In 1940 President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Selective Training and Service Act, which established our country’s first peacetime draft. From 1948 until 1973, during periods of both war and peacetime, men were drafted into our armed forces to fill vacancies that were not being filled through voluntary means. The draft was shut down in 1973 when the U.S. went to an all-volunteer military.
Inasmuch as that draft no longer exists, there is still a “divine draft” in existence for all those who are disciples of Christ:
Moses said to the Gadites and Reubenites, “Shall your countrymen go to war while you sit here?”
The Gadites and Reubenites were content to stay on the east side of the Jordan because the land there was suitable for their herds and livestock. But Moses reminded them that they had a duty to serve alongside of the rest of God’s people in conquering the land God had given them. Moses made it clear that, regardless of where they chose to settle, they were part of a bigger community. They needed to look beyond their own desires to their duty, because they were part of a family of faith.
What was true for the Gadites and the Reubenites then is true for every Christian today. With privilege comes responsibility; we have a divine duty to our family of faith. When God raised us from life to death, He drafted us into His Almighty Army.
Who among us today can measure the incredible good we have received because of those saints who have gone before us, all paying some and some paying all? Charles Spurgeon put it this way:
“We have received much by means of the efforts and sufferings of the saints in years gone by, and if we do not make some return to the church of Christ by giving her our best energies, we are unworthy to be enrolled in her ranks . . . Personal service of Jesus becomes all the more the duty of all because it is cheerfully and abundantly rendered by some. The toils of devoted missionaries and fervent ministers shame us if we sit still in indolence.”
God’s divine draft has brought us into His Almighty Army to stand our post and answer our call to expand the cause of the kingdom of Christ, regardless of the cost or circumstance. God forbid that we should make it our greatest goal in this life to live at ease in Zion! Yet far too many in the church today live a life of self-protection rather than self-sacrifice. Their primary concern is expanding the cause of their little kingdom, accomplishing their little goals, and setting forth their little agendas. To this kind of life you and I must say NO!
We must willingly engage in the battle God has brought us into. You see, there was no battle before Jesus showed up. We were happily living for the self. But when Jesus raised us from death to life and became our new Ruler and King, we were drafted to discipline ourselves in the service of our Savior. Having been drafted by Divinity, we find ourselves called to the front lines of faith to take sword to our enemies—the world, the flesh, and the devil—knowing that Jesus has already won the war on our behalf. We need only fight the daily skirmishes that come our way in His strength . . . knowing that He who drafted us will surely deliver us. After all, we have His Word on it!
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!