Inside the Fort

Comparing the church to a fort is only a partial picture. The church is His Spiritual Body. It is a nursery, a shelter, a community and a worship place, also. For this article, I will focus on the fort analogy. The soldier stationed there is to be trained in the Word of God, gaining understanding and knowing how to defend basic doctrines and how to apply Scriptural principles. By constant training, he or she will become proficient. (II Timothy 2:15). The instructor is the Holy Spirit (John 16:13). The soldier must be fed milk and meat. He or she will begin with milk but must come to the place of being able to take in strong meat (Hebrews 5:14). As they train, there are duties and responsibilities within the fort. The soldier must be under discipline, accountable to leadership and not be distracted from duty (II Timothy 2:3-4). A soldier must be clothed and equipped (Ephesians 6:10-18). He or she must be obedient to the Commander-in-Chief, our Lord Jesus Christ. Only His redeemed children qualify to be trained and equipped. At the appropriate time, they are sent on a mission (Matthew 28:19-20). They can have a simple part in the mission at a very early age and advance to a stronger part as they are more prepared. The leadership in the local church is to be the means that God uses to get soldiers ready for combat (Ephesians 4:11-14). Frances R. Havergal gives us a musical picture of the soldier’s life in her hymn, “True-Hearted, Whole-hearted.” This is how she put it: “True-hearted, whole-hearted, faithful and loyal, King of our lives, by Thy grace we will be; under the standard exalted and royal, strong in Thy strength we will battle for Thee. True-hearted, whole-hearted, fullest allegiance yielding henceforth to our glorious King; valiant endeavor and loving obedience, freely and joyously now would we bring. True-hearted, whole-hearted, Savior all glorious! Take Thy great power and reign there alone, over our wills and affections victorious, freely surrendered and wholly Thine own.” Selah! Has the soldier reported for duty? Is he or she being adequately trained and equipped? Is leadership discharging its duty?   Ron

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