Good Soldiers: General or Troop

Imagine that you are a general, given the responsibility of leading your assigned troops into battle. The objectives are to overthrown the enemy, take control to the camp, all the while, maintaining the safety of your troops, and innocent lives. Your job is to oversee the coordinates and issue commandments to your chain of command. You must have a trustworthy and dependable chain of command, that you know will get the job done, and carry out your commandments, because you are privy to information they do not yet have.

As a general, you cannot afford to have troops in your chain of command that you cannot depend on; they must have integrity, because they speak for you.  Understanding the flow of authority, as an ambassador, they do not speak their own minds or words. The general & troops have to be committed to the cause to the point that personal inconveniences are of little concern; the team operates in the all for one and one for all mentality.

Unprofitable soldiers (whether generals or troops)

No General wants to bear the responsibility of the leadership of mules (jackasses), goats, and wolves. These unprofitable individuals are planted by the devil to drain energy and overthrown the plan of God. It’s a shame to allow ourselves to be used of the devil.

Mule struggle:
Complacency: 
Manifestation: Mules are consistently unwillingness to commit or participate in anything.  They carry either a smug self-satisfaction or fear in their stubborn refusal to honor the will of God, or requests of leadership

Stubbornness:  
Manifestation: Mules are resistant to change or correction; they are unteachable.  They are consistently unwilling to yield to truth. 

Goats struggle:
Pride: 
Manifestation: Goats have an ungodly confidence, and are depend upon his/her own ability .  They do not know, nor have respect for the leadership of the Holy Spirit

Selfishness and self-righteousness
Manifestation: Goats will butt heads until their “target” is rendered unconscious. They will argue, complain, and “switch” topics until the target’s strength (will) is diminished; the purpose is to control others and move them to fulfill their own self-serving desires and wishes. 

Self-deception: 
Manifestation:  Goats refuse to get real and allow God to show them what is in their own heart’s.  They reject truth, not wanting to discover the causes for why they operate the way they do. Utter denial

Wolves struggle:
Lawlessness: 
Manifestation: They are not submitted to anyone’s rule, being god’s unto ourselves. They truly respected no one’s opinion of view but their own, and does not yield or obey the clear instruction of the Word of God. 

Greed and lust:  
Manifestation: They give their time and talent to the highest bidder; selling out for a dollar, fame, and fortune, They are consistently bitter and  envious of what someone else has, with the willingness to pay the price to get it. They have the something for nothing syndrome. They are never satisfied.

We are not conformed to the ways of the world. We must allow our God’s Truth (Word) and Holy Spirit of Love transform us until we have the mind and desires of our Savior, Lord, and coming King, Jesus. He is the greatest representation of our God’s General AND His ground troop:

Philippians 12:1-13
1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others

Let us be genuinely concerned about the lives of those around us, as we are of our own. Like Jesus.

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Let us recognize and understand that Jesus had and has it all. Let us recognize and understand what our God did for Him, and what He is willing to do for us.

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Let us recognize and understand the authority and power vested in the name of Jesus. His name is fully respected in the spirit world, if we believe. (John 14:13-14 whatsoever we ask in His name, will be given to us).

12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Let us recognize and understand that we are not alone in this already won battle. Our God, His Love, Truth, Spirit, authority, and power are working with us to manifest His will in our lives and on the earth.

The Benefits of Accepting Christ as Savior and Lord

Our God’s gives new life to our spirit:
John 3:3 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

His Holy Spirit changes our eternal citizenship:
Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.

The body will be delivered
1 Corinthians 15:52-53 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

We must work out our soul salvation.
Continuing in God’s Word, growing to know Jesus means you must obey the Word that God brings you. (Yielding our mind, will and emotions to the Word of God)

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

James 1:16-24 Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures. 19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

We must walk in His meekness: We have the power to refuse the word of God, but with meekness, (His loving power giving us control) we are willingly allow His word to change us.

A Good Soldier: Lets look at Jesus who received God’s Orders, and humbled Himself into the filth and degradation of mankind. (Jesus recognized and understood Isaiah 53)

Luke 22:39-46 39 Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. 40 There he told them, “Pray that you will not be overcome by temptation.” 41 He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.” 43 Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. 44 He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. 45 At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked. “Get up and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you.”

