April 18, 2021
Where Are The Foot Soldiers
II Timothy 2: 3-4 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
In this generation everyone wants to be a general in God’s army.
Prophecies abound that tell people they will be rich and finance the Kingdom.
They will have a worldwide dynamic ministry.
They will win thousands to the Lord and so on.
No one seems to get a prophetic mission to be a good parent, a respected worker in some career, a deacon or an awesome spouse.
They are all glory positions that are prophesied, but who gets the glory?
Where are the foot soldiers in God’s army?
If you cannot serve well as a private or sergeant do not expect to be promoted to Captain or General.
While there are some great Captains and Generals in the Word, there are also many Privates and Sergeants.
Indeed, Jesus called us to be foot soldiers if we wanted to be great in the Kingdom.
Luke 9:48 And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.
Contrary to our corporate thinking, the way up is down.
The least shall be great.
Mark 10:43 43 …whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: 44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. 45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Jesus says that to be chief, you have to be a servant of all.
The lowest servant, which is the place the Lord took when He washed the feet of the Disciples.
Not just a servant, but the lowest.
By the way, minister meant servant as in one who waits on tables.
It was later assigned to pastors because they were to be God’s servants serving His people, not Lords of the flock to be glorified or served.
No kissing of rings and bowing down to them.
Respect, yes. Glorification, no.
Acts 10:25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. 26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
We have a natural tendency to exalt men.
Hollywood and sports celebrities.
We also have celebrity preachers.
We have to beware of celebrity preachers.
Jesse had nine potential king sons by man’s standard but God chose the one they did not even consider a private and made him a king.
We love the Hall of Faith and know the names and their deeds, but we forget that the unnamed and forgotten of men are there as well.
HEBREWS 11 - THE HALL OF FAITH …
Hebrews 11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
Many do not like reading this side of the Hall of Faith as it does not meet their agenda or prosperity gospel, which is not the gospel.
Paul said all who will live godly will suffer persecution and it was given for us to not only believe on Him, but to suffer for His sake.
WE ARE TO ENDURE HARDSHIP LIKE GOOD SOLDIERS.
Privates and Foot Soldiers usually do not live in the best of conditions nor have the best of meals.
No one salutes them or caters to them like officers.
A good officer will be concerned for the welfare of his troops and a good Sergeant makes sure his soldiers are fed before he eats.
The officer who is in it for the glory is not one that is followed for his character.
He is leader by rank and position, but not in the hearts of the troops.
The same goes for servants of God.
Luke 20:46 Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; 47 Which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.
God called for more foot soldiers than He did generals.
No general ever won a battle by himself.
If Teddy Roosevelt had charged up San Juan hill by himself, he would have been killed or captured going down in history as a foolish man if history recorded him at all.
Too many people expect the church staff to do all of the evangelistic work as well as everything else in the church.
They feel like it is their calling to warm a seat and maybe say Amen now and then.
Chair warming and cheerleading are not spiritual gifts.
If you are born-again you are needed and you have a gift given to you that Jesus will empower and qualify you.
He often cannot empower the qualified because of pride, but he can empower the “unqualified.”
Many of us come from pretty dark pasts before we were saved or backslid badly so we think there is no place for us in ministry so we are destined to sit back and be glad Jesus will save us by the skin of our teeth.
No, He saved us through His skin bleeding and dying for us.
He came to turn darkness into light and to bring beauty out of ashes.
Paul said he was the Chief of Sinners or the worst of all sinners.
If God used the Chief, he can use the rest.
Indeed, you may be the best pick to be the minister or servant of us all because you are not full of pride.
Just find a place to serve.
Try several things.
I have trouble saying no and I have served in many things that were not within my gifts.
The acronym JOY stands for Jesus, Others, You.
Ask Jesus and seek a spot where you can serve Him and others.
You will find that you will think less of you as you are busy for Him and others.
BE A GOOD PRIVATE
Just be a good private and Jesus may make you a sergeant and if you stay humble He may make you a captain or general.
Don’t go AWOL! Serve until He comes!
Stay on your post - man the battlefield.
Alvin C. York was a great soldier from Tennessee.
The heat of the battle was so strong.
The ammunition was very low.
Soldier York captured many enemies that day.
He had only two bullets left in his weapon.
He fired one shot and wounded the enemy that was running in the back of the line.
He yelled a warning and drew his weapon.
All the soldiers behind the wounded man stopped and dropped their weapons and surrendered to Alvin York.
He never had any more bullets, but the enemy didn’t know.
Alvin York became a hero and there is a movie about him.
York never retreated --- he stayed at his post of duty when others ran.
The bible says, endure hardness as a Good Soldier…
God is looking for faithful soldiers…
I am told as a young man Winston Churchhill was in a heated battle.
The war planes were dropping bombs all around the soldiers assignments.
Several died, but many were running away and hiding and not following commands.
One soldier ran past Winston Churchhill.
The soldier asked if Winston was going to leave and run away.
The great leader replied: "I will not do the cowardly. I will stand at my post of duty.”
This great soldier knew the beauty of standing faithful to his post.
His words still echo in the hall of time:
THE CLOSING OF CHURCHILL’S FAMOUS SPEECH
Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
We stood all alone a year ago, and to many countries it seemed that our account was closed, we were finished.
All this tradition of ours, our songs, our School history, this part of the history of this country, were gone and finished and liquidated.
Very different is the mood today.
Britain, other nations thought, had drawn a sponge across her slate.
But instead our country stood in the gap.
There was no flinching and no thought of giving in; and by what seemed almost a miracle to those outside these Islands, though we ourselves never doubted it, we now find ourselves in a position where I say that we can be sure that we have only to persevere to conquer.
You sang here a verse of a School Song: you sang that extra verse written in my honour, which I was very greatly complimented by and which you have repeated today.
But there is one word in it I want to alter - I wanted to do so last year, but I did not venture to.
It is the line: "Not less we praise in darker days.”
I have obtained the Head Master's permission to alter darker to sterner. "Not less we praise in sterner days.”
Do not let us speak of darker days: let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days; these are great days--the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race.
And I say, “Church, these are not dark days…they are sterner days.
These are the greatest days the church has ever lived.
As I Echo the words of John F. Kennedy and I alter with my words at the end…
Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country…”
I say, “Ask not what God can do for you, but as what can you do for God…”