Are you disturbed by the word ‘’hostile’’? Either hostility towards yourself or you being hostile towards something or someone? I am!
I am disturbed when I sense hostility towards the things that come against the peace and harmony in my home, comments or attitudes towards my family, my church, people not able to defend themselves, the hungry and poor, injustice..there is an unrest and hostility that rises up inside of me…and it is a disturbance that I can often do without. However…life is hostile and full of battles. Some big and some small…but battles just the same.
I often remind myself, that it is important to choose the battles I fight and choose them wisely….for the simple fact that no-one wants to get into a battle they are going to lose! Some say, “you can’t win them all” – and I couldn’t agree more! Funny how going into a battle is usually all about winning…..
Is it the victory that is so sweet? Is it the adrenaline rush? Is it seeing others defeated? What is the true mark of a good battle? Is it the numbers standing at the end? How many dead there are on the other side? Did we thrash them? What are our casualties of war? Will we have to surrender? Will they surrender to us? Do we take prisoners of war? What if I am taken as a prisoner of war?
As I think about this…I find myself looking at the meaning of war. This research has helped me to take a deeper look and I have become preoccupied with this term – “occupied territory”.
There is certainly plenty in the Old Testament about wars and battles, many of them bloody and also –
very unique – in the execution of the battle. To mention just a few:
Reducing the number of soldiers from 30,000 to 300 (Judges 7), and routing the enemy by banging on pots
Sending out singers ahead of the army (2 Chronicles 20)
Only winning while the leaders hands are held high in the air (Exodus 17)…and well, you can read the many more….battles – both won and lost.
Fast forward into the New Testament and Jesus was one lone man, the Son of man, sent to wage war for the freedom of humanity…the war, fought on territory occupied by both friendly and unfriendly combatants. We know, from reading the Bible, that when Jesus said, It is finished and three days later, rose from the grave – that the War had been won….He said so – It is finished!
But hang on a minute, doesn’t the Bible talk about us being soldiers in an army and a well known song speak of ‘’onward Christian Soldiers, marching unto war’’? If Jesus won the war, why are we still somehow engaged in a war or battle? Somehow the battle rages on….this is such a dilemma, such a conundrum…but nevertheless the current state of affairs.
It seems to me, that a lot of inhabitants of the “occupied territory” (the earth and all humanity in it) did not get the pronouncement – did not hear the declaration of cessation of war – when Jesus declared “It is Finished!”
Jesus died and rose again once and for all, that all humanity is now set free from the curse of sin and death.
This truth means, no longer do we live in occupied territory – those that follow and walk with Jesus are in fact, “occupiers of the territory.” That’s right….we, are occupiers of the territory – not living in occupied territory….therefore we are able to declare that His Authority rules and reigns in this land.
As occupants of this territory, we have certain rules of authority over… here it is, officially:
The Hague Conventions of 1907 further clarified and supplemented these customary laws. Specifically “Laws and Customs of War on Land” (Hague IV); October 18, 1907: “Section III Military Authority over the territory of the hostile State.” The first two articles of that section state:
Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army.
The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.
The authority of the legitimate power having in fact passed into the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all the measures in his power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country
Jesus occupation of the territory – having established His Authority, therefore can be exercised by His people.
No longer do we live in occupied territory – we are occupiers of the territory! Hallelujah! By the authority He has established and exercised….and continues to exercise. He is the legitimate ruling and reigning authority and His power is to restore and ensure the ongoing safety, peace and security of His people including those being saved. Now that is Good News! A Declaration worth repeating…LOUDLY, for all to hear! (including those that did not get the memo – lol!)
Winning battles, I have discovered, is not about overthrowing or decimating the present occupants – occupying territory is about establishing a new order and authority over. The authority, (continuing to be) established here on earth, is God’s Kingdom rule and reign.
It is a Righteous Battle to overthrow this worlds wickedness….the battle is about demolishing those things set up in rebellion to our King of King and Lord of Lords. We are battling to the pulling down of strongholds – in the minds of all peoples and all nations.
The Victory has been completed…we are the battalions that come behind, the Clean-up crew so to speak – to gather those together, left in the devastation of the war, bringing them into the order and authority of that Victory.
We certainly are soldiers in an Army – there are still militant groups out there – waiting even stirring for a fight, hostile, fully armoured up and ammunition at the ready…what are our weapons?
The Bible tells us they are not of this world…not carnal, not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord. No weapon formed against us can prosper….we have the confidence, authority and guarantee that our Chief Strategist has done the calculations, (He knows the end from the beginning) and is sending us to all fronts that this battle is still waged on, not to send us to our defeat, but to continue to sound the trumpet of Victory.
Our weapons are Love, Hope and Peace provided by our Commander and General.
A call to put the earthly weapons down and take up our heavenly weapons, praying in the Spirit on all occasions, for leaders and all peoples, that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the Glory of God the Father.
There are and will continue to be pockets of ‘militia groups’ – stirring up trouble…those brood of vipers that know the Truth but will not receive it…and stir up others to trouble, leading them astray with their find sounding arguments… and still others – like prisoners of war (P.O.W.’s) held in captivity, completely unaware (bound up by the previous ruler, that enemy of the soul, the devil and the condemnation he brings) that the Victory has been won…somehow, they missed the sound of the Trumpet call, the Victory Blast at Jesus conquering hour.
They are left to rot in torturous and hideous conditions of the soul, thinking that this is their lot in life…that there is no other way….losing hope that anyone will ever come to release them…they have not yet heard the Good News..that it is Finished! May our battle cries – of release for the captives, be heard near and far, throughout all the earth…no longer are we in occupied territory – we are occupiers of this territory, with all Authority given to us from on High, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I hear the battle cry – the sound is a Victory shout…release and freedom for those held captives, to the lost, rest for the weary, peace for the tormented, living water, newness of life, healing and restoration.
Jesus our conquering King, all Authority has been given to Him in Heaven and on earth…let us continue to march out in our assigned battalions, His church, to declare the war is Won, the Victory complete.
The Trumpet sound is about to be heard by all – no-one will be able to deny that, as they see the Risen King in all His Glory, coming down in the clouds and those that are alive in Him will rise up to meet Him there…full restoration of His Kingdom on Earth….full occupation of the territory is complete. …it’s just a matter of time – His timing is perfect!