verb (used with object)
1. to assemble (troops, a ship’s crew, etc.), as for battle, display, inspection, orders, or discharge.
2. to gather, summon, rouse (often followed by up):
He mustered all his courage.

All of humanity is in a real war for life and death at this very moment, even if it is not a visible war between nations.  The American church, and myself included, have been largely ignorant of this war. We think that so long as the battles for our own souls are won, we can leave everyone else to God’s hands. But God has called His church to lay down our lives for those who don’t know Him yet. If our lives are truly secure as we say we believe they are, we can give up comforts and even our lives here on Earth so that others can come to God for themselves.  That’s love.

We must be mustered.  When I think of the work to be done, I am amazed by the variety of situations soldiers are in to keep them from fighting. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution to bringing people from not being in the fight to fighting well-equipped and with a clear mission where they are.  Some people just need to hear there’s a war, and they’ll come fight. Some people need hope. Some need to be willing to leave something behind, even family.  Others need equipment, hope, urgency, or deliverance from demonic oppression.  Many need to be moved by pain before they’ll join.  Everyone needs training whether that’s gained prior to being on the front lines or thrust upon them with open warfare.

I haven’t read or watched The Lord of the Rings in several years. That is a world at war over life and death and which side will have everlasting dominion.  And it’s a great picture of mustering. Every character needs something different to be mustered, and Gandalf travels everywhere facilitating that process.

Though they are different (Tolkien disliked 1-to-1 analogies), Sauron and Satan share the common trait of fearing open warfare.  The enemy’s main goal in the war we’re in is to keep people from fighting in the first place, and he has forces and systems in place everywhere to enforce that rule as much as possible.  Mustering is an essential step for us to see the changes we want to see in this world.  And what is needed to be mustered is different for different people.

Later we’ll discuss enlistment!