

Friends, Jesus is training us in this same fashion, the difference? Jesus is beside us comforting, encouraging and protecting us. If at any time Jesus sees we are not making the grade He pulls the pin and saves our life and soul, He then comes in with comfort and compassion. Ever remember as we tread this sod that Jesus loves us and while He needs workers to fight this battle it will never be at the cost of our soul. But one of the key things we can see is the amount of work that has to go into the preparation and the ‘due diligence’ that this world’s army leaders have to do. They have to know for one hundred percent that whoever they send over that ‘line of entry’ is ready and can do it. Friends, Jesus is running His army training exactly the same, He has to know that every one of His warrior agents in this His third battalion will make it once they cross that line of entry. Once we cross that line friends there is no going back. Jesus is doing His ‘due diligence’ so that He can have confidence that once we go over that ‘line of entry’ we will make it, that moment in time is critical, imperative for everyone’s eternal safety. This will justify Jesus in heaven, He can show how much he put his team through prior and how much ‘research’ and ‘testing’ He did prior to the battle starting. He did actually do the preparation, He didn’t just pluck a bunch of unfit people off their comfy couches and send them with no idea into battle.

Friends, Jesus is trying His army and if you are in it please realise the amount of work required to make sure we are all going to make the grade. Friends, this battle is going to take us face to face with the devil, we are fighting directly against him and I for one want to make sure I am prepared. I know this training hurts and I know many of us have sacrificed everything to be in this army but remember friends we are fighting for Jesus, we are fighting for the King of the universe and we are not fighting alone, Jesus will always be by our side. It is a privilege to work for Jesus but not only does Jesus love us so much He died on the cross to save us but He also has promised us reward in heaven, now friends that is a God of love. Let’s finish with a allegory.

“The night was dark and Sally was afraid, why had she agreed to join this command? Why hadn’t she stayed at her desk job. Trying to think Sally peered into the gloomy darkness, nobody had prepared her for this, and no, she wasn’t ready. Trying to remember basic training Sally tried to make her way to where she believed the ‘safe’ line was, but the whine of bullets, the smell of gunfire held her petrified. Something hit her, she laid down and crawled toward what she thought was safety, unfortunately she was going the wrong way. Falling into a ditch she curled up as best she could and hoped to ‘wait it out’. Her mind travelled back down memory lane, how in the world had she ended up here. 

“Oh it’s fun”, her brother had said, “we play games, get to march in parades, have make-believe skirmishes with our mates, come on join the army, you’ll like it”. So Sally joined but she didn’t take it seriously, after all who was going to war? No, that would never happen in this day and age, no, these were all just training games, something to train the body to get fit, no, she would never have to actually use these skills in real battle, would she?

Time in army training passed and Sally really enjoyed the ‘events’, she had passed most training events but still she didn’t take it seriously, after all she would never need it. She enjoyed the skirmishes the most, when she went out on the field and had to tactfully defeat the other team, sometimes her team won and sometimes it didn’t but still she didn’t take it seriously.

Her commander noticed in Sally that she wasn’t taking this army training seriously and called her before him to explain. Sally expressed her point of view, yes, she wanted to fight for her country, her king, but she never expected to need to do so. Sally’s commander gently explained that if Sally didn’t prepare herself for battle she would have no chance of surviving it. War was real and one day it would come to them, Sally needed to stay ready. The commander dismissed Sally then quietly contemplated Sally’s outlook, no, Sally wasn’t ready he knew. But he also knew that training for Sally’s battalion was about to go up a notch.

