By E. L. Thornton
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
The game of CHESS is a game of WAR. If I could indulge myself and be one of the pieces, I would choose to be the Queen. She is the stalwart one, the most invaluable one, the one that can make more moves than any other piece on the board. She looks better, she is more stately, more noble, more elegant, more superb, more august, more majestic, more dignified and more distinguished, than any other player. What about the King? I wouldn’t care to be the King, because he is in constant fear of his life, he tries to stay in hiding. He don’t see much of the board. His moves are limited to one square at a time, and without protection, he can be cornered and placed in checkmate very easily.
Now, the little blunt, smooth soldier called the “PAWN”, is the object of my thoughts in this discourse. My subject for this message. yes! message, for I feel I have heard from God and I must relate what I heard to you, is “YOU MUST BE A PAWN”.
The pawn is of less value than any of the pieces on the board. There are eight of them to the side, eight darks and eight lights. At the beginning of a game they stand on the front lines, like silent sentinels guarding a treasure, protecting the more valuable characters.
The pawn, the smallest pieces, will die before the game is over. It expects only death and in it’s humble aspiration is ever so frequently rewarded. Pawns are made for sacrifice, yes sacrifice, this is their function, this ennobles them, like a suicide pilot over Pearl Harbor. Brave is the lowly pawn, willing to sacrifice itself up in the furnace of the game for larger considerations.
Because of it’s limited moves, it will be subject to almost every piece on the opponents side. It can’t get out of the way of danger as it’s more valued comrades can.
Straight ahead into the heat and ferocity of conflict, knowing that it doesn’t have enough strength to face the opponent in hand to hand battle.
The majority of the players are PAWNS, there’s not enough room on the board for many of it’s more valued players. I’ve heard the phrase, “too many Chiefs and not enough Indians” many times, but chess has a good percentage of Indians.
So the pawn dies.
However, if it can make it to the Back Rank of enemy territory one of the pieces of more value, which has been killed, can be resurrected, reborn, given another chance. And at this point the lowly pawn has become all powerful, and any sacrifice, or any orchestration of sacrifice becomes worth it.
So it is, in the kingdom of God.
However we are not “playing” a war game, we are in real war. Real conflict. Right against wrong, righteousness against unrighteousness, Godliness against ungodliness, the Kingdom of God against the kingdom of Satan. There has never been a war fought, on the battlefields of the worlds history, that cost as much as the battle of spirituality. Other wars have cost the lives of men, but this spiritual battle cost the souls of men.
I hope what I am about to say makes you mad! When the church begins to make inroads into Satan’s kingdom, Satan calls into action his forces to impede or prevent our progress. Satan will not stand by and see God’s people advance without giving it a battle. There! I hope that makes you mad. Mad enough that you will declare war on the enemy of the church.
In this war, against the devil, we must not confuse our weapons with the armor God has provided. Eph. 6:14-18 This is our armor not weapons.
“having your loins girt about with truth,”
“having on the breastplate of righteousness;”
“feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;”
“taking the shield of faith, ———-quenching all the fiery darts of the wicked.”
“take the helmet of salvation, ”
“the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”
Pauls warns us, we are not fighting against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
In some cases the weapons and armor overlap. Such is the case with the Word. It is our protection, but it is one of our strongest weapons to fight the devil and his forces. Jesus used the Word everytime the enemy came against him. Each time Jesus siad, “It is written!” The word of God is living and powerful.
Another strong weapon against Satan is prayer. Satan cannot handle one saint on their knees.
Don’t ever forget the weapon of His name. Jesus! What a lovely name.
A supernatural fight requires supernatural weapons. We are at war with the powers of Satan that rule nations and cities and country sides. As the great army of heaven declares war, we on earth must respond to the command. Our God in the Lord of Hosts and Lord of the armies. When we begin to tackle satanic powers, we will have confrontation. We are in battle with Satan, the God of this world. We have a major disagreement with him. We must not compromise or be easygoing, lukewarm, mediocre Christians. We must become bold and militant and come face to face with the great challenge of this hour.
God’s army needs a few good men. Men who are willing to follow orders, men who are willing to “present their bodies a living sacrifice.”
I. ISAIAH HAD THIS KIND OF SPIRIT: (“ALSO I HEARD THE VOICE OF THE LORD, SAYING, WHOM SHALL I SEND, AND WHO WILL GO FOR US? THEN SAID I, HERE AM I; SEND ME.”)
A. Isaiah’s love and devotion to God compelled him to offer his services.
1. The message he will carry will not be popular, but he is willing to face the offenses, and trouble will come.
2. He is willing to place his desires on the back burner, for a higher, and a greater cause.
B. Isaiah’s love for Israel calls for a sacrifice that Isaiah is willing to make.
1. The world today needs church members that will love them enough that they will be willing to sacrifice their own petty ideals to love them. Sure, they don’t meet you standards of Godly living, but neither did you when you were
in the world.
II. JOHN THE BAPTISE : ( “HE MUST INCREASE, BUT I MUST DECREASE”.) (John 3:30)
A. John was somebody, he was a BIG evangelist, whole cities turned out to hear him preach. His status was , in our day equivalent to, a radio and a TV evangelist I don’t know how I could handle it, if I were as famous as John was and then, have someone come along that I would have to take back seat to.
B. To become a pawn, to John, meant a prison term and then death. God will never call on us to die, but He does call on us to be willing to sacrifice. He called on Abraham to give the most dearest thing to him, his son.
III. EVEN JESUS WAS WILLING TO SUMMIT TO THE GREATER CAUSE: Jesus prayed in the garden saying, (“FATHER, IF THOU BE WILLING, REMOVE THIS CUP FROM ME, NEVERTHELESS NOT MY WILL, BUT THINE BE DONE.”) (LUKE 22:42)
A. Jesus knew what His mission was. (NOW IS MY SOUL TROUBLED; don’t you ever think is was easy for Jesus, AND WHAT SHALL I SAY? FATHER, SAVE ME FROM THIS HOUR: BUT FOR THIS CAUSE CAME I UNTO THIS HOUR.”) (“JOHN 12:27) Jesus told Pilate, (“——–TO THIS END WAS I BORN, AND FOR THIS CAUSE CAME I INTO THE WORLD.”) (JOHN 18:37)
B. Jesus is making a sacrifice that will be for a greater cause. He became the “lamb slain”. He became that “one sacrifice for sins for ever”. He became the “propitiation for our sins and the sins of the whole world”. He became
the high priest that “entered into the holy place once and for all”.
C. If Jesus could and would take on the robes of a sacrificial lamb, How much should I be willing to give myself to God.
( End )