The Almighty God does not work with volunteers. He prefers to choose His soldiers by Himself. (John 16:15). He looks into the heart of man. And works on the heart to make it pure and ready for service.(1 Cor. 1:2).
A saved Christian has been bound to obey the great commission -"Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15) And is therefore an Army of the Lord. However those He chooses invariably have certain things in common;
i) Absolute Loyalty
ii)Lack of fear
The first two characteristic can be confirmed as some of the major characteristics of the soldiers of a Nation. They are also part of the traits that characterize the Lord's Army too. However when absolute Holiness might not be compulsory for worldly soldiers, it is a major for The soldiers in the Army of the Lord.
ABSOLUTE LOYALTY: This is a common characteristic we can identify in the men Jesus Christ called to Himself during His ministry. It shows that even before these men came in contact with Jesus they have a good heart, even though they were sinners. Jesus could identify with the loyalty trait somewhere in their heart. "As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named matthew sitting at the tax office and He said to him, FOLLOW ME. So he arose and followed Him."(Matthew 9:9). Just the two words "FOLLOW ME" and he followed. That tells us there is a trait of loyalty in Matthew who did not follow reluctantly, but willingly. Same can be said of the calling of Simon Peter, Andrew, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother.(Matthew 4:18-22). The Loyalty of the chosen Army of the Lord is to the end. The Army God continue to obey God's commands -The great commission, even in the midst of persecution, they will still show boldness and loyalty. "And they overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony and they did not love their lives to the death"(Rev. 12-11).
LACK OF FEAR: One other characteristic of the Army is boldness. What kept the Gospel alive till today even in the midst of persecution is the boldness and determination of the Army of God to be loyal and obey to the last letter irrespective of what they will go through. "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:35).
However we have to know that just as man doesn't save himself, so this lack of fear does not come from any man, it does not grow by its own. It is the gift of God to His chosen. Before the disciples received the Holy Spirit, the spirit of fear was still over them, they exercised the fear on certain occasions, even when Jesus was arrested, the level of their loyalty was put to the test. It was found out the loyalty was only to an extent, not till death. Although they love the lord, but the flesh is weak with the spirit of fear. "But all these was done that the scripture might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled" (Matthew 26:56).
However the spirit of fear was abolished on the day of the Holy Spirit (pentecost). The civilians that have gone into hiding because of fear, came out with full courage as Army of God preaching the Good news of Christ fearlessly when the Holy Spirit from God descended upon them. The persecution could not silence them, the Church kept increasing, they became unstoppable, and as many that needed the grace prayed to God for it. "And when they prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the world of God with boldness" (Acts 4:31)
The Army of God is made up of righteous people and as such they are bold. "The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion." (Proverbs 28:1)
ABSOLUTE HOLINESS: We need not dwell much on this. However it is the most important of all. If we are to be called of God, then we must be holy. If the Army of God wants to preach the gospel of the Holy One, then they must themselves be holy lest they be condemned. "But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, yet when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified" (1 Cor. 9:27). The Army of God has been commanded by the "COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF" that we should be Holy. "Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be Holy and without blame before Him in love." (Ephisians 1:4). And they(The Army of God) must be holy "because it is written, Be holy for I am holy"(1 peter 1:16) quote from (Lev. 11:44,45; 19:2; 20:7). And they must remain holy till the end. "He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still." (Rev. 22:11).
On our next post we shall be discussing;
THE DUTIES OF THE ARMY OF GOD.
Until then, Remain Blessed.
...To be continued