Midnight, and the sirens blared. Sally groaned, yes the generals had told them there would be a training tonight. They were going to war, but it was only a drill so why bother, right? Sally dug down into her bunk and didn’t bother to go, training huh! A few nights later it happened again, though this time they hadn’t been informed of a drill. Oh well, better go anyway, she had been brought up for report for not appearing for the other drill. But still Sally didn’t take it to heart and yes, it was another drill, yawn, yawn and back to bed. Over the next few months these drills kept happening and Sally started to question the ethics of her commanders. Really? Night after second night, nothing is happening, nothing is going to happen but the commanders still roused them to drill, drill, drill, sometimes twice in one night. Sally was really questioning the ethics of her commander even more so now, every time they were so serious, everyone really believed them, today, yes today they really were under attack, but day after day they came back, another drill. Sally was growing tired and distrustful, were her commanders lying to her? After all they said each time that it is really happening now? Sally found herself really starting to distrust her commanders and started checking everything out for herself, if they were ‘lying’ to her about the drills maybe they couldn’t be trusted on other grounds either?

Although Sally hadn’t noticed other cadets also had come to the same conclusion as Sally and they had disregarded any attempt of the generals for reform but the generals had a very good reason for their training regime. They needed to know just how ready their cadets were, could they hold themselves up in battle, could they even get to the starting line in time, a sudden event, especially one that brings a high level of shock and fear, does have the ability to override any training they have had and render them powerless. The generals put their heads in their hands and sighed deeply. Many of their cadets understood what they were doing, they didn’t accuse them of lying, they understood that these drills must be run, how else could the generals see how the enemy would respond? if their cadets were ready for the battle? Safety to their battalion was paramount, no-one was to be left behind, but if these cadets were going to survive they needed to be prepared whether it was a drill or not.

Lying in the ditch Sally was shaking, fulling believing she was about to die. Why hadn’t she listened to her trainer? Why hadn’t she taken him seriously and trusted his judgement? Maybe if she had just trusted his judgement and accepted the training she would have been prepared for this moment. Sally put her head in her hands and waited for the fatal blow. The night sky lit up like daylight, floodlights shone on the scene around her and she, with painful alacrity, realised that it was all another drill. Around her were her battalion, most had made it to safety, they had heeded their training and were ready to face the fight, to her shame Sally was not, along with a few others Sally was just cowering where she had started from. If it had been a real event Sally would be dead, she had failed to take the drills seriously, she had harboured ill feelings toward her commanders, even accusing them of lying. Sally hadn’t been drafted into the army, she had chosen to fight for her king and country but she had failed to take their training and guidance seriously. The constant drills in the night were to prepare her for the onslaught, was she ready? No, she wasn’t. The on and off again drills, many were practice runs, they were also what her commander called ‘information gathering runs’. These runs were vital to the survival of the unit and to learning the fighting tactics of the enemy. It was vital to gather this information against the enemy so they could plan their attack knowing how the enemy would respond. They needed to test the loyalty of their cadets, would their cadets follow and obey even though they knew it could be another dummy run? There was one other tactic in this training that nobody saw, not even the generals.

The top leading commander laid His pen on His desk, His one hundred and forty four thousand army was made up. These were the finest and strongest of cadets, faithful to the end regardless of what He asked of them. He wiped a tear from His eye, yes, the path had been bitter and His cadets had been bitterly tried, the process had hurt Him greatly, He didn’t like to see His children suffer, especially as they were working so hard for Him. He straightened up and went out to address His battalion. All were worn and battle weary but all were ready, they would follow their Commander no matter what, they would believe His word and trust His love, they were ready for the battle. Tenderly calling them around Him He gently explained the training process. Yes, they had been in the army training for war. They had been called, chosen by their Commander, He had faith in them. The training had been difficult indeed but everyone had come out of the furnace shining like gold and all stood ready and willing, faithful to their trust, to their Commander no matter the outlook, no matter the darkness these people had followed their Commander. He stood erect and foreboding as the Commander addressed His battalion, training was over and war was about to break out, this time for real, no more dummy runs. A hand went up but the Commander waved it away, after all He knew what the question was going to be. Yes, one of the hardest training to master was the drills, the dummy runs and many people within the group wanted to know why? Some, like Sally, had started to think their Commander was lying, it wasn’t going to happen. Their Commander laid it all out but first He started with a apology, thanks for enduring, promises of full explanations once the war was over and rewards for helping in the war. Firstly their blessed Commander explained that He couldn’t tell them that some of the drills were ‘dummy runs’ (some were really going to happen) as they wouldn’t have taken the training seriously (there is a Sally in all of us). He needed to know exactly how the enemy would respond (that’s Satan) and this could only be done by experience. He needed to know if we were ready, how much we could take and if our faith was steadfast, after all He was in nowise putting us into battle to fail, oh no, He would rather pass us by and try someone else than lose a child, no, we had to be tested. The distance we could hold on for also grew longer as battle after battle was won, could we hold for the distance? The enemy would also be targeting His cadets with mean, ruthless, evil and unfair tactics, His children must be able to stand. Training over and over again, no, He wasn’t lying, He was using the age old tactic of drilling.

