No Vote for the Enemy
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
They were gathered in a tent in the desert. The mission had been assigned. Now they must decide how to carry it out. The Lieutenant was in charge, but input from everyone was invited. Decisions were made. Plans were set. As they headed out, the Lieutenant called out, “But remember, the enemy always has a vote!”
The warning was in place. It made no difference how good the plans seemed, the enemy could always force a change of plans by doing the unexpected.
The plans that humans make regularly do change. Sometimes new information comes in or circumstances change. Sometimes if we don’t change plans, we afterward wish we had.
We haven’t spent all of our life wearing a uniform in a desert—maybe none of our life—but we have always been in enemy territory. And the enemy has always tried to disrupt good plans.
The war against our soul is led by one who had been the leader of angels. He is deadly. We have never seen his face, but we have witnessed the destruction he has caused. We have seen the misery and hopelessness and shame that he has led people into. We have seen the vacant eyes of spiritual death.
That’s what he has planned for us.
The Lord God has different plans. He describes them as, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
God’s plans included great effort and sacrifice on his part. We were not called up for that mission. We did not qualify. Only the Son of God met the standards. Only Jesus could rescue humans from the brink of hell.
That happened when he died on our behalf. The Forces of Darkness were defeated. Death was stripped of its power. We were declared victors.
Now what? What does that mean for us? Do we spend our life in a paradise? Not yet! Our mission is to carry out the work he has called us to. That means following his orders. That means protecting the lives of others. That means laying down our earthly life, if need be. It also means to wage war against those who attack souls.
The sights and sounds of the spiritual battlefield need not alarm us. Tough days and stress in earthly life should not surprise us. God’s warriors expect that.
Our God has plans for us. Good plans. We will not listen to the enemy as he calls us to desert or surrender. We are not intimidated by his boast of superior firepower.
We will stay the course. We will fulfill our mission. God’s plans stand.
When it comes to our lives, Satan does not have a vote.
Lord of my life, and Captain of my soul, my ears have heard your words and my heart has recognized your voice. Let me not be distracted from my mission to serve you in word and deed, nor be tempted to wander off into the camp of the enemy. You have rescued me. You have enlisted me in your armed forces against the agents of destruction that plot the ruin of me and all others. I thank you for the hope you give, and the future you offer. Amen.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain
and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida
Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military