There are some Christian children’s songs that I really love.
In fact, these songs contain powerful scriptural truths which we want to get ingrained in our children.
Here’s one of my favorites.
I may never march in the infantry
Ride in the cavalry
Shoot the artillery
I may never fly o'er the enemy
But I'm in the Lord's army!
Great song. . .with a scriptural truth for all our lives.
And by the way, you’re not just a foot soldier. . .you are a commander in the Lord’s Army.
According to dictionary.com a commander is:
“A person who commands. A person who exercises authority.”
However, in a spiritual context, a commander is someone who exercises authority over the commands of the Lord.
Here are seven qualifications for being a commander in the Lord’s army.
1. Always receive orders and commands from the right person.
A General would never take orders from a private. An Admiral would never take orders from a Captain.
Success in life is dependent upon your ability to recognize, honor and obey the commands issued by the proper authorities . . .the person in charge.
Joshua 5:14 in the Message Bible says:
“He said, "Neither. I'm commander of God's army. I've just arrived." Joshua fell, face to the ground, and worshiped. He asked, "What orders does my Master have for his servant?"
Who should we receive our orders from. . .what authority and by what authority?
Matthew 28:18 says:
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”
If you’ve got the power. . .then you’re in command under the Lord.
2. Understand the importance of specific commands at the right moment.
No doubt you’ve experienced defining moments in your life. . .when you feel the presence of the Holy Spirit directing your way. During those precious moments you recognized and honored the words being spoken to you. . .whether audible or otherwise.
Joshua 5:15 in the Message Bible says:
“God's army commander ordered Joshua, "Take your sandals off your feet. The place you are standing is holy." Joshua did it.
It happened to Joshua before a great victory.
Exodus 3:2 says:
“And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. . . And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.”
It happened to Moses before God used him to set his people from the bondage of slavery.
Are you ready for this? It will happen to you. . .if it hasn’t already. . .and it will happen more than once.
3. What will lead to your appointment as a commander in the Lord’s end-time army?
God wants you to be a commander in His end-time army of believers. . .winning the lost and discipline the found while they’re still around.
Isaiah 55:4 says:
“Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.”
What is the criterion for being appointed as a Commander?
Isaiah 55:3 says:
“Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.”
The Amplified Bible translation of Isaiah 55:3 says:
“Incline your ear [submit and consent to the divine will] and come to Me; hear, and your soul will revive; and I will make an everlasting covenant or league with you, even the sure mercy (kindness, goodwill, and compassion) promised to David.”
The key to your appointment as a commander. . .to your success in life. . .is your willingness to listen to and obey His life-changing and life-enriching words.
When you do what’s right before Him . . .obeying his Word. . .you’ll be amazed and blessed at what’s in store for you..
Isaiah 55:4-5 in the New Living Translation says:
“See how I used him to display my power among the peoples. I made him a leader among the nations. You also will command nations you do not know, and peoples unknown to you will come running to obey, because I, the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, have made you glorious.”
4. Commanders bring offerings for the work of the Lord.
Numbers 31:51 in the Amplified Bible says:
“So Moses and Eleazar the priest received the gold from all the military commanders—all kinds of jewelry and crafted objects.”
How much gold are we talking about?
Numbers 31:52 says:
“And all the gold of the offering that they offered up to the LORD, of the captains of thousands, and of the captains of hundreds, was sixteen thousand seven hundred and fifty shekels.”
In reading a number of other translations and reviewing Strong’s Concordance. . .the amount of gold offered to the Lord was roughly 400 pounds. . .which amounts to 6,400 ounces.
In today’s market, the 6,400 ounces of gold with a value of $1,297.10 per ounce would equal and offering of just over $8,301,440.00 dollars.
When you put the work of the Lord first. . .you also get blessed.
Numbers 31:53 in the Amplified Bible says:
“For the men of war had taken booty, every man for himself.”
God wanted His children to be reminded of His faithfulness to perform what He had promised.
Numbers 31:54 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And Moses and Eleazar the priest received the gold from the commanders of thousands and of hundreds and brought it into the Tent of Meeting as a memorial for the Israelites before the Lord.”
5. You might not understand why God is doing what He does. . .but He does.
Your journey to successful living and financial freedom might not start the way you think or thought it should start. You might end up taking a different path to your goal than what you imagined. The reason is simple.
Isaiah 55:9 says:
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
God sees things we don’t see. . .understands things we don’t. . .that’s why our unquestioned obedience to His commands is absolutely essential.
1 Samuel 22:2 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And everyone in distress or in debt or discontented gathered to him, and he became a commander over them. And there were with him about 400 men.”
Never try to figure things out on your own. We often mistakenly try to bring God’s thought process down to ours. . .when we, in fact, should be lifting our thought-processes up to His level.
Make the most of whatever hand your dealt. . .knowing that God is the One who raises the stakes and offers you even better opportunities.
God always has a plan. . .but not only that. . .His plans work.
6. Always look to God to meet your needs. . .not man.
Commanders in the Lord’s Army should never lose their humility or fail to recognize why they are where they are.
2 Kings 5:1 in the Amplified Bible says:
“NAAMAN, COMMANDER of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, accepted [and acceptable], because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper.”
No question. . .Naaman was “somebody,” and he was no doubt impressed with who he was and what he had accomplished.
After all, the King held him in such regard that he sent him to the King of Israel with a letter of introduction and a pretty nice offering for the prophet.
