Take a census of all the congregation of the sons of Israel, by their families, by their fathers' households, according to the number of names, every male, head by head from twenty years old and upward, whoever is able to go out to war in Israel, you and Aaron shall number them by their armies. (Numbers 1:2-3 NASB)
Israel's history has been plagued by war starting back in biblical times. In Numbers 1, we see the very first census being taken by Moses of all the men who are "battle ready". We see the phrase "all that were able to go to war" mentioned 13 times in this chapter (NKJV)". God told them to take the census. He knew what they were in for in the days and years to come.
Things aren't much different now in our world. Yes, we have electricity and lots of other amneties and our fighting tactics are different. But battles rage on every day across the globe. Where there is not a physical skirmish going on, a spiritual battle flourishes in our homes, churches, workplaces, hearts and minds as we pit our own priorities with those of what God desires from us. What battle are you participating in? Are you battle ready?
God needs "soldiers" who are willing and able to go to "war" for Him. He prepares us for the battle by character building forged in our trials and sufferings, not in the good times. It is hard to accept that God is more concerned with our character than our comfort. No matter what life situation we are in - a financial crisis, a troubled marriage, a chronic health problem - God will use it for his glory. He will use it to create a fine soldier who is willing and able to lay down his own life for the good of someone else. Are you ready to enlist?
For further thought:
1) What prevailing circumstance in your life is preparing you to serve God in a greater capacity? How can looking at your life in this way help you to persevere?
2) Who in your life are you able to help or fight with in the "battle" of life?
3) What do you need to do to become "battle ready" for God?