Jesus submitted His will to God allowed Himself to sacrificed for a fickle and uncaring people. We must be willing.

Hebrews 12:25-29 25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

The time will come, when what you say you believe, will be tested, and after the test the only thing that will remain is what God has established. If God didn’t build it, it will come down. I believe that God uses us, just like He did Jesus to position each other for the shaking.

God’s a strategist and Master Builder as He orchestrates our lives.

  • He hardened Pharaoh’s heart in order to display HIS sovereign power (Exodus 7). 
  • He spoke to King Asherus Mordecai’s behalf, for His own purpose (Esther 6:1-11) .
  • He instructed Jesus to put on the towel and wash the filth from the disciple feet, displaying His humble willingness to care for us (John 13).  
  • He will allow you to suffer injury until we learn to walk free from the opinion and ungodly need of others.
  • He will allow us to be shaken so that we see what is in our own heart. (Peter in Luke 22 told Jesus he would die for Him, Peter did not know his own heart, and God allowed him to be shaken that Peter might see his inability to obey God without His grace.)
  • He will allow us to be misunderstood, so the glory will be reflected in Him and not in man. 

Jesus died between two thieves like a heathen, and was buried in a borrowed tomb, but He arose with all the authority and power of heaven bestowed upon Him!! We must ask ourselves if we are the kind of Christian that can humble ourselves to that type of usage, for the glory of our God?  

Understand God wants us to enjoy life, (1 Timothy 6:17)
Whether general or troop, we are not to be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain, temporal things, that perish with time, but we are to trust in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.  His opinion, His desires, and His plans must take precedence in our lives. Is He our General? Is Jesus really Lord?

When God speaks, we must not be fretful. We must remember it is He who loves and has already qualified us:

Hebrews 10:35-39 35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition (physical, spiritual or eternal ruin); but of them that believe to the saving of the soul (mind, will, emotions).

Let us press in to believe our God’s unfailing love towards us.  Let us press in to believe in His sovereign authority and power.  Let us trust that He is working in and with us to get the job done, whether our assignment calls for us to be general or troop.  Let us trust that He can make us both general and troop simultaneously, according to His will and purpose.  Let us follow Jesus (Hebrews 12:2).

Discerning the Heart of a Good Godly Soldier

When we repent of our sin and rebellion against our God, accept the His plan of salvation through His sacrifice of His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and open our hearts to His Love, Word and Holy Spirit transforming power, we are free to do our part.  What does this mean; how does it look?  How do we discern the heart of a good godly soldier? 

Matthew 15:16-19 (AMP) 16 And He said, “Are you still so dull and unable to put things together? 17 Do you not understand that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? 18 But whatever word comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what defiles and dishonors the man. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts and plans, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, slanders, verbal abuse, irreverent speech, blaspheming.

Our God is not impressed with our own words or works in and of themselves. In the operation of our faith and its accompanying speech and works, our God is most interested in the condition of our hearts. It is possible to say and do “good” things from an evil heart, and miss heaven altogether:

Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV) 21 Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.

A HEART THAT DOES THE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER
The heart of a good godly soldier is a heart that believes our God is who He says He is, that He is willing and able to do what He says, and that He does it for ALL who diligently (purposefully and consistently) seek to learn and apply His character, nature, power, and authority, HIS WAY (Hebrews 11:6). Mark, chapter 4 provides analogies of the conditions of the human heart (ground), after hearing the Word of God (seed).

THE LUKEWARM HEART
This heart is not awake to God; being unbelieving, disinterested, unenthusiastic, disapproving, lazy, indifferent, non-committed, unconcerned, and unresponsive.

Mark 4:34 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow, and it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.

Mark 4:15 These are they by the way side, where the word is sown, but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

The seed of the Word of God does not even enter this heart; this heart does not take the Person or Word of our God seriously. This is the heart that half hears God, a heart whose “love” is halted (stalled, in neutral) between the love of the world and God, because it wants His blessing and power without His disciplines, instructions, or guidance (Matthew 22:37).

