When there is a disaster aboard a ship, a loud horn will sound to get everyone’s attention. A senior officer will initiate the change of conditions by announcing to the crew, “all hands on deck” or “man your battle stations.” This is a sign to the crew to stop whatever they are doing and go to the place where they will perform a critical function that they are trained for.
The crew may wonder what has happened, but until they reach their battle stations and a little time passes, there won’t be people coming around and telling them why they are at their battle stations. They are expected to remain there and do anything to help until the emergency passes.
When Jesus told his disciples to “Take up your cross and follow me daily” He was telling them that they were being called to man their battle stations. He was telling them there was a real war that existed and that those that would fight for Him would have to follow His leadership—to go where he lead them. Like men on a battleship, they wouldn’t know the details of the battle. Even so, they must always be ready, as believers make their hearts and minds ready, for the battle that the Lord can see ahead.
It seems in our day and time, that few take seriously the call of Jesus to follow Him wherever He leads. But this moment, in this time, is what we have been training for and preparing for all of our lives.
When a championship game begins the players are all very excited. They are thrilled to have made it far enough to be in the big game and are anxious to display their best talent and beat the other team. They definitely aren’t bored or wishing they could be at home on the couch watching television, or doing something else. This is their moment and they rejoice to be involved.
As Christian disciples, we should feel the same way. God has prepared us, and he has sent us into the field to share the good news that we no longer have to be bound by sin—that we have been set free. Of course, there will be opposition. There is a war between heaven and hell, and we are caught between. But if we choose Jesus, then we must listen to His commands and obey them, much like a team listens to their coach or quarterback and obeys what he tells them.
Soon, we will see the reasons for why we were called to our battle stations and why we were called to serve. Until then we follow and obey Him, and so play our part in the struggle between good and evil.
Don’t lose hope or give up your place on the battle line where the Lord has put you. Be faithful to do all that is asked of you and you will soon see the rewards the Lord has prepared for all His faithful ones. The victory will be glorious and we will be there to see it and share in it. Godspeed!