There is a company of people who long to overcome everything that is contrary to God and His Word. Are you a part of that group? Read this message to find out if you fit its description.
"When the ancient Spartans marched into battle, they advanced with cheerful songs, willing to fight. But when the Persians entered the conflict, you could hear, as the regiments came on, the crack of whips by which the officers drove the cowards to the fray. No wonder that a few Spartans were more than a match for thousands of Persians, that in fact they were like lions in the midst of sheep. So it is with members of Christ's church. There is no need to drive them to action, but full of irrepressible life, they long to overcome everything that is contrary to God and His Word. As such enthusiastic soldiers of the cross, we are like lions in the midst of herds of enemies, and with God's help nothing can stand against us." - Charles Spurgeon (taken from the Encyclopedia Of Sermon Illustrations)
According to Spurgeon, God's People are "full of irrepressible life." They are "enthusiastic soldiers of the cross...like lions in the midst of herds of enemies." And with God's help, nothing is ever able to stand against them.
As a member of the Church of the Living God, do you consider yourself to be "full of irrepressible life"?
What does that mean exactly?
According to Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, it is "life" that is impossible to repress, restrain, or control.
Are you full of that kind of "life" - the eternal, abundant, and supernatural "life" - which stems from the Lord Jesus and His Word and Spirit?
There are certain characteristics which depict a people out of which flows such a "life" that cannot be stopped. Let's look into the Scriptures to see what some of those traits are.
1. They Are Affected With the Necessity Of the Souls Of Men
Luke 10:2 says - "Therefore said He unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth laborers into His harvest."
There is an allusion here to the reapers who were nonchalantly bringing in the overly ripe harvest. The news of this slothfulness reached the farmer. He immediately commanded all laborers to speedily get to work before all would be lost.
Those Christians who are "full of irrepressible life" are serious about their mission from God. They are greatly bothered by the fact that the spiritual harvest is spoiling due to a lack of workers - reaping and gathering in the souls of men. They are fully aware of the fact that - every second - men, women, boys, and girls are dying and going to Hell. Hence, they make it a matter of fervent prayer that the "Lord of the harvest" would call for more laborers in order to rescue the perishing.
2. They Understand The Danger Of Their Work
Luke 10:3 says - "Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves."
They expect troubles, persecutions, threatenings, and revilings from bloody, cruel, and ravening "wolves" whose desire is to terrify them and spiritually tear them to pieces. Nonetheless, they let nothing and no one stop them in their work for the Lord.
3. They Understand Their Limitations
Luke 10:3-4,7 says - "Go your ways...Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way...Go not from house to house."
Their dependance is on the Lord God for Daily Provisions. Their business is serious; therefore, it must be without hindrance. They are assigned a particular place in which to deliver God's message, and they must be as men in haste to deliver it. They must never be found wasting time in frivolous and meaningless chit-chat, with distracted attention, or guilty of service that is not carried out promptly and faithfully unto the Lord.
In this particular portion of Scripture, there is reference made to the Oriental customs of that day. For one, there was a propensity among the people that, whenever they met up with an acquaintance - even in the midst of the most urgent business -they would stop and make endless inquiries among themselves. If they happened to come across an ongoing discussion or bargain of any sort, they would pause and offer their own ideas and opinions - even when it did not concern them. Also, the salutations among the Orientals required much formalism, ceremony, and time - with embracings, bendings, and even prostrations of the body on the ground.
There was a practice among the people that if a stranger arrived in their particular village, everyone would take turns entertaining him in their home. This consumed much time and resulted in levity and distraction of mind.
4. They Know Their Source Of Power
Luke 10:17-19 says - "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name. And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."
These believers are fearless. In the name of Jesus, they obtain victories over Satan and the powers of evil.
Just as Satan fell suddenly, rapidly, and apparently from heaven as a flash of lightning falls from the clouds, even so do the demons depart from all those over whom they pray.
These saints know who they are in Christ. Hence, they walk in Divine Power - with Miracles being an every day occurrence for them. They have God's promise of protection from all danger coming from bitter, malicious, crafty, and wicked men. Consequently, they fear no man nor evil.
5. Their Message Is Simple Yet Supernatural
Luke 10:9 says - "And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you."
Through mighty signs and wonders, people are brought face to face with the Lord Jesus Christ as the One and Only Answer to their problems and dilemmas. They have a choice - they can either receive Christ or reject Him.
6. Their Message Is Followed By Peace Or Judgment
Luke 10:5-6, 10-11, 16 says - "And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again...But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you...He that heareth you heareth Me; and he that despiseth you despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me."
Among the Jews, a man who had a good or bad quality was called a son of it. Hence, a peaceful, quiet, and kind man was a "son of peace;" whereas, a wicked man was a child of wrath or disobedience.
For those whose hearts were melted as wax by the Word and Grace of God, they received the blessings of the Gospel. On the other hand, those who rejected God's message from His ambassadors received judgment on them and their cities.
The Christians who are "full of irrepressible life" walk in Apostolic Power - delegating Peace or Judgment upon their hearers.
7. They Rejoice More In The Grace Of God Than Spiritual Gifts
Luke 10:20 says - "Notwithstanding, in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven."
So many today are boasting in the operation of Spiritual Gifts in their lives and ministries, yet they are not walking in right relationship with God. The Grace of God is not at work - enabling them to deny "ungodliness and worldly lusts" and to "live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world" (Titus 2:12).
These believers who "long to overcome everything that is contrary to God and His Word" are solely concerned that their names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. At no time, do they ever want them blotted out due to the unworthiness of their walk.
How do you measure up as an "enthusiastic soldier of the cross" ?
Do you personally have a longing to "overcome everything that is contrary to God and His Word"?
If not, why not?
We - as the Church - are supposed to be a people full of God's life which cannot be restrained or controlled.
From henceforth, may we live each day - bold as lions - in the midst of our enemies - knowing that with God's help - nothing can stand against us.