Sometimes we consciously join hands with several others to form an alliance.
At many other times alliances are formed unconsciously as otherwise unrelated people unite in a common cause or toward a common goal. Either way, when alliances work they create solidarity within the members, a unity of purpose if not motivation. When they do not work, alliances produce anarchy as those empowered by the solidarity turn on the powerless producing victors and victims.
In daily living, we move in and out of alliances without much thought, pragmatically taking the road most traveled because the consensus is, it works. For the important things, the very few things, alliances are more deliberate and thought out:
- Marriage, as two families become an alliance,
- Work and workplace,
- Church family, and
- Friends with shared interests.
But for most things we join and resign, recommit and quit unseen, unofficial alliances without a second thought. Only intentional, significant alliances are celebrated in the inception and grieved in the dissolution.
The Dark Side
All of this alignment and realignment takes place in the material world. There are other, unseen but powerful alliances in the spirit world. As in most arenas of life there is a dark side and a bright side.
Of course, smart, educated people say they don’t believe such nonsense, but the forces of darkness in this world form a network of alliances. It is difficult to tell where demonic activity leaves off and human evil begins, and it hardly matters. Wicked people work wicked systems to promote evil in thought and in deed: political powers, commanders of communications, exponents of educational deception, violent villains and ruthless rulers seem to be in absolute control over life on earth. The Dark Side is described by Isaiah: “See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples…” (Isaiah 60:2)
The Bright Side
The alliance of which we are a part is one of light not darkness. It, too, is a vast organization in both the material and the spirit worlds. The Lord we serve is called Jehovah Saboath, The Lord of Hosts. Satan’s soldiers are the dropouts, the failures who missed their chance at the Light. We are aligned with the Hosts of Heaven! Thousands speed throughout the earth on missions of mercy and rescue, revelation and comfort, tending to the needs of the saints of God.
We are the earthly regiment of the Army of the Lord resisting darkness in full and shining armor. Holding us together is an alliance of faith and fellowship, ties that bind and bind well, each of us a soldier of Light, a brother or a sister of the Blood of Christ, a servant of the Most High God.
Now we see the rest of Isaiah’s words:
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Isa 60:1-2 NIV
Rise and Shine!
As soldiers of the Light we must be sure that we do not unconsciously form any alliances with the Darkness. We can do this so easily by walking too close the dark as if enthralled by its mystery. For a soldier of Light to be useful to the forces of Darkness is a shameful thing.
It will not be so if we will do as we are commanded—Rise and Shine! Shake off the allure of the world and be guided by the Light of Jesus’ face, the music of His voice, and the passion of His heart.
O God, do not be silent; do not keep still nor hold your peace, O God; For your enemies are in tumult, and those who hate you have lifted up their heads. They take secret counsel against your people and plot against those whom you protect. They have said, “Come, let us wipe them out from among the nations; let the name of Israel be remembered no more. “They have conspired together; they have made an alliance against you…O my God, make them like whirling dust and like chaff before the wind; Like fire that burns down a forest, like the flame that sets mountains ablaze. Drive them with your tempest and terrify them with your storm; Cover their faces with shame, O Lord, that they may seek your Name. Let them be disgraced and terrified for ever; let them be put to confusion and perish. Let them know that you, whose Name is Yahweh, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.
2 Timothy 2:3-5 NIV
Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs — he wants to please his commanding officer.
Psalm 91:11-12 NIV
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
Psalm 46:7 NKJV
The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.
Psalm 24:7-10 NKJV
Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.
Malachi 3:16-17 KJV
Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, And the Lord listened and heard them;
So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the Lord And who meditate on His name. “They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him.”
Lord Jesus, You are my ally and I am Yours! This amazing truth frames my life in grace. You do not need me at all and I need You absolutely. This unequal alliance makes no sense to the world. People would think I am insane if I claimed I conversed with You and yet we are inconstant communication. You enlist me in Your cause and enable me to wage an effective warfare against evil and injustice. Our alliance is sealed in the Blood of Christ—the New Covenant—and maintained in prayer. Lord Jesus, thank You for the life I lead! Amen and Amen.
Blest Be the Tie that Bind
Words: John Fawcett: Music: Lowell Mason
1. Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
2. Before our Father’s throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our alms, are one,
Our comforts and our cares.
3. We share our mutual woes,
Our mutual burdens bear,
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.
4. When here our pathways part,
We suffer bitter pain;
Yet, one in Christ and one in heart,
We hope to meet again.
5. This glorious hope revives
Our courage by the way,
While each in expectation lives
And longs to see the day.
6. From sorrow, toil, and pain,
And sin we shall be free
And perfect love and friendship reign
Through all eternity.
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved