It is not easy to get baptized in the desert, especially if you’re of the persuasion that believes in being baptized by being immersed in water. Our daughter-in-law grew up in one of those areas without much water, so she got baptized in a horse trough…minus the horse of course. Some Marines in Iraq got baptized in a small brick chapel, in a rubber dinghy filled with water. A young corporal was one of those. He decided to get baptized as his unit was preparing to attack the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah. Reports said that he came out of the water dripping wet and beaming. He explained his reason for doing it and for doing it then: “I just wanted to make sure I did this before I headed into the fight.”
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Front Lines Surrender and Front Lines Victory.”
It may be that you are, in a sense, heading into some pretty significant battles yourself. Your battle might be medical, it might be legal, it might be marital. It may have to do with your job or your family. But the future is uncertain, and, to a large extent, it’s out of your control. It’s a good time to make sure you’re right with God before you head into the fight isn’t it?
The issue isn’t so much baptism, although that certainly is an important example of obeying God and following what Jesus modeled. As you’re sorting through all the factors in the battle ahead, don’t forget the most important factor of all – the most decisive one of all. Have you done the things that God wants you to do? Are you right with God?
In Joshua 3:5, our word for today from the Word of God, His ancient people stand at the edge of the Jordan River, ready to enter the land God had promised to them. On the other side is the seemingly impregnable walled city of Jericho and fierce armies that had scared the previous generation right out of ever going in. There are many unknowns and undoubtedly some significant battles on the other side. It’s at this point that God’s leader, General Joshua, lays out this simple formula for victory: “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”
That’s the Lord’s word to you on the eve of your battle. Consecrate yourself and I will do some amazing things for you on the battlefield. Your job is to make sure that you’ve done the things God’s been telling you to do, maybe for a long time. Your job is to surrender fully to God and to His plans for you. That’s a recipe for victory.
If you want to win the battle ahead of you, you have to first take care of the battle in your soul. And that has to do with the things God’s been wanting to change, the leading that you’ve been resisting, the steps He’s wanted you to take and you’ve been holding back. Would you get that settled so you know that this battle ahead is going to be the Lord’s battle?
And, by the way, if you’ve never obeyed God’s command to put all your trust in His Son to be your Rescuer from your sin, to make His death and resurrection for you your only hope, I’d suggest you take care of that before you hit your battlefield, because you really need Him. The Bible says that God will one day (and I quote) “punish those who…do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus…They will be shut out from the presence of the Lord forever” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). Why? Not because you didn’t know the Gospel, not because you didn’t agree with the Gospel, but because you didn’t obey what the Good News about Jesus said!
Maybe you’ve never really made your peace with God by actually giving yourself to His Son. Wouldn’t this be a good time to finally get that settled; to surrender the control of your life to the One who has all the power in the universe with which to fight your battles? If you want to make things right with God, if you want to begin a personal relationship with Jesus, tell Him that right now. “Jesus, I am Yours.”
Go to our website today at this crossroads moment. That website is ANewStory.com. Let me urge you to go there as soon as you can.
See, the battle looming ahead of you is not the battle that will decide what happens to you. No, it’s the battle inside you. The battle that can be settled today as you quit fighting God and walk into the arms of Jesus, the strongest arms in the world.