Editorial

Together in Victory

By

In 1 Samuel 30, David and his men, while hiding out from King Saul, were living in Ziklag, a location that gave the appearance they were serving the Philistine armies. One day David and his men returned to Ziklag to discover that their families had been captured and their property destroyed by the Amalekites. David consulted the Lord and was given assurance that he could overtake the raiders and rescue their families. However, 200 of his 600 men were too exhausted to cross the Besor Ravine, so they stayed behind to guard the supplies.

David and his men caught the raiders off guard. Everything the Amalekites had taken was recaptured, and David and his men returned to the ravine where the other soldiers had remained. The soldiers who had ventured out to fight with David did not want to share the spoils of victory with those who did not do battle. David reminded his men that it was the Lord who had given them victory, and those who stayed behind to “guard the supplies” shared in the rewards with those who went to the battlefield.

David’s strong leadership decision reminded his men of the unity and teamwork that are crucial to the success of the mission. Every person will not be called to the front lines, but every person is to be involved in the effort. When victory is achieved, every team member should take part in the celebration.

The C&MA is blessed to have a steady stream of missionary candidates stepping forth to go to the front lines of battle on foreign fields. We celebrate with them as they follow the Lord wherever He leads, prepared to engage the enemy and rescue the perishing. We eagerly anticipate hearing about the fruits of their labors. We are to support them with our prayers and finances. We are all on the same team, the victorious Church of the Risen Lord and Savior.

I sense that many in our churches in North America have lost sight of their important role at home. A wise enemy knows how to attack an unguarded camp while the other soldiers are away. A lost soul in this country is just as valuable as a lost soul on a foreign field, and we need to increase our efforts on every front.

We are constantly reminded of the staggering number of plateaued and declining churches in North America. It is sad to discover that many of the growing churches are seeing increased numbers of transfers from declining churches and not a healthy percentage of conversions. Our nation has become a huge mission field where the gospel is confronting strongholds established by the god of this age, who has many Americans worshipping at his throne of hedonistic pleasures. We have seen people from other nations flooding into North America looking for new opportunities, and we need mission-aries at home to engage them with the claims of Christ.

The church in North America needs to adopt the same mindset as the missionary worker who goes to a foreign field to minister to unreached people. A wise missionary does not put out a sign and assume unsaved pagans will come to the services. We must become more aggressive in our attempts to reach souls for Christ.

David sought the Lord for direction as he went forth to reclaim what had been stolen. Perhaps we don’t spend enough time praying and listening for direction about how to impact our communities. It is certainly easier to buy into someone else’s strategy that has proven successful than to wait upon the Lord for His directive. The statistics confirm that we do not lack materials for ministry, but we do lack fruitfulness in too many churches.

Many in our own congregations have been lulled to sleep by assuming their church relationship has somehow given them new life. We should not neglect the opportunity to challenge our own congregations about true discipleship and the call to follow the Lord wherever He leads. If you are called to stay in your own country, there is much work to be done, and we dare not think it is less important than working in other fields. Personal obedience is critically important. If we all obey, everyone will be at their assigned posts, both at home and abroad.

The soldiers who stay at home are to be on guard, praying for and supporting those soldiers who are encountering the enemy in other areas. As we pray and support, we will be presented with ample opportunities to reach countless souls in this country. Many of the declining churches feel marginalized as they hear of the exploits of others and perhaps forget that our King is prepared to reward His entire army when He returns. Stay on your post. You are an important member of the greatest team in the world.

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