Sword and plow
Verse for Today: Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Nehemiah 4:17 – Those who carried material did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked.
Our demeanor during spiritual warfare is an indicator of the seriousness with which we perceive battles. Our keen commitment and concentration in the battle shows how alert we are to the subtle ways by which the enemy might strike. We are engaged in a ministry of warfare where we work for the Master with one hand and engage the enemy with the other. So we keep the plow in one hand and the sword of the Lord in the other. It means that we work in the field and simultaneously look for the enemy’s move at lightning speed. If we take our eyes off the work, it will slow down or become out of focus. At the same time, if we take our eyes off the angles from which the enemy might attack, it will defeat us in our walk of faith. We must defeat the enemy with the armor of God and build the ministry with the tools of God. This requires extra vigil and sharp skills which our Lord gives us. We must meet the challenges at the war front and at the ministry front at the same time. If we concentrate only on one front, the other will suffer and dwindle. We must be willing to take the heat of the work as we toil. At the same time, we must be willing soldiers to fight the enemy also. The enemy attacks us and at the same time he will attack our ministries. No matter what the attacks are, we must not relent and must continue with our ministries. We must be willing to pay the price for this dual challenge. The warfare will give us victory and the ministry will give us good harvest. In the process, any inconvenience should be endured with joy in our willing and surrendered hearts. Our Commander-in-Chief gives us the confidence that He is with us to lead us in the warfare. Our Master Designer gives us strength and perseverance to keep building as He is with us in the ministry.
Dear reader, are you behaving like a solider of the Lord Jesus? Is your attitude one of a suffering warrior who boldly fights the war against the evil forces in this world? When pain and sufferings come up in the warfare, are you tempted to quit or retreat? But God wants you to fight the battles and build the ministry that is entrusted to you. These dual roles require you to face sufferings, pain, frustration, danger, depravity, unfair criticism, accusations and ungratefulness. Apostles Peter, John and Paul faced such difficult situations when they were engaged in battles and building at the same time. But they never retreated, but continued relentlessly to defeat the enemy and to build up the saints. Nehemiah had the same experience while he was engaged in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. He knew how the enemy was eagerly waiting for an opportunity to strike at the work of the Lord. So he had to train up the workers to be soldiers and the soldiers to be workers. They were all fully fighters and workers all the time. They were prepared even in their sleep to fight the enemy. Some were armed even when they took bath. Such a life style was very inconvenient and uncomfortable. There was no rest for them until the mission was completed. But they enjoyed the process of working and fighting for the Lord simultaneously. We are called upon to do the same today for our Master. There is no time to slacken and slow down. It is not for us to grumble about the inconveniences caused by such a life style, but to joyfully suffer for the One who suffered for us on the cross. As we fight for Him and work for His cause, He comes to wipe our tears and lead us to the crowns He has kept for us.
2 Timothy 2:3 – Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
Thought for Today
The soldier-plowman is a victorious reaper of rich harvest.
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