An Army Of Misfits

An Army Of Misfits
by David Libby

1 Cor. 1:26-31 “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’”

    It may well be that one of the biggest problems in the visible church in western culture today is that it isn’t weak and foolish enough (in one sense). Please do not misunderstand; we should not be either weak or foolish in any real sense, and that is not what the Holy Spirit is telling us through the pen of Paul in this text. Over and over again scripture extols the value of true wisdom (Prov. 3:13;4:5;8:11;9:10) and true strength (Josh. 1:6-18; Heb. 11:34). What this text is telling us is that God often chooses a people who are weak and foolish according to the Word’s norms, but then He forms them into an army that is wise and valiant according to His own standard – the only one that matters. 

    The church has adopted the world’s standard of evaluation as its own. Too often it esteems what the world esteems, and despises what the world despises, forgetting that our Lord has called us to a different standard (1 Sam. 16:7; James 2:2-6). In other words, what the world esteems as weak and foolish really isn’t, but far too often the church sides with the world. 

    I’ve become conscious of this over the last year as Lisa and I have sought to make people we love aware of the serious danger that we are in, respecting the rise of Luciferian New World Order globalism. I’ve sometimes had my “opinions” (even when they haven’t been opinions, but objective facts) dismissed on the grounds that I am “uneducated”. My formal classroom education ended with a high school diploma, but since then I have spent thirty-plus years rigorously educating myself in many varied and important spheres. However, this education has often not been recognized in the church because the world system has not placed its stamp of approval on it. 

    Here is another example: the church that Lisa and I were connected with when we were first married decided one summer to try to encourage fellowship among its members. They set up a program where families could sign up to host events at their houses (cook-outs, pool parties, etc.). But we, and a whole lot of others, were not allowed to host because our properties were not opulent enough. 

    Yet another example: I have a friend who is an elder at a small church up in central Maine. He lives off-grid in a humble but well-kept cabin on a beautiful mountainside. He has been taking classes online in an attempt to seek ordination as a minister in his denomination. Recently he was told that this might mean he will have to move, because a pastor “can’t live in a shack out in the woods”. Why not? I believe this worldly standard would disqualify some very qualified candidates from ministry, like John the Baptist (Mat. 3:1-4), and the Lord Jesus (Matt.8:20). 

    Too often I’ve seen the world’s system define the church’s philosophy. This is particularly noticeable in the realm of spiritual warfare, where the default position of much of the church is distinctly naturalistic. Sure, they give lip service to belief in the demonic, but they always seem to push these beliefs all the way to the very back shelf, seeking a more “scientific” explanation of phenomena first and foremost. In so doing, they are actually walking right in step with “the wise of this world”, with atheistic philosophy as their epistemological foundation, rather than God’s word. This is nothing short of a philosophically suicidal abandonment of true wisdom. (If you’re confused at all by that last claim, then please check out my essay titled “Demons? Come On; Let’s Be Reasonable!”). 

    I’m sure I could come up with many more examples, but I think you get the point. God often calls people whose calling is not being recognized by the organized church. In my experience, these are the people who are speaking out the loudest against the Warp Speed rise of Luciferian Technocracy and all the horrors that go along with it, but our cry goes unheeded because we lack the world’s credentials. This is too bad. If the church doesn’t wake up, then it will sleep right through the greatest opportunity for service that has ever come along. I believe that many of these churches will come under God’s temporal judgment, and will not survive. Meanwhile, God will accomplish all His holy will by raising up an Army of Misfits. It should not surprise us when God does what He says He does: “For consider your calling, brothers: not many were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth”. 

    It is worth noting that this army of misfits is, in point of fact, an army. When God regenerates dead sinners, giving them new spiritual life, He does not form them into a country club, but instead into “an exceedingly great army” (Ezek. 37:1-10). Some people might be inclined to think that these verses point no further than to the restoration of national Israel from exile, but I believe that the broader context of scripture would join me in arguing that this is much too near-sighted. Verse 14 of Ezekiel 37 clearly refers to a spiritual rebirth – the same as that which is described in John 3:1-8, Eph. 2:1, James 1:18, and in many other places. God promised the Israelite nation a temporal restoration from captivity as a typological picture of a more ultimate spiritual restoration from captivity under a much crueler task-master (sin and its wages), which restoration is found only in Jesus Christ. In other words, the true people of God have always been the spiritual seed of Abraham (Rom. 4), then as much as now.