The Commander had one more word of counsel for His battalion and He waited for silence before He gave His last counsel. Now His battalion was ready to stand on call, unshaken and whether the event happened or not they were ready to weather the storm, they would not falter if the event didn’t happen or if a delay occurred, they would hold their ground without question. This training ability was the pinnacle of the Commander’s training and He was so proud they had all reached this standard, this was immensely important to the Commander’s, our Saviour’s, tactics.

Sally curled up in the corner of the bus on the way back to the barracks, she was embarrassed and ashamed, after all she had been loudest in denouncing these ‘drills’. Her Commander came over and sat beside her, yes, it had been a bitter experience but it was one that Sally could learn from, after all she wasn’t dead, it had been a practice run. But her Commander did warn and impress upon her the fact that war really was coming this way and she needed to be prepared, if she was willing to train and put her total faith in her Commander he would help her through. Sally sat up straighter in her seat, her Commander was right, she would train, she would put her trust in her commanders and not doubt or accuse them of injustice or deceit, after all she could now see it as it really was, it was like a cloud had been swept away from her eyes and she saw the situation as it really was. Strengthening her resolve Sally went to her battalion team mates, she wanted to share with them what she had just learnt.”

Friends, I believe we have all been Sally’s at one stage, not fully understanding and questioning exactly what Jesus is doing, but it is not too late. I believe we can all draw a lesson from Sally’s experience, renew our faith and resolve and just blindly trust in Jesus, He is ever compassionate and He loves us dearly. The training may be frightful but in order to pass through the fire we must fully understand the terrible atrocities of the devil and the magnitude of the battle we are fighting. Friends, Satan isn’t going to play fair, he will fight violently and unfairly. Remember he (Satan) is fighting for his life so he isn’t going to just give up. Please friends, as we head into the fight of our lives remember Jesus loves us and He will be with us. Understand exactly what He (Jesus) is doing in this training of ours and realise we are ‘In God’s Army’.

Friends, Jesus is coming to take us home but before the second coming is the ‘time of trouble’ and Jesus is preparing His saints for the final battle.

Revelation 14:1 “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.”

And He will in nowise allow us to go into battle ill prepared and while the training is intense Jesus has also promised us His help.

Matthew 10:19 “But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.”

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee;…”

Heaven is our home and Jesus has a place specially prepared for each one of us.

John 14:2 “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

We are all in God’s army in one way or another, whether it is the first, second or third battalion, we are there. We are standing in the last days, we are standing on the threshold of the gates to the Holy City and friends, it is only a hop, skip and a jump from here. I urge you to stand vigilant, to gird yourself with the whole armour of God and watch out for the devil’s temptations, standing ever ready as that day shall come upon us as a thief in the night and who shall be able to stand.

Revelation 6:17 “For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”

1st Thessalonians 5:2 “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.”

Ephesians 6:10,11 “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.”

Jesus loves us dearly friends, He will go with us we only need to put our hand in His and Jesus will carry us home. Be at peace friends, the night is dark and the battle is about to begin but ever remember friends Jesus is with us and Jesus will lead us home.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Matthew 28:20 “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”