STONY HEART
This heart is awake to God to a measure, but has not fully embraced the Faith, Focus, Crucifixion, Resurrection Process. Therefore, it does not yield to the instruction of our God in an area (or areas).

Mark 4:56 Some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

Mark 4:16-17 These are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

This heart lacks the proper nutrients (sincerity, respect for, revelation of, or faith in God) to maintain the seed of the Word of God until His Truth takes root. The spiritual stones of self will,fear, pride, and the like resist the instruction and/or convicting power of our God’s Word. Simply put, this heart is capable of producing and maintaining goodly fruit, but its unrepented attitudes, appetites, and lusts resist the instruction and/or convicting power of our God’s Word. This heart picks and chooses what it will allow to grow in it, rather than fully accepting and nurturing the seed of God’s Word.

THORNY HEART
This heart is awake to God and has sincere desire for God. However, it lets go of its faith under the pressures of life, OR after receiving a measure of God’s blessing, it fails to purposefully and consistently crucify flesh and honor God. This failure opens the door for satan to capture it in the web of the love of money (gain) and/or the lust for pleasure/comfort.

Mark 4:18-19 These are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

Mark 4:7 Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.

Have we discerned our heart can be good and godly in one area, but lukewarm, stony, or thorny in another? How does satan gain access to our hearts? We fail to (1) trust God with our cares and concerns while continuing to believe His promises, (2) exalt and trust in Him rather than our own gifts, abilities, or blessings and (3) make our relationship with Him our first priority.

Our failure to nurture the seed of our God’s Word with purposeful, consistent thanksgiving, right confessions, praise, honor, and obedience to Him, opens the door for the world and satan to penetrate our protective spiritual armor and distract us from our focus. Our focus should be trusting and pleasing God through His Word.

THE GOOD HEART
The good heart is a humble heart, that believes our God is God, that is He is able and willing to do all He has promised, AND that He will do it for all who purposefully and consistently believe!

Mark 4:20 These are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

Mark 4:8 Other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some, an hundred.

Faith, humility, and patience in the only True and Living God, for Whom it is impossible to lie is the combination that gets manifestation. This heart embraces the Word of God and nurtures what it hears with thanksgiving, right confessions, praise, honor, and obedience, until the Word produces the things hoped for, the things our God has promised (Hebrews 11:1; Hebrews 6:12). Such is the heart of the soldier of Jesus Christ. We may live our lives in joy and peace, knowing our God’s Love and power never fails, if we only believe.

KEEPING A GOOD HEART FOR THE WORD OF GOD
(1) We must give our lives to God purposefully and consistently, as living sacrifices. He is looking for an open, obedient heart. He is looking for a “Do with me as You will” heart. Judge all things by His character, mind, will, power, and authority.

(2) Faith and fasting conquers and overcomes the worldly desires, appetites and lusts of our bodies, getting our souls (minds, wills, and emotions) under control, quieting them so that we can hear and do what our God’s Word and Holy Spirit says to us.

(3) Spending quiet time with God, away from the responsibilities of life and the cares of the world quiets our soul: our mind (thought lives), our will (decision-making abilities), and emotions (our feelings) so that we can hear and obey God.

(4) Praying in the Holy Spirit (in tongues and with understanding) builds our faith in God. We must ask the Holy Spirit to help us to pray and relax in His care and guidance (by faith). Our spirit man is our divine hook up to God, we are strengthened and built up in our inner most being by His Word and Presence. We must trust Him without fear; He keeps His promises.

Faith begins and builds on what we hear (on where the will of our God is known (Romans 10:17). When other voices (the other people, the noise of busyness, the distraction of technological devices …) fill our lives, we become more influenced by them than what our God has to say.

Our hearts (spirit) will only make wise decisions when we put our God, His Word/will, and His Holy Spirit first. We will enjoy peace when we embrace how much He loves us. 

ANOTHER ANALOGY
Jesus Christ our Lord is the highest-ranking officer, second only to our Heavenly Father.

1 Corinthians 15:24-28 (NLT) 24 After that the end will come, when He (Jesus Christ) will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power. 25 For Christ must reign until He humbles all His enemies beneath His feet. 26 And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under His authority.” (Of course, when it says “all things are under His authority,” that does not include God Himself, who gave Christ His authority.) 28 Then, when all things are under His authority, the Son will put Himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave His Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.