    So, the Ezekiel 37:10 army includes us: dead sinners who have been made alive by the Spirit of God for His service. And that service includes taking up the fight (II Tim. 4:7), and running the race with endurance (1 Cor. 9:24), and tearing down strongholds (II Cor. 10:4), and storming the gates of hell (Mat. 16:18). The armor of God includes an offensive weapon – a sword – but I’ve never noticed any mention of a tennis racket or a golf club. More to the point, the God who miraculously formed an army out of dry bones in Ezekiel’s vision, is the same God who has clearly told us in 1 Corinthians 1 that He has chosen for this fighting force “not many wise according to worldly standards, not many powerful, not many of noble birth”. Obviously, “not many” does not mean “none”. God has chosen some who are of noble birth, but not many, and all have a part to play. The church, however, falls into error when it treats worldly nobility as if it affords the least advantage in the economy of the kingdom of God. 

    I wonder sometimes if the parable of the wedding feast (Matt. 22:1-14) was intended to have a particular application for the unprecedented times that we are headed into right now. Certainly it applied to the time when it was spoken. The vast majority of the Jewish people were rejecting their Messiah, and the  Gentiles were about to be invited in. The Pharisees had no difficulty in seeing this point (v. 15). But it seems to me that something very similar may be happening right now. The Spirit of God is beginning to work in extraordinary ways, and the “nobility” of the church doesn’t seem to be interested. I fear that many of them will find the door to the banquet hall closed and locked, while inside a brotherhood of misfits rejoices with their Lord, who were called in from the highways and byways. 

    The Lord Jesus clearly taught that in glory there will be an utter upheaval of this world’s system, even within the church. “Many who are first will be last, and the last first” (Luke 13:30). I was pondering this truth recently, and my ponderings led to a bit of a daydream. This was not a vision from God, or anything like that, and I’m afraid it involves a degree of theological speculation, but such as it is…

    I imagined a lavish mountainside palace, surrounded by the most spectacular grounds: lush gardens, stately forests, green meadows splashed liberally with the pastel beauty of wildflowers, crystal streams and rivers, shimmering highland lakes, all teeming with life of every sort. 

    Although the new earth will be paradise for everyone present, I do not believe this means that everyone will hold an equal position. I believe God’s word teaches that, even in Heaven, there will be a structure of human authority, which of course will never be abused (Mark 10:35-45). Notice that Jesus never said in this account that there will be no one sitting on His right or left (in fact, He assumed that there will be – v.40), but He took the occasion to redirect His disciples’ understanding of what it means to exercise authority, here as well as hereafter. I’m also convinced that there will be degrees of reward in Heaven (Matt. 6:16-21), and that what we do here will have bearing on what we experience there (1 Cor. 3:12-15). 

    So it shouldn’t surprise you to hear me continue my little story in this manner: I also imagined a fair number of comfortable but humble homes scattered throughout the grand estate. Here lived the servants of the great estate holder, and all of them servants of the Lord. The discrepancy between these homes and the palace of the Landlord was great, but since there is no sin in Heaven, of course there was not even a hint of discontentment or jealousy. 

    One day the Landlord was out strolling the grounds, when he came upon  a gardener who lived in a nearby cottage. The two sat together for a good while and enjoyed each other’s company. At length their conversation drifted to memories of the previous life. 

    The gardener told about how he had spent his short sojourn there in professional ministry. He had preached to hundreds of thousands of people, and seen many converted to the Christian faith. His messages were broadcast in multiple languages all over the world. In Christian circles, his had been a household name. 

    But then he concluded: “I’m afraid my motives were less than pure. I loved the praise of men. When my service was tested by fire, it was found to be made almost exclusively of wood, hay and straw. So now, here I am, overflowing with joy for the salvation that was purchased for me by Jesus Christ, content to live in my lowly state”. He then turned to the wealthy landlord and said “tell me about yourself. Surely you must have done magnificent things in the former life!”

    Replied the highly esteemed estate holder: “Me? Oh, no! I never did anything noteworthy. Mine was a life of total obscurity; hardly anyone even knew I existed. I was tortured frequently, and at a very young age I was murdered and disposed of. You see, I was an adrenochrome boy; I lived most of my short life in a metal cage. But how I loved the Man On Fire! And He saved me in every way that matters.”

    Many who are first will be last, and the last first.