"Your people shall be volunteers in the day of Your power; in the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, You have the dew of Your youth."

PSALM 110:3

The Kingdoms of this World

Throughout the earth's history kings and rulers have used their power to build and defend their kingdoms by demanding the service of their subjects.

The ancient Babylonian Empire used a system of conscription (mandatory state service, typically into the armed forces)¹ that required service in the royal army during times of war. During times of peace, enlistees were required to provide labor for the state. The Persian empire relied on forced labor to run its postal service.² Persian horsemen, stationed across the empire were empowered to compel any person or commandeer any method of transportation they needed to deliver the king's mail.³ Following the Persian practice, the mighty empire of Rome required its subjects to serve by force as well. In Christ's day, Jews were often required to provide board and lodging to Roman soldiers and to carry their burdens (Matthew 5:41). During Christ's crucifixion a Cyrenian named Simon was forced by Roman soldiers to carry His cross (Mark 15:21).

Military conscription has also played a major role in United States history. The United States government engaged in this practice as early as the Revolutionary War and continued the practice until 1973. Today, over forty countries still practice some form of conscription². Recently, President Vladimir Putin signed an order allowing Russia's Defense Ministry to enlist 147,000 men for mandatory military service this spring.⁴

A King in Heaven to Rule the Earth

The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ became King and Co-Ruler with God after He resurrected and ascended to heaven. God invested His Son Jesus with all power and authority (Matthew 28:18). Moreover, God Himself has promised that He will place all of Christ's enemies under subjection to Him (Psalm 110:1). Thus, the Son of God through the prophet Isaiah declared:

"I have sworn by Myself;
The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness,
And shall not return,
That to Me every knee shall bow,
Every tongue shall take an oath."

Isaiah 45:23

The Apostle Paul reasserts this claim with the following guarantee:

"...that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Philippians 2:10-11

During the trial before His crucifixion, Jesus made a solemn revelation of His divine authority and power to His accusers:

"Jesus said, 'I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.'"

Mark 14:62

With clear, forcible, and unmistakable expression, the Word of God explains to us that at His Second Coming, Christ's power, authority, and equality to God the Father will be inescapable, undeniable realities. His coming will override any conscious or subconscious rejection of the Truth.

The Day of Christ's Power is Today

Though He is King and has all power, Jesus is looking for volunteers to build His kingdom. This is why the Bible says that His people will be willing participants. The day that Jesus convinces you to voluntarily accept Him as King is the day of His power.

Here is a mystery of God's plan to save humanity from death and sin. Salvation isn't accomplished by force, but by grace through faith. People are saved by the divine power of God at work in and through their cooperation. Jesus doesn't force people to serve Him by unleashing His power. Instead, Jesus blends the power of His truth with the gentleness of mercy to persuade us to believe He is King. Through our faith, we receive the power to obey His gentle, mild, and humble influences. Through faith in Christ, we receive the power to worship God in spirit and in truth. Christ's followers must volunteer to be ruled by Him. They must willingly accept and follow the rule of the Spirit of God, who works as Christ's Representative to comfort (Galatians 4:6), instruct (John 14:26), and seal us for the day of redemption.

Realizing that Christ's kingdom is made up of volunteers helps us to understand why the Scripture warns us not to grieve the Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:30). The Bible explains that our resistance grieves the heart of God. When we resist God, we refuse His invitation to be volunteer citizens of His kingdom. Some specific things that cause God grief include stubborn refusal to admit the truth (Mark 3:4-5) and rebellion (Isaiah 63:10).

Call to Action: Be a Volunteer!

Recognize that today is the day of His power. Today is the day you may choose to let Jesus rule on the throne of your heart.

Prepare to be a volunteer by examining your heart. Ask yourself, "Is there anything that is preventing me from being completely intimate with Jesus?" This may include unresolved conflicts with others. Make it your practice to confess and repent of any word or action that you realize is inconsistent with God's will. This will prepare you to look to Jesus.

Look with the eyes of faith at the lovely Jesus. See Him, crucified for you. See Him in the beauty of His holiness. Let Christ's suffering for you impact your heart. Let it break you down. He will build you up, better than ever before.

Now you are ready to volunteer.

This month's Get Ready Magazine theme is The Day You Choose.

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All scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

  1. Conscription, N. : Oxford English dictionary. (n.d.). Home : Oxford English Dictionary. https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/39485?redirectedFrom=conscription#eid
  2. Conscription. (2023, April 3). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved April 3, 2023, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription
  3. Matthew 5:41 commentaries: "Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. (n.d.). Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages. https://biblehub.com/commentaries/matthew/5-41.htm
  4. The Moscow Times. (2023, March 31). Russian military to draft 147,000 new recruits in spring call-up. https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2023/03/31/russian-military-to-draft-147000-new-recruits-in-spring-call-up-a80672

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