Text: “They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves.
Good morning, militant Christian! For you, and for me, it is not enough that we have been graciously saved by the Lord Jesus Christ, and completely redeemed by the shedding of His own precious Blood – you and I have been saved to militantly SERVE the risen Lord.
It is, therefore, not enough for us to just sit idly by until death takes us Home to be with Him; we believe we have been saved in order to serve Christ in the preaching/teaching of His glorious Gospel message of Eternal Salvation; to be militant instruments in awaking the elect from sin’s grasp, that they too might seek to serve the Lord Who has saved us.
Dictionary Definition: Militant – (adjective) fighting, engaged in warfare; actively contending; combative; ...strenuously active in support of a particular cause. (The Chambers Dictionary, page 1019)
Militant Christians are thus clearly seen to be engaged in warfare – in our case, Spiritual warfare against sin and all evil. We are actively contending – ‘... earnestly contending for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints...’ (Jude 3) Militant Christians like thee and me, are combative in the sense of willing to wrestle against all instances of false doctrine, and religious error. We must be strenuously active in supporting the cause of King Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified for the sins of ‘His people’.
These are the traits of Christian faith I hereby define as militant, Bible-believing, born again, Christianity – and I openly contend in this lesson that this brand of true Christianity is the only genuine way to live, suffer, and often die in the service of the Living Lord Jesus Christ. There can be NO SECRET, SILENT, CHRISTIANS!
“Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man (woman) that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he/she may please Him Who hath chosen him/her to be a soldier.” (2 Timothy 2:3-4)
The apostle Paul, just prior to his martyrdom under the Roman Caesars, declared his victory as a militant Christian: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
Now let me point out what should be most obvious to each genuine Christian today – in this increasingly apostate and ‘lukewarm’ Laodicean’ church age: IF “...faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God...’, how then are God’s elect souls going to ever be quickened with faith to believe and receive Christ’s Salvation, if you and I are silent reference our witness for Christ? Again, I say, there are NO SECRET, PRIVATE, SILENT, CHRISTIANS!
All that glitters is not gold – often it’s just plain YELLOW!
“I’m not ashamed to own my Lord, nor to defend His cause; maintain the honour of His Word, the glory of His Cross!” (Hymn often sung with the mouth, yet unpractised by the heart of professing Christians.)
Verse 6. “They have prepared a net for my steps. The militant Christian is, at all times, under the microscope of the world, the flesh, and the Devil. ‘Cardboard Christians’ have nothing to fear from such ruthless foes, the Devil and the world leave them alone in their Spiritual cowardice, since they are doing Satan’s kingdom no harm at all. It is the militant Christian who is the focus of Hell and Hell’s children in the world – many traps/nets/snares are set for the feet of those in active service to King Jesus Christ.
“...For we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake...we are weak...we are despised. Even unto this present hour we doth hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; and labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we intreat (pray): we are made the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.” (1 Corinthians 4:9-13)
I wonder: How many of the ‘right, right, right reverends’ in professing Christianity today are treated, or live, like the apostle Paul did in the early days of Christ’s church?
Verse 6. “My soul is bowed down. Militant Christian souls are frequently ‘bowed down’ – bowed down in affliction, grief, frustration, as the enemies of Christ and the Gospel seek to, untiringly, hinder our labours for the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, we are also more frequently ‘bowed down’ in militant prayer to the Almighty Lord God, for His help against all foes. Hallelujah! We are more than conquerors through Him who hears our prayers and helps us.
Verse 6. “They have digged a pit before me. I do not believe that unsaved mankind would have the cunning, nor the relentlessness required to continually seek to hinder and thwart Christians in our service to the Lord God. No. I sincerely believe that such hinderers, constant opponents of holiness and Bible standards; are mere putty in the malignant hands of Satan and his vile kingdom of evil angels. Many are the ‘pits’ digged to trap genuine Christ-serving Christians, but the Lord guides our feet in His paths of safety and peace.
“For a just man (justified man/woman) falleth (falls, and continues to fall) seven times (the perfect number of falls), and riseth (rises, and continues to rise up) again: BUT THE WICKED SHALL FALL INTO MISCHIEF.” (Proverbs 24:16)
Verse 6. “...Into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. The Devil and his wicked servants in this world, make traps which cause true Christians tears, as we often fall into the Satanic pits dug for our harm. Yet, by God’s Sovereign grace and power, we always rise back up out of danger, and continue on ‘...contending for the faith once delivered unto the saints. Furthermore, those hindering, and persecuting true Bible-believing Christians ALWAYS seem to end up in the pits, and suffering the hindrances and pains with which they sought to harm God’s servants. God is not mocked. He always avenges ‘His people’.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)
Thought: We cannot be ‘servants of Christ’, without openly, and actively serving Him! The Lord God only provides armour for Bible-believing soldiers who contend in His service.