In a magazine for pastors called “Dynamic Preaching” (Jan. 1991) I read this interesting story:
General George Patton once told about a Chinese national young man who enlisted in the American Army in WWII. This fellow’s unit was stationed in Louisiana. As luck would have it, this Chinese soldier got lost on one of the maneuvers. Being unable to speak English he couldn’t ask where his outfit was located. He was stranded at a crossroads where he attempted to hitch a ride with any army vehicle of any unit. The problem was he tried to use his index finger to hitch a ride instead of motioning backward with his thumb.
You can guess what happened. An army convoy approached. The Chinese soldier pointed his index finger down one of the roads at the crossroads. The driver of the first vehicle didn’t stop since he thought the soldier was directing traffic. When the convoy failed to stop, the young Chinese soldier moved to another road and with the next convoy pointed down the new road. According to Patton, in one afternoon this soldier split army units so badly by pointing down one road and then another that it took them over a week to locate all of its troops! Troops, trucks, and tanks were scattered all over Louisiana and Texas!
As humorous as this story is, it certainly reminds us that we had better be clear as to who we are and what and where we are supposed to be!
In 1 & 2 Peter we have a handbook for Christians who were under or had been under severe persecution. Peter reminds us of the necessary traits that point to our true identities as the People of God.
(Master Chorus Book # 168).
>He Chose us—me and you;
>The Israelites were the Chosen People of God and WE ARE THE NEW ISRAEL. John 15:16 says, “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.”
2. YOU ARE A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD…`> Royal because the Blood of the King of kings has been applied to our lives;
>A Priesthood because we are called to intercede for others, to stand in the gap, to somehow bring God to others and others to God! One of the major tenets of Protestantism is The Priesthood of all Believers!
3. YOU ARE A HOLY NATION…>To be Holy means to be set apart for Divine Purposes. It means we have been prepared, cleansed and made ready for God’s use.>Rome was a Martial Nation; > Greece was a Cultured Nation;
>Babylon was a Commercial Nation;
>Israel was a Religious Nation;
>The Church is a HOLY NATION—a people belong to God. We have been bought with a price.
We are to declare the Praise of Him…Tell of all the Good…Tell of His Grace and Mercy and Compassion…Tell of His Son and His Infinite Love!
He is the One “WHO CALLED YOU OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS WONDERFUL LIGHT…” (1 Peter 2:9b).
Peter, along with other writers of the New Testament, have a strong message:WE ARE MORE THAN FORGIVEN SINNERS;WE ARE CLEANSED FROM SIN AND EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD!
When the heat is on and the battle is raging, when you are tested by fire and when you are under enemy attack, your true Character will be revealed.
And Christians are to BE HOLY. This means Confessed sins, Consecrated life, and Spirit-filled.
When you find yourself at the Cross roads, remember you are Dependent upon God, You are Worthwhile because He has chosen you, Youare Commissioned to spread the Good News to others, and you are Holy because you belong to God!