Our Heavenly Father established Jesus Christ as His right-hand man (Hebrew 12:2). THERE IS NO REBELLION IN THE THIRD HEAVEN; our Sovereign God evicted satan and every other rebellious being (1 John 5:7; Luke 10:18). Though he is utterly cast out and evil, satan dare not further rebel against God, but he does all he can to keep us from the knowledge that we have victory over him and his rebellion (all evil belongs to satan).

We are the Body of Christ, charged to enforce Jesus’ completed work and defeat of satan and darkness; we are anointed and appointed to decree, declare, command, and demand that every knee bow and tongue confess His Lordship, TO THE GLORY OF OUR GOD, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER (Mark 16:17-18, John 14:12; Philippians 2:2-11). We must do so from a heart that purposely, consistently, and sincerely desires His will.

KNOW THE HEART BY THE FRUIT
The Scriptures uses types, shadows, and symbols to explain the mind of our God. Let us consider analyzing the heart of spiritual mules (jackasses), goats, and wolves. We must understand darkness plants corrupt seed into unguarded hearts (Proverbs 4:23), to drain energy and overthrown interpersonal and intra-personal success on both the individual and corporate levels of ministry.

The mule heart is ignorantly complacent or smugly self-satisfied, which manifests as the unwillingness to commit or participate in anything. It is the sterile, fruitless offspring of the donkey and horse, it is equipped to run for God, but chooses to follow its own mind. Its nature is stubborn and unwilling to yield to truth, which manifests as the resistance to change or correction; they are unteachable, generally get along with the select few, and resists Truth steadfastly. They are lukewarm, being mostly motivated by the dangling carrot or cube of sugar (self-pleasure and accolades). (Sounds Pharisaic, doesn’t it?)

The goat heart struggles with pride or ungodly confidence and dependence upon one’s gifts and abilities, which manifests in extreme independence and relentless ambition. It has no respect or regard for God’s Word, His Holy Spirit, authority and delegated authorities. It selfishly butts against truth until unconscious, which manifests as arguing and complaining until its strength and resolve diminishes. This heart condition leads a reprobate thoughts, decisions, and behaviors, as satan removes it from its the path of destiny. In worst case scenario, this heart begins to work with satan to hinder or shipwreck others. It is self-deceived; refusing recognize its own fruit, it is in utter denial (Romans 1).

The wolf heart struggles with lawlessness. It is a sneaky chameleon, resisting the headship of our God, being god unto itself, which causes it not to respect nor trust anyone; it will bully relentlessly to get its way. It is a greedy, lustful heart that is never satisfied, which manifests in compromise. It is not willing to pay the price for what it wants, but uses others without remorse or conscience (Acts 20:29).

THE GOOD GODLY SOLDIER FOLLOWS THE LION AND THE LAMB
Jesus Christ is The Lion of Judah, our Fearless Champion (Revelation 5:5), and The Lamb, our Humble Servant slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). Our Heavenly Father’s Holy Spirit transforms our lives into that of a son of the only Living God, as we yield our lives (spirit, soul, and body) to Him. We do so by embracing the full Persons of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ AND by believing, thinking, speaking, and behaving in alignment with His Truth. We take on the heart of THE Good Godly Soldier! Hallelujah!

FATHER GOD,
Hear the joy of our heart cry, “Thank You for making us one with Jesus Christ, with You and Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for the ability to walk with the sober estimation of who we are; we know it is You Who has made and are making us, and not we ourselves. Any good thing to be found in us, or said about us, is because of You alone. We give to You all the praise, honor, and glory!

Thank You for the ability to walk in Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for the ability to know Your Voice from any other; Hallelujah!” We align our confession with Your Truth declaring, “We have the heart of THE good, godly soldier, Jesus Christ, our Lord. He has made us enforcers of His completed work at Calvary. The will of our God be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Hallelujah!

Father God, We love and trust You. Do all that is in Your heart, today and every day as You prepare the Body of Christ, for His return. We believe we receive even before and as we pray, because we pray according to Your will, in Jesus name and it is so!

AMEN, AMEN, AND AMEN!