It is important to note right from the start of this article that a number of scripture references are listed but not written out due to length concerns. I could, as I have in the past, divide this article into two parts but felt, for continuities sake, the information needed to be kept together as a whole. It is therefore to your advantage to look them up, if you genuinely want to benefit from any real consideration of this study.
I have been reminded of the song, “Run To The Battle”, while watching previews of numerous dramas on T.V. over the years (And news reports of numerous “hotspots” involving our military.) which feature characters who inexplicably ‘love their jobs’ even as they face what would appear to most of us as insurmountably difficult and dangerous situations. The first instinct for many when confronted with such demanding circumstances is to run the other way. (Which may well be the proper response for people untrained and inexperienced in dealing with these types of events.) But for those who have committed themselves to answering the call of duty in hazardous occupations – whether they be firemen, policemen, EMTs or military personnel – their dedication to preparedness and training allow them to confidently do what at first glance seems inconceivable to the rest of us; running into the fire, rushing to the scene of a crime or accident, hastening to the sound of gunfire and battle. They are thus able to conquer fear and withstand the chaotic sights and sounds of the “battle” confronting them as a result of their counting the cost of such duty beforehand (Luke 14:28-33); finding the risk more than acceptable compared to the results they hope to gain. (Mark 10:29,30)
As the scripture cited above indicates, these traits apply to the Christians’ mission to the world as well. “Run To The Battle” declaring,
“Some people want to live within the sound of chapel bells. But I want to run a mission a yard from the gates of hell. And with everyone you meet, take them the gospel and share it well. Look around you as you hesitate, another soul just fell; let’s run to the battle.”
We, like the example of emergency responders listed above, must devise a prepared response for dealing with people in trouble (1 Peter 1:13), or with those who challenge our intent and purpose (2 Timothy 4:2), who question our way of thinking and living (2 Timothy 2:15), whether in outright rebellion against God’s word or in ignorance of it. (Colossians 4:5,6 & Ephesians 5:15-17)
“Do you have your armor on? We’re in the middle of a raging war. We’ve been training for so long, but have we learned to use his sword? (Ephesians 6:17 – the sword of the Spirit – God’s word.) We may not be ready, but we serve a mighty Lord; and he’s made us more than conquerors. So what are we waiting for? Let’s run to the battle.”
We must be ever-vigilant of the situations we place ourselves in and alert to the circumstances people around us involve themselves with (1 Timothy 4:15,16), letting God’s word infiltrate our lives at the deepest level; enabling us to share it with everyone we come in contact with. (Hebrews 4:12) We must realize that any engagement on our part with the world must be predicated on our not conforming to its definitions of right and wrong, and that by renewing our own minds through the leading of the Holy Spirit we gain the insight to influence others to do the same. (Rom. 12:2,1 Peter 1:14 & Proverbs 4:7)
“There will be times when we grow weak, let’s keep our faith alive. Let your face shine with glory, for he’s helped us survive. And in that final hour, when you feel like you’re ready to die; will you hear the trumpet sound, will you hear the warrior cry? Run to the Battle!”1
As Jesus willingly submitted himself to God’s will (Matthew 26:39, Philippians 2:5-8 & 1 Peter 2:21), and by doing so gained the ultimate victory (Philippians 2:9-11); so must we. (Romans 8:17,18) When we do, we will be able to proclaim the message of the cross and the one who hung there more effectively (John 6:29 & 12:30-32), opening ourselves so completely to the leading of the Holy Spirit (Philippians 2:13) that obeying His will and responding to the needs of others becomes instinctive rather than something we have to do or something we must think about first. (1 Corinthians 1:5) Finding completion in Him being contingent on the full realization that it is, “…in him (that) we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28; allowing us to proclaim with Paul that, “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but I will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:20,21As in all things, “(His) grace is sufficient for (us), for (His) power is made perfect in (our) weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 In the end then, any sacrifice and inconvenience being worth it; God’s definition of success and failure, loss and gain, inherently different than the world’s. (Philippians 3:7-11)
“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. (And) Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (Doing so) with gentleness and respect,…” 1 Peter 3:13-15
1Steve Camp – Word Music, from his “Doing My Best” cd.
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