Needless Casualties of War

I remember reading a book by John Paul Jackson called Needless Casualties of War.  He explained how many of the Lord’s people experience difficult times, crisis and even die prematurely, before God’s appointed day through presumption and ignorance of the Word of God.    

There is a saying, ‘you can take a horse to the water but you can’t force them to drink.’  God has given to us His Word to learn who He is, and His important instructions for us so we may live according to His will.  He has done all He can by sending His Son to the cross so we may become His Children and know Him.  It is up to us to drink this water (of Life) God gives us found in the Holy Bible.  Let us not be fooled to think we can get away with sips here and there while we drink in everything else!  We actually are putting ourselves at risk and even peril in doing so. 

The account of a Man of God in 1 Kings 13 reveals that God does not play games.  When He gives instructions we are to follow them completely.  It is all or nothing – when it comes to the Word of God. 

 For so it was commanded me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘You shall not eat bread, nor drink water, nor return by the same way you came.’ ” So he went another way and did not return by the way he came to Bethel. 1 Kings 13:9-10

 So it was, after he had eaten bread and after he had drunk, that he saddled the donkey for him, the prophet whom he had brought back.  When he was gone, a lion met him on the road and killed him. And his corpse was thrown on the road, and the donkey stood by it. The lion also stood by the corpse. And there, men passed by and saw the corpse thrown on the road, and the lion standing by the corpse. Then they went and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt. 1 Kings 13:23-25

The negative consequences of not following the instructions God gives are sobering but on the flip side, when we abide in the Lord Jesus Christ – we gain all things in Christ! 

If we have not received the Lord – we will not have a desire to know who He is.  Only by the Spirit can we know the Lord, and even love Him and desire His Word to keep it.

 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” John 14:21

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. John 14:23-24

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 1 John 5:1

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. 1 John 5:20

A question we may ask ourselves is, ‘am I led by the Spirit of God?’  Some would say yes based on nothing more than feelings but in truth, if we are led by the Spirit – we will love God’s Word and it will not be a chore to read. In fact, the Word comes alive to us as the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus as the Word!

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Romans 8:14

The heart of God is clear in the prayer Jesus prays in John 17 and that is that we know God and His Son and are one with them.  We cannot hope to obtain this if we do not take serious His Word.  We will not know God until we receive the Son.  If we do not receive the Son, to dwell in us, we will not love His Word.  If we do not love His Word we will not know what it says. If we have the Son we must daily walk in Him, in His Word.  The danger is two-fold; the believer in Christ who has not been born again by the Spirit and the believer in Christ who is given to neglect of reading and studying the Scriptures to do what they say.  Both are candidates to needless casualties of war. 

“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.  And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:24-26.

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