The Dogs of War
I know what you’re thinking, if you have read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans (which was Shakespeare’s source for Julius Caesar), Victor Hugo even used the phrase in his writing of Les Misérables. Of course, in each of these, the meaning is somewhat different; ranging from actual animals trained for warfare, the sound of canon fire, to mechanical devices and even to describe mercenaries. The latter being a common usage today in the English language, and is now commonly regarded as a cliché thanks to literature and film.
“But what can this possibly have to do with God, or a Christian blog?” you might ask! It’s quite simple really! I use the term in a couple of its meanings! As to say, “let us wreak havoc on the enemy and his schemes!” and to cry out boldly, “let us unleash war on him and on wickedness!”
We are born again into power, imbued with it by the Spirit in us, not to be weak but to be warriors! “Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, ‘I am a warrior.’” (JOEL 3:10) Jesus Christ Himself very clearly told us to take the message to the peoples of the world, to do so boldly, and not only so but also that we would be given power! “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere–in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (ACTS 1:8)
What do we benefit by sitting quietly, not proclaiming the gospel or defending it? What do we achieve by remaining silent while the very faith that we claim to live by is attacked daily? What great things are we doing by cowering down every time we have the opportunity to rise up, out of the fear of what others might think? We are not called to cowardice, but to victory! We are not born again into weakness, but into the power of the living God!
I said very recently, in a post on Facebook, “when did hypocrisy replace righteousness as the standard for living?” and this is a question that we seriously need to ask ourselves! Are we living lives that shine as a brilliant light in a world that is full of darkness? Or, are we hiding that light and covering it in the hopes that others will not have something bad to say about us? Do not be deceived, He said “do not quench the Spirit,” and to cover the light that is in us, out of the fear of being noticed and suffering persecution, is to do just that!
Like Paul said, in his letter to the Romans (ROMANS 1:16), “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”
I am certainly not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ because it is the power of God and, because of His Spirit in me, that power is within me! I will proclaim it boldly! If my own family and those I love and hold the closest to my heart betray me on account of it, I will still stand in defense of the Word of Truth and I will continue to proclaim it! No person, no thing on this earth will ever separate me from the love of God or from my duty in Him!
But it is not the end, not yet! There is still work to be done! When did we replace doing the work of God with just thinking that attending a service is good enough?! How can we claim to know anything about God, or His ways if we never put them into action and if we do not honestly seek His ways above our own? Don’t be deceived, it is not enough to just sit in a pew and expect everything to be okay!! He said to “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it..” (JOSHUA 1:8) and to “be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (JOSHUA 1:9) which is not just a suggestion, no, He asserts very clearly in the beginning of this passage that it is a command to live courageously and boldly in obedience, a fact made obvious by His words “This is My command..”
This is not something to be taken lightly, in thought or in action! It requires faith, and not a “faith” that only says that it loves the Lord but, a faith that produces action; because faith urges us into action! Take the example of Peter who, when walking with John into the temple came upon the paralytic man and did not only tell him that he was made whole by Jesus Christ of Nazareth, but actually reached out his hand to the man in order to stand him up! (This can be found in ACTS 3:1-7) Faith produced a work, and action!
It is not just in us to say, “God please do this?” No, it is in us to demand that things come to pass and we are responsible for reacting in faith accordingly! He didn’t say to ask the mountain to move, He said “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” (MATTHEW 17:20) Not to ask it politely, in hopes of obtaining a response, but to command it to be done and because of our action through faith there will be a response!
He has given us power over everything on this earth, and over all of the power of the enemy! “Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.” (LUKE 10:19) Words directly from the mouth of Jesus Christ, and yet so many act as though we are weak and burdened by sin and the world! This is why He said to “Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants-what is good, pleasing, and perfect.” (ROMANS 12:2)
As long as you are worldly minded, you will always be bound by the things and the ways of the world, and you will be of as little value as you see yourself to be! “Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.” (ROMANS 6:16)
It is simple, really! If you tell yourself that you are worthless, and that you are and will always be a sinner, then that is what you will live by!! Thoughts become words, become actions! We know that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, as He said, “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” (LUKE 6:45)
What you say, flows from what is in your heart! I don’t know about you, but sin and the flesh and the ways of the world are not the abundance of my heart; Jesus Christ is! The Spirit of the living God, He is the abundance of my heart and there is no darkness in Him! He is not weak, He is power! He is not sinful, He is righteous! He is not foolish, He is wise! He is an unyielding fire that consumes me from the inside and makes into something new; to be more like Him, and less like me!
