Being beloved by God can sustain you and me through more than I think we really understand. But it is not enough to know that he loves us.
We have to realize, accept, and live out the fact that we are in a battle and, make no mistake, there is no Switzerland.
Either you are the Enemy’s or you are Christ’s. If you don’t know where you fall, check out “Love me! Why?” and “Christian: A Murky Mirror” in my sidebar.
Being a warrior in the field for Christ comes down to one powerful thing: Obedience.
Sounds boring and chauvenistic, doesn’t it? It’s not. Obedience to Christ is crucial to survival.
We will not survive this war, much less win if we don’t listen to and follow our Commanding Officer’s orders.
God is omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), omnipresent (everywhere), and eternal (timeless– without beginning or end).
Looking at that list, I’d say he is more than qualified to call the shots on a war that has raged longer than anyone besides him can out-live or remember.
Obviously, a key part of obedience is knowing his commands. So dive into the word of God (the Bible) and see what he says. Then act on it.
German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer puts it this way:
“Who stands fast?” he asked. “Only the man whose final standard is not his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom, or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all this when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith and in exclusive allegiance to God— the responsible man, who tries to make his whole life an answer to the question and call of God” (qtd. Metaxas).
Obedience is rarely a simple agreement that what God says sounds good, makes sense, or suited “that” situation. Obedience to God is a single-minded devotion that, as Bonhoeffer states, “requires a body.”
The Bible states quite clearly that “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15), “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10, ESV, emphasis mine), and “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22, ESV, emphasis mine).
God is telling us to act in obedience for our own safety and well-being.
Does that seem a bit controlling and narrow-minded to you? Consider it this way: if all the soldiers in an army did whatever they wanted, how many wars would they win?
How many lives would be wasted because the soldiers refused to listen to the commanding officer who knows the enemy and knows that the way that seems clear is actually an ambush waiting to happen?
We are soldiers in a war.
It is your choice as to whether you live in obedience to the Commander who values your safety and well-being as much as he values the outcome of the war or die on the battlefield because you want to do things your way.