A Message to the Next GenerationBro. Ron Rupé
9/6/2009 11:00 AM
If a soldier knew he was going to the front and would die without preparation, would you have to convince him to train? The battle we’re conscripted to is the battle of life. The seasoned soldiers are the generation ahead of you. You are protected by their efforts. Since you are here by no choice of your own, you need to prepare for what’s ahead. One by one those ahead of us are passing from the scene. Are you ready to take your place on the front?
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some having compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
"…building up yourselves…" Others can teach, guide, direct and train you, but you have to prepare yourself. The strength and building up only happen when you do it yourself. There’s only so much the ones ahead of you can do for you to prepare you.
Prayer is how you build yourself up. Only you can lay hold of God for you.
1 Corinthians 9:25-27
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
If you fail to strive for the mastery, you’ll fight as one that beats the air. The saints we look up to became as they are through striving for the mastery. Which of you will take their place?
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Look at the generation that follows you, and realize that now is the time to be a teacher. Look at the generation ahead of you, and realize that someday they won’t be here to teach you again. It’s time to learn the lesson and become the stalwart soldier. "…even those who by reason of use have their sense exercised to discern both good and evil." Your senses are exercised by use. The place of prayer is the battlefront where this exercise happens.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And taking the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
People are often told how to dress for the battle, but aren’t directed to the front. "Wrestling with powers" and "praying with perseverance" are the same. "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…" This is total warfare. "…and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." Watching is to be vigilant. Be vigilant because you have an adversary. We need perseverance with prayer. We need to persistently refuse to give up in prayer.
How Seasoned Soldiers are Made
"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16b) The enemy knows this. Do you think you can get down to pray and avail much unresisted? That is where you become a seasoned soldier.
You set your soul on a prize. You desire it of the Lord and begin to seek for it through prayer. You face and overcome these foes and become stronger:
Condemnation – causes you to search the scripture and your soul and conquer through confidence in the blood of Jesus
Unbelief – search the scripture to have a knowledge of God’s will and draw nigh to God through prayer to get the gift of faith
Fear – causes you to seek God until his love is shed abroad in you and you know that God has great compassion and mercy and his perfect love casts out the fears.
2 Timothy 4:5-8
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 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.
No one can stay on the battle’s front indefinitely. You will be left without the seasoned soldiers ready or not. Get ready. Search the scriptures. Pray often and long. Become a man/woman of God who can get through to heaven with your prayers. Be there for those that come behind you.