After kissing my husband good morning, he related that he woke up with the lyrics to “Onward Christian Soldiers,” running through his brain. I asked him if he’d checked the news recently and wondered if we were at war. We chuckled at the possibility, since we rarely tune into the news anymore, except to check on weather conditions. In our blindness, war could be declared and we would never know.
Then it was time for our morning devotional. We’re using David Kitz’s “Psalms 365 – Volume Two, for this time together and guess what the title of the message was? “They did not believe in God or trust in His deliverace.” This message from Psalm 78:17-22 references the Israelites and their rebellious ways. These were the same guys who were led out of bondage by Moses and guided by a pillar of fire and a pillar of cloud. The sea had been parted by God’s finger and yet they foolishly strayed from Him. Our first inclination is to wonder why their faith was so weak when they had God right there physically in their midst.
So David’s devotion and my husband, Paul’s waking thoughts coincided and I thought maybe I should write about God as our Commander in Chief – the general who expects us to follow His orders without question.
When young men and women enter the armed services, they take an oath to that end in the Oath of Enlistment:
I, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
As followers of God, we are also taking a similar oath to follow His orders or commandments as part of our relationship with Him. We are submitting to His authority by doing so. Unfortunately, we often fall short f doing His will. We tend to stray, just like the Israeliites were often tempted to do. Because we can’t perfectly submit, God provided someone who would take our place – someone who would lay down His life for us. That obedient soldier was Jesus.
We are so blessed to have someone who stands up for us daily, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to follow orders. As soldiers of the cross, we must be even more diligent. With Jesus’ help that’s possible. With Him leading the way, we can be assured of victory. for He has already won the war.