We don’t have the luxury of being idle, foolish and lazy because the kingdom is at hand! We should be out, in the midst of the darkness, casting a light into it and setting free the captives! When we walk into a room or into a city, we should not say “this place is so full of darkness,” because as long as we are there it becomes full of light!
It is our own laziness, and unwillingness to obey that hinders us! He did say, in JOSHUA 1:8, to study His Word of instruction continually and that we should “Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it.” and that “Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” Only when we seek to obey Him will we succeed in all that we do! Those are not my words, they are His! And He commands us, again in JOSHUA 1:9, to be strong and to be courageous!
We are, despite the appropriateness or lack thereof of the phrase, the dogs of war! Trained, called, and born again with a purpose beyond just sitting around and expecting salvation to find us! Whether we are on the front lines of spiritual warfare, overseas tending to the widows and the orphans, feeding the hungry, building houses for victims of natural disaster, ministering to inmates at a prison, or just living a righteous life as an example to everyone that we meet, there is a definite call to action that we cannot ignore!
We are justified by grace, but this does not lessen the necessity for works! Faith requires works! Faith urges works! The two go hand in hand, and one cannot be without the other, as we are told that “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (JAMES 2:17) and that “someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith by my works.“ (JAMES 2:18)
Even the words that we speak should reflect the righteousness of God in us, or do you not know that “on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak. for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
I could write about this all day, but there is little need for that because He has already made it painfully obvious to us in His Word! Yet, there are those that seek His Word only to promote themselves, seeking only only what benefits them and forming their own opinions of what God says; their foolishness will not sustain them in the end and they will not stand against their enemies because they have no true faith apart from that in themselves!
Don’t count yourself among them! He said that “we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” (HEBREWS 10:39) and we should live as such!
We should wake up every day proclaiming the glory of God, and live throughout every day as an example of Him!
I have heard people say some insanely foolish things, but one that is by far one of the most foolish is for someone to say that, “I won’t listen to a Pastor who says, ‘When you look at me, I don’t want you to see me! When you look at me, I want you to see Jesus Christ.’ because none of us are Jesus Christ and we can’t be like Him.” Foolish people, do you honestly not know that is EXACTLY what God commands?! He said to “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children.” (EPHESIANS 5:1) and even Paul said, “you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” (1 CORINTHIANS 11:1) We are actually commanded to be like Christ! Don’t let yourselves come to destruction for the sake of trying to sound wise! It is in fact foolish, and not wise!
Don’t be drawn in by people who say things like this, rather shut those words down where they stand because we are told to “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 CORINTHIANS 10:5) Instead separate yourself from people like that, and do not take part in it, because you have been commanded to “come out from among them and be separate.“ (2 CORINTHIANS 6:17) A valuable lesson that can be seen in all of MATTHEW 6!
There is no value in a life that is lived with the appearance of righteousness, but that has no actual substance of righteousness in it!
We should be standing, boldly proclaiming the truth, and not cowering in fear of the opinions of others! We should be obedient to His every word, and not to our own opinions and selfish desires! We should be courageous, powerful, and full of the righteousness of God! In fact, it is what we are commanded to be!
So stand up! Don’t take anymore of the foolishness, but shut it down! Don’t let hypocrites, liars, and those whose own opinions hold precedence over the Word and commands of the God they say that they serve hold any ground! Be bold and proclaim the truth, standing against any foolish words that might speak against the truth of God! If someone claims to be a child of God, but does not live it, shut that down; albeit do so gracefully, but do not let it have any footing so that others are deceived!
Rise up for those in need, help those who cannot help themselves, and heal those who are sick! Walk on water, cast out demons, and above all be a living example of the love and the righteousness of God! It is who you are created to be, being born again into Him and not into this world!
I pray that you have a blessed evening, and I hope that this post can bless you! In truth, we are called to so much more! It is time for the children of God to be more than complacent and lazy because that is not who we are made to be! We are born again and “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness,” (EPHESIANS 4:24) full of power and righteousness for the glory of God on this earth!
Until next time, God bless!