Prepare for Battle
There is a war raging. You can see it each time you turn on the news (or open your Facebook feed if you’re like me and hate the news).
Hurricanes. Big ones.
Rumors of war on the horizon.
These might be scary times, but they certainly aren’t surprising.
The bible tells us of these times. And you might think I’m crazy right along with everyone else, but that’s OK. I can handle it.
I want to talk right now to those that are sitting in church more Sundays than they aren’t.
I want to talk to the culture Christian.
I want to talk to those who are riding the fence between loving God and loving the world.
Luke 12 is a powerful set of parables Jesus used in his teachings. I honed in specifically last week on verses 35-48 when Jesus uses a parable about servants waiting for their master to return.
I’ll let Jesus take it from here.
Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded… (vs.35-37a)
Let’s get a few things straight right off the bat.
Jesus is the Master.
We are his servants.
Sometimes, we confuse the two.
Jesus goes on to describe two different kinds of servants and the consequences of each. The two types?
- The responsible ones.
- And the irresponsible ones.
The responsible ones. That’s what we all consider ourselves to be, right? They are…
- Dressed for battle.
- Wear the armor of God’s righteousness (Ephesians 6:14)
- And the belt of truth (Ephesians 6:14)
- Think clearly (1 Peter 1:13)
- Exercise self-control (1 Peter 1:13)
The responsible ones know there is a battle coming, and they are dressed for it. They are dressed with the knowledge of their righteousness in Christ, and they know what the Bible really says. If they were soldiers (which we are), they might look something like this:
They have a good spiritual head on their shoulders…
They can think clearly in a war…
They do not let their emotions control them…
They see the bigger picture unfolding…
They are not easily influenced by others…
They are disciplined…
They are strategic…
They are well-trained…
They are faithful to their Master only…
They are sensible…
They know their job…
They know the mission…
They are ready…
…You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected. (v.40)
That’s pretty self explanatory. All. The. Time.
But then Jesus’ description gets a bit tricky and he starts to describe the irresponsible ones.
But what if the servant thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk?’ The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant in pieces and banish him with the unfaithful. And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. (vs. 45-46)
The irresponsible servants are unprepared.
They are distracted by their desires…
They abuse their resources…
They are want only to being entertained…
They are unfocused…
They know what is coming, but they do not care…
They think Jesus isn’t coming back anytime soon…
They mismanage their responsibilities (or do not do them at all)…
They squander their gifts and their time…
They know the truth, but are not changed by it…
So, which one characterizes you the most?
That’s a tough question. So, take your time, because it is an important one.
A friend sent me a message from Marcus Rogers recently, and it struck a chord because this has been something echoing throughout my week, and honestly for the last several years. In his message, he talks about how the world is craving a Savior.
They are looking for Him in politicians
They are looking for Him in the government.
As believers we have a responsibility to share who the real Savior is no matter what the cost.
Because Jesus is coming.
And there is a battle for the souls of man.
God is displaying the signs in the heavens and on the earth.
Are you paying attention?
Are you waiting expectantly?
Are you trained for battle?
Have you made God’s priorities your own?
Or are you playing spiritual games?
Remember: An irresponsible servant will be treated like an unbeliever.
This is a war.
And people will perish.
What grieves my soul the most is that there are people sitting in church aisles across the country who will perish because they know Jesus’ name, but they care more for the worries of this life than they do for the next.
Do not lose focus.
We have a job to do.
And the Master is coming.
Prepare for battle.