Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. ~2 Timothy 2:3
Years ago, new recruits into the U.S. Army were shocked and astounded at the rigor and discipline required of them to serve in the military. Commanding officers would sternly tell them, “You’re in the Army now!” It was a sobering message to awaken them that they needed to give all their heart and focus to their duty as a soldier. You and I were enlisted into the Lord’s army the moment we were saved. We are in the Lord’s army!
We see the engagement.
“No man that warreth....” We are in a spiritual war with Satan. He is the god of this world, the prince of the power of the air, and our adversary. It is a spiritual conflict that we are engaged in. Satan has a sophisticated hierarchy by which he attacks us. He has his archers ready to shoot his fiery arrows at our weaknesses and vulnerable spots. We are in a war where he seeks to destroy or disable us. He fights with us to weaken our testimony and nullify our effectiveness. He is looking to take out as many of the Lord’s soldiers as he possibly can. We are in a conflict where there is only one option: to win and defeat the devil.
We see the evasion.
“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life….” In war, we must avoid at all cost anything that can be a distraction. Soldiers wear armor to battle. We must put on the whole armor of God. Soldiers cannot allow the distractions of materialism, sports, celebrity status, social media chatter and gossip, or “the affairs of this life” to occupy their minds and hearts. Soldiers are limited in their communications outside of the military and in the activities that they are allowed to participate in. As a soldier, you must be focused on being in your place, watching the back of your fellow soldiers, and winning the war at all cost.
We see the endurance.
“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Soldier life is hard. You do not eat luxury foods. You have limited sleep. You have to deal with the changing weather elements. You will grieve the loss of fellow soldiers. The spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional duress can be excruciating. As soldiers of Jesus Christ, we must endure hardness. We must keep going. Retreat is not in our vocabulary. We dig deep within our hearts and keep fighting. We might be tempted to quit, but we endure. We will feel weak and want to surrender, but we endure. Living for Jesus is not easy, but as good soldiers, we endure.
We see the excellence.
“...That he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” As soldiers in the Lord’s army, our standard is one of excellence. First, we seek to please our Commanding Officer, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is pleased when we conduct ourselves as model soldiers. He is pleased when we are courageous and tenacious, and when we give 110%. Second, Paul said that we are to be good soldiers. A good soldier conducts himself above the status quo. Just as our military elite pass the rigorous tests in being selected as members of the Special Forces, soldiers of Jesus Christ have as their ambition being considered a member of the Lord’s special forces. Be a good soldier: one that is pleasing to God. You’re in the army now: the Lord’s army!
Have a steadfast God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Ruth 1-4