Alert! By Frances Metcalfe
“Alert!” The order is issued from the commanding officer, and every man of the regiment is brought to attention. Uniform intact, weapons at hand, every man at his post. Awake and ready to go into action at a moment’s notice! Danger is near, the enemy must be faced and encountered, and every man is alert, ready for defense or attack!
The Holy Spirit has issued an Alert command to the entire Church of the Living God. The greatest battle of the ages is just ahead, and the Lord of Hosts, the Lord Mighty in Battle, is mustering His earthly army, the soldiers of the Cross. Every man must be clad in the whole armor of God, sword in hand. The prophet Nahum, speaking in the Spirit of this day, the day of His preparation, issued a stirring command: He that dasheth in pieces is come up before thy face: keep the munition, watch the way, make thy loins strong, fortify thy power mightily.
“Raise the battle cry, see, the foe is nigh!
Lift the standard high, for the Lord.
Gird your armor on, stand firm every one,
Rest your cause upon His Holy Word!”
“He that dasheth in pieces.”
Satan the prince of this world, the destroyer, as this word is rendered in some translations, he who is come to steal, to kill and to destroy, the whole earth is filled with the terror of his violence. The heavens above are made horrible with smoke and fire, and death rains from the skies; to the depths of the seas he carries multitudes of his victims; and through every land he stalks with famine and pestilence, violence and bloodshed. His time is short and his wrath is great! Outwardly we see his forces on every hand despoiling the nations; but behind that which is visible, we see with eyes of the Spirit, the spiritual forces of Satan marshaled and arrayed for Zion’s war. He is out to make war on the saints and to overthrow them. Leeser’s translation reads; The destroyer is come up against thee, to enclose thee with works of siege. What a picture of the Church in this hour, surrounded, and undermined with the works of the enemy. Alert! Church of the Living God, you are face to face with the arch-enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ. You cannot, you dare not slumber in this hour. To do so is to invite certain defeat, and eternal loss in the Kingdom of God!
“Keep the munition.”
“Defend the fortress,” in another rendering. We must sing anew this stirring song: Hold the fort, for I am coming; Jesus signals still. Wave the answer back to heaven, By Thy grace, we will. The Church must be set for the defense of the Gospel, prepared to war a good warfare, and to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. For the past thirty years or more, the Church as a whole has been steadily yielding ground, retreating bit by bit, appeasing, compromising, growing weaker, and more ineffectual with every passing day. But the Spirit of God has called this retreat to a dead halt! Strengthen those things which remain. We dare not yield another inch of ground, we must be prepared at any cost to wrestle, to contend, and having done all, to stand!
“Watch the way.”
“What I say, I say unto all, watch.” Our Lord again and again commanded watchfulness in the evil day. Watch and pray, always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things which shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. Watchman, what of the night? The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night. The morning of translation for the saints, the night of tribulation for the unsaved. Isaiah, called to be a watchman in his day cried, My Lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward every night. The Church at last awakening from her disastrous slumber, is commanded now to watch and pray as did Isaiah. Vigilance in prayer. The very word, Alert, is derived from the French word, Alerte, meaning to be on a watchtower or height, on a look-out. Instant in prayer, said the Apostle Paul, be one of God’s minute-men! The mid-night hour approaches, and as Paul Revere rode out into the night, sounding the alarm, calling the minute-men into action, so God’s minute-men and women, must be ready at any moment for the call of the Spirit. And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. Romans 13:11.
“Make thy loins strong.”
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth.” So spake the Spirit through Paul. Likewise He spike again through Peter. Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:13. Throughout the Word of God, the girding of the loins typifies a preparation for action, and the loosing of the girdle typifies the preparation for rest, or a loss of power. When the children of Israel were to be led out of Egypt, they were commanded to gird their loins, and put on their shoes. Woe unto the one who was not prepared to flee when the order came. So in this hour the Church is called anew to gird herself with God’s whole Word, the Truth. Thus girded, she is ready for defense or advance.
“Fortify thy power mightily.”
The command to the Church is to seek for a mighty endowment of the Spirit of God for the evil days just ahead. This is the hour of preparation, the hour to “seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness upon us. The Lord has provided a double portion of strength and grace for his Church in the End-Time. He must finish His work in the earth, a quick work, cut short in righteousness. He must sanctify and bring forth His Church, holy and triumphant. Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear (pure) as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners? Without this fortification of His Spirit, the Church would go down in ignominious defeat; with it, she shall emerge triumphant, with much spoil!
Alert! God’s command to the Church, and to you as an individual, is three-fold. Be watchful and vigilant in prayer. Gird your mind with His Word, the Truth, and seek for a mighty endowment of His Spirit. He that dasheth in pieces is come up before thy face: keep munition, watch the way, make thy loins strong, fortify thy power mightily.