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War Rages: Troops Needed

Your troops will be willing on your day of battle Psalm 110:3 

We live in a time of war. There is no question about it. There are a number of “major wars” underway, with tens of lesser conflicts. These wars will most likely be with us until the end of time. If you believe in good and evil—or just evil—you will recognize that warfare in the natural is often an expression of spiritual warfare. There is a battle in the heavenlies between God’s forces and the forces of darkness. Like it or not, you are a participant, or at least you should be. 

Psalm 110 is one of those passages that looks forward prophetically to the time when Jesus vanquishes his foes for eternity. When it says “on your day of battle” it is the Father speaking to the Son, and he promises Jesus that his troops will be willing. 

1 The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” 2 The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies. 3 Your troops will be willing on your day of battle. Arrayed in holy majesty, from the womb of the dawn you will receive the dew of your youth. 4 The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” 

5 The Lord is at your right hand; he will crush kings on the day of his wrath. 6 He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.

It is interesting that it does not say, “Your troops will be able on the day of battle.” Who cares if people are able if they are not willing? God is not impressed by ability, but by availability. Heaven does not stand and applaud our talents; angels do not cheer for our selling, deal-making, or strategizing capabilities IF they are not employed in God’s battle. The question then is this: am I willing? Are you willing? 

Do we have a choice about getting enlisted? Yes, we do. While others go to do battle to see the kingdom of God advanced, we can do our own thing. We do not need to be a deliberate participant in Jesus’ day of battle, taking sides with him and doing what we can to help in the battle. We can be unwilling, we can be oblivious, we can abdicate and throw in the towel, we can dodge a battle or two, but we cannot avoid the war. Ephesians 6:12 says it this way in The Message: 

This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. 

I am alarmed by how little thought we give to the greater context of what God is doing in history. Business people make decisions as if they own their own businesses, or have rights to their own careers. We are not our own. When we were bought with a price, God’s prize for Jesus was that we would become enlisted soldiers, “willing on your [Jesus’] day of battle.” Being “saved” without being enlisted is less than what God had in mind for you and me… and for King Jesus. 

Reflections 

  • Have you checked your heart to make sure you are willing for whatever?

  • Perhaps you are enlisted: what about your friends? Are you recruiting them for battle, or is it best to leave them thinking there is no war?
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