2 Kings 5:4-5 in the Amplified Bible says:
“So Naaman told the king what the young girl from Israel had said. “Go and visit the prophet,” the king of Aram told him. “I will send a letter of introduction for you to take to the king of Israel.” So Naaman started out, carrying as gifts 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold, and ten sets of clothing.”
Let me put this in perspective. . .Naaman was traveling with 12,000 ounces of silver worth $215,160.00 ($17.39 per ounce) and 2,400 ounces of gold ($1,297.10 an ounce) worth $3,113,040.00 in today’s economy. Plus ten Armani suits ($2,000 times ten) $20,000.
No doubt Naaman was confident in his own self-importance.
When Naaman was told by the prophet to dunk himself in the Jordan River seven times he was offended for two reasons.
First, he felt slighted by the prophet who didn’t even acknowlege him personally; he sent a servant with his message.
2 Kings 5:9-11 in the Amplified Bible says:
“So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stopped at Elisha's door. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean. 11But Naaman was angry and went away and said, Behold, I thought he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and heal the leper.”
Naaman was saying, “Doesn’t this prophet know who I am. . .and who is he to treat me this way.”
It’s always important to remember that pride leads to sin and problems.
Proverbs 13:10 says:
“Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.”
Proverbs 29:23 in the New Living Translation says:
“Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.”
Dwight L. Moody the great evangelist once said: “Be humble or you’ll stumble."
One of the most painful falls a person can face is when they trip over their own ego.
Second, Naaman was upset because of what others might think.
2 Kings 5:10 says:
“But Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: “Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of your leprosy.”
No doubt Naaman was wondering what his servants would think . . .what passersby’s would think. . .what people would think about a man of his stature dunking himself in such a dirty river.
Are we more concerned about looking ridiculous or obeying the man, word or voice of God?
No one else can fight your battles. . .no one else will answer for your obedience to His directions or lack thereof on judgment day. . .no one else can walk in your shoes. . .but you.
Here’s a revelation. . .what someone else ‘thinks’ . . .will do nothing to change your circumstances. . .but you can.
It’s interesting to me that Naaman, a Commander. . .no, the Commander of the Syrian Army was having difficulty obeying commands if they didn’t reflect what he perceived to be his position in life.
The story of Naaman is a perfect example of how even Commanders must be vigilant not to allow sin or doubt enter their lives and thought processes.
It’s a decision of how badly we want what God has for us.
7. Commanders never quit. . .until they’re victorious.
Those in authority have a presence. . .a confidence in who they are and it’s evident to those near them.
For years, I’ve said that when you’re in charge. . .you don’t have to tell those who understand authority because they will recognize and honor you.
Those under authority are always ready to follow the orders of those in authority without hesitation or reservations.
Those in command also have a confidence that despite any and all adversity they will ultimately triumphant.
Let’s look at the life of Naaman again. . .to learn two more valuable lessons.
First, don’t quit—or give up when it looks like all is lost
Naaman, who already had his pride wounded, could have quit after going down the first, second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth times. . .but he didn’t. . .and as I said earlier, his obedience to the man of God brought his deliverance.
If Naaman had quit. . .he would have never experienced miracle manifestation.
Psalm 27:13 in the Message Bible says:
“I'm sure now I'll see God's goodness in the exuberant earth. Stay with God! Take heart. Don't quit. I'll say it again: Stay with God.”
Have you ever gone through personal adversity. . .something that was publicly embarrassing. . .and looked around to find that those folks you thought were your friends were nowhere to be found? You do have one friend who will never quit on you.
Psalm 37:27 in the Message Bible says:
“Turn your back on evil, work for the good and don't quit. God loves this kind of thing, never turns away from his friends.”
As the contemporary worship song says, “I am a friend of God.” But more importantly, He is a friend of yours and when you don’t quit or give up. . .He’s right there with you.
Second, your victory is assured because you obeyed your instructions.
Naaman lost more than his leprosy in the River Jordan. . .he lost his need for pride because he found something even more powerful through his clean bill of health.
2 Kings 5:15 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Then Naaman returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and stood before him. He said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel. So now accept a gift from your servant.”
Naaman was down . . . but He came up out of the muddy Jordan. . .a new man. . . recognizing Jehovah God as the only true and living God. His heart was turned from one that was self-indulgent and full of pride. . .to one that was ready to give gifts to the man of a great and glorious God.
A commander is moved by the circumstances of life. . .because he has intimate knowledge of the Supreme Commander. He also has a guaranteed assurance that he will win.
One more thing. . .those under authority who obey commands will ultimately exercise great authority.
Those in authority have a presence. . .a confidence in who they are and it’s evident to those near them.
For years I’ve said that when you’re in charge. . .you don’t have to tell those who understand authority because they will recognize and honor you.
Wait, one more thing. . .it just came to me. God’s desire is for you to be a Commander in His end-time army. . .so stop acting like a private.
I’ll confess to you that after writing this. . .I did two things. . .first, I marched around my office singing I’m in the Lord’s Army and then I confessed every single scripture in this teaching.
Don’t let pride get in your way.
One final note. . .our congregation here tonight. . .is a bit different. . .our friend, Clay is traveling to Georgia to minister to a long-time friend and to help that man’s son get free from his addiction to drugs. Pray for the grace and glory of the Lord to travel with Clay.
Also, a week ago tonight, our dear friends Dave and Diane drove a hour and a half to sit on the front row of our service.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS