I walked into the sunroom and I noticed my husband’s Dress Blues hanging nicely by the window. It was decorated with shiny metals and colorful badges he’s earned over the years. His Ruck Sac was sitting on the floor, it was worn, a little faded and stuffed to capacity. The full Ruck Sac meant that whenever my husband was called upon for a mission he would be ready. As I walked towards them, I could feel that the Holy Spirit was tugging on my spirit. It always amazes me how the Lord uses mundane things and shows us His heart. That deserves it’s own blog(lol). A simple explanation of Dress Blues is a formal uniform worn by soldiers and a Ruck Sac is an army fatigue backpack. In my spirit, I understood that the Dress Blues represent the blessings, prosperity and crown that God has for us. While the Ruck Sac represents the cross, the sacrifices and suffering we experience.
Where are our Ruck Sacs? When called upon will we be ready? Are we too caught up in this world failing to see that we are at war. We are warring for ourselves and those around us. When God says, “ Nadesha, it’s time…” What will I say, will it be “Lord, wait I have to get myself prepared.” Some of us are seduced by the lure of the Dress Blues, causing us to be distracted from the fight that is coming our way. There is nothing wrong with having attractive and decorative things but when the choice is given what will we choose? The rag or the riches? Jesus didn’t say if you reign with me you will reign with me. He said if you suffer with me you shall reign with me. When I look at the Ruck Sac, I think about all the obstacles my husband experienced. The sacrifices he made to do the service God has called him to. The personal desires that he put on the shelf to serve his purpose. How many of us are really willing to do that? How many of us will choose the sacrifice over the glory! How many of us will choose the cross over the throne? Juxtapose the Dress Blues and Ruck Sac, if we had to choose most of us would choose the Dress Blues. Why? Because it’s more aesthetically pleasing. It’s more comfortable and it shows status. But guess what, we can’t wear the Dress Blues adorned with shiny and colorful medals unless we’ve earned them by carrying the worn out Ruck Sac.
I don’t want to be so distracted by the “rewards ” that I lose sight of the war being fought. The mentality that we are working for a “crown” is damaging. The crown becomes the motivator for following Christ, when it shouldn’t be. Our motivation to follow Christ is the suffering He endured on our behalf. This drives us to do our Father’s will. Is our obedience because of our potential rewards or because we love our heavenly Father? Our will to obey has to go beyond a reciprocal relationship. Yes, God will bless us. Yet that shouldn’t be what provokes us to obey. Eventually in our eyes the “reward” may not measure up to what God asks us to do… Then what? Does God’s will become obsolete because the reward isn’t enough motivation? Our ultimate reward from God requires us to wait. I don’t know about you all but I’ve seen people wait through some serious situations but they don’t waver. It is not a reward or a blessing that gives them strength to wait, it is God Himself. When we take our eyes off the reward, our hearts become enlightened to Christ being built within us! That’s the ultimate reward, to be like Christ! Lowly, meek, without reputation and going about our Father’s business.
While He walked on the earth, Jesus didn’t cover His figure in a striking garment ornamented with color and metals. He walked boldly carrying His cross. He never lost sight of the kingdom business He had to do. When the weight became too heavy He cried out, “ If it’s possible take this cup of suffering from me. But not my will, Your will be done!” In Luke 22, an angel appeared from heaven and strengthened Him. Jesus knowing that after His crucifixion and resurrection, His seat would be at God’s right hand,needed to be strengthened to fulfill God’s will! Why do we think our flesh is strong enough to endure because of the hope of rewards or blessings. Our will to do must go beyond receiving. Let’s not be deceived, let’s ask ourself why are we obey God. Our answer will determine how we walk on this journey.
If it’s shiny and colorful rewards you want, the devil will seduce you with them. If your obedience is tied to blessings and rewards, the devil’s earthly rewards can easily sway you to his side. God gave Adam and Eve a great reward, dominion over the whole earth. That wasn’t enough to stop them from being disobedient. When the devil tempted Jesus with earthly rewards it wasn’t Jesus’ heavenly reward that made the devil’s temptation ineffective. It was Jesus’ relationship with God that gave Him the ability and knowledge to resist the devil. If we are doing Christ like things for rewards, are we truly being Christ like?
Think about Adam and Eve’s relationship with God. They were God’s first expression of His love towards humanity. Adam and Eve did nothing we can do to earn His love or His reward. Before Adam and Eve did anything, God gave them control over the earth and everything that was on the earth. He didn’t say if you do not eat of the tree I will give you dominion. Instead, He gave them dominion and then gave them parameters. God’s blessing are sure because His word says that He will withhold no good thing from us. However, what will lead us to obey the parameters that He puts in place? For Adam and Eve, the reward was not enough. Will it be for you?
Jesus’ appearance was so lowly that people didn’t believe He was the Messiah. They expected a king, but Jesus came as a servant and carpenter from a town with a bad reputation. That is proof to us that God is looking for those of us who will carry the Ruck Sac willingly with a servant’s heart. I truly believe God is looking for a people who will obey, no strings attached. People whose greatest desire is to fulfill God’s will…..at ANY cost. People who will declare, “I don’t need the medals on the Dress Blues!” A people not motivated by what God can do for them, but who they can be to a world that needs Jesus. I want to be among those people!
[ I always pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ the Father of glory, may grant you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation[ that gives you a deep and personal and intimate insight] into the knowledge of Him [ for we know the Father through the Son]. And [ I pray] that the eyes of your heart [the very center and core of your being] nay be enlightened [ flooded with light by the Holy Spirit], so that you will know and cherish the hope [ the divine guarantee, the confident expectation] to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints ( God’s people). Ephesians 1: 17 AMP
‘ but emptied Himself [without renouncing or diminishing His deity, but only temporarily giving up the outward expression of divine equality and His rightful dignity] by assuming the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men [He became completely human but was without sin, being fully God and fully man]. PHILIPPIANS 2:7
‘ Whoever finds his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death], and whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake will find it [that is, life with Me for all eternity]. ‘MATTHEW 10:39
‘ Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me].’ MATTHEW 16:24
‘ “Blessed [anticipating God’s presence, spiritually mature] are the pure in heart [those with integrity, moral courage, and godly character], for they will see God. “Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit [those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever]. ‘MATTHEW 5:3,8