I was reading in 1 Chronicles (albeit, not the most exciting of book), when I came across an interesting passage that got me thinking. It’s only a couple of verses long and mentions a name that I have only seen one other time in the book of 1 Samuel. Here’s the passage:
“Here is the record of David’s mightiest warriors: The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite, who was leader of the Three–the mightiest warriors among David’s men. He once used his spear to kill three hundred enemy warriors in a single battle.” (1 Chronicles 11:11 NLT)
I don’t know why this verse stood out to me, and I haven’t done the research yet to find out why this was important enough to be included in the Bible. But I do know what this verse got me thinking about. I remember singing the cute little song in VBS about being in the Lord’s army. Maybe you’ve heard it before.
I may never march in the infantry
Ride in the cavalry
Shoot the artillery
I may never fly over the enemy
But I’m in the Lord’s army
It’s one of those songs that have stuck with me throughout the years. But growing up, I never really understood the concept of spiritual warfare. But I have seen it in life. It’s as real to me now as any war going on in the Middle East. But the spiritual enemy is far more cunning and conniving that any member of the Taliban. The Enemy silently deceives believers and works tirelessly to detour them from the path that God has laid out before them. His mission is simple, to destroy and undermine the work of the Lord.
Knowing that we are all locked in a spiritual battle, whether we know it or not, I began to think about my role in the Army of the Lord. I could be like the draft dodgers of the 60’s and 70’s and hope that the battle never comes to my doorstep, and if it does, maybe closing my eyes and pretending it’s not there will keep me safe.
Or I could be like a sniper, patiently waiting for the enemy to make itself known, then taking it out in a calculated attack. But that seems a little too passive for me. God has given me a personality that doesn’t like to wait! So where do I fit in? What’s my role in the Army of the Lord?
After reading 1 Chronicles 11:11, I finally figured it out. I want to be one of God’s mightiest warriors. Both times that I’ve seen Jashobeam’s name in the Scriptures, it was to show how powerful of a warrior he was. But he served an earthly king. My King is eternal. When I accepted the free gift of salvation, I was also accepting my enlistment into God’s Army. All Christians are members of that spiritual fighting force, but there are some who don’t pull their weight. There are some who close their eyes to the battle and pretend that everything is fine. There are even those who work as double agents, calling themselves Children of God yet doing the works of the Enemy.
But there are also those who have distinguished themselves as the mightiest of all of God’s warriors. They spend all of their time working against the Enemy and making sure that the work of the Lord is accomplished. Despite the attacks of the enemy, the continue to fight for the Lord, even in the face of persecution and ridicule. It is among these mighty warriors that I strive to find myself. I’m not there yet, but just as an enlisted seaman would work tirelessly to be able to join the ranks of the Navy Seals, I want to spend all of my time trying to achieve the rank of one of the mightiest warriors for the Lord.
Ignoring the fact that we are locked in a spiritual battle does nothing more than make you useless for the Lord. We need to embrace our Almighty Leader and fight for him with more fervor than any warrior in history has fought for his king. I am so grateful for the redeeming work that Christ has done in my life that I can think of no greater honor that to be able to fight for Him. It’s not about fame or being the greatest in the Kingdom of God. It’s about the passion that I have for Him and that there is no way to repay Him for what He has done for me. But I will continue to try to repay Him by fighting for Him and living my life in such a way that those who serve the Enemy, knowingly or not, will be persuaded to follow the risen Savior, and experience the joy that comes from serving Him. Amen.