The Lord of Hosts

Do you remember when Jesus stood on the Mount of Olives and looked down over Jerusalem during the last week of His ministry and said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often I would have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not!” (Matthew 23:37)? They were not aware of the day of their visitation. There is a visitation of the Lord that is taking place and we don’t want to miss it. We want to be aware of what lies before us and not miss the opportunity we have. This is important!

The services lately have been changing. It is time for playing to be set aside. It is a time for being determined to walk with the Lord. It’s a time for a deeper dedication than we have known before.

II Timothy 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Paul is speaking to Timothy in this scripture. Now why is he saying, “Be strong in the grace”? Because where we are now is going to take a lot of grace and we will have to be strong in it. It is not something that just happens. It is something that you determine, “I’m going to be strong in His grace! I’m going to believe in His grace!” There are times when you only feel the battle, the difficulties, and circumstances that are against you. In the face of all that, stand firm! Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

II Timothy 2:2 And the things that you have heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

This is important. Commit what you have heard from the Lord to faithful men. Not just to anyone but to those who will be faithful and will teach others also. A Word from the Lord has been coming to us, and the Holy Spirit has been teaching us and leading us. We want to impart these things to people who are faithful, who have set their hearts to walk in it. Be those who are determined to walk with God. Endure hardness; be strong in the grace of God! God has a destiny for you. He has a life set before you, a life for you to walk in, to partake of, something that is far better than anything you have ever experienced or even dreamed of.

II Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

“Oh man, you mean we’re going to war?” Yes! It is a time for war. God is raising up an army. Would you like to be in the army of the Lord? Don’t think about that too much. Just go ahead and enlist. If you think about it too much you might talk yourself out of it.

Endure hardness. “But it’s not fun!” Of course, it’s not fun. “It’s not easy.” Of course, it’s not easy. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it! Endure hardness! “I haven’t heard anything about hardness. I’ve been hearing about the goodness of the Lord, His grace, mercy, forgiveness, and how He’s going to bless us. Now you’re talking about enduring hardness.” Yes, through much tribulation we enter into the Kingdom of God (Acts 14:22). We can talk about the work of the cross and get excited about the revelation of it, but when it begins we wonder what is happening to us. Endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!

II Timothy 2:4 No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who has chosen him to be a soldier.

No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life. That is so easy to do. People just automatically get themselves entangled with the affairs of this life. Listen, the enemy is a master at getting you so involved in the things of the world that you just don’t have time even to be a good Christian, much less to be a soldier in the Lord’s army.

The Lord is often spoken of in the Scriptures as the Lord of hosts, which means the Lord of armies. That is what Paul is speaking about in our text. The hosts of the Lord are the ones He has chosen to be His soldiers. Many are called, but few are chosen. It is like Gideon’s army. There were 32,000 men. God said, “Too many. If they win the victory, they’ll think they did it in their own strength. You tell all those to go home who don’t want to be involved.” Ten thousand left. “Still too many. Take them down to the creek and let them get a drink. We’ll see how they drink. If they kneel down and drink like a dog, send them home. If they scoop some water up with their hand and drink from it, still being alert, they are the ones you want.” How many did Gideon get? Three hundred. Three hundred men had to fight the Midianite army! One person in God is a majority. So God is looking for those who will endure hardness as a good soldier and not entangle themselves in the affairs of this life. Many are called, but only a few are chosen.

Revelation 2:7 He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life.
11 He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches; He that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death.
17 He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna….
26 And he that overcomes, and keeps my works….
3:5 He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment….
12 Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God….
21 To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne….

Seven times – to him that overcomes. To each one of the churches it says, “He that overcomes” or “to him that overcomes.” Doesn’t that strike you as a little peculiar? It doesn’t say, “To those who overcome…,” but it says, “To him” or “he” singular. That doesn’t mean there is only going to be one person from each group, but those who come out of that group will be one and it will be a remnant, just a few. Many read that thinking, “Well, I was born again when I accepted Christ. I have overcome.” You haven’t really entered into the fight yet!

What do the overcomers overcome? They overcome self! The adamic nature of man is the problem. It is because of their fallen nature that they entangle themselves in the affairs of this life. The things of this world must be overcome and it starts in our own man nature.

Copyright © 2006 by Henry DuBose