Living Like a Soldier (2 Timothy 2:4)

SUMMARY: In the Bible, the Christian life is compared to that of a soldier: 2 Timothy 2:4 “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” The church needs to once again be filled with men and women willing to risk greatly so that the name of Jesus may be glorified. There need to be more soldiers. How do we become soldiers?

THE BODY OF THE BLOG: The challenge for the modern follower of Jesus Christ is that the church has largely lost its sense of mission and has lost track of the fact that we have been called by the Lord to a specific task that He has given us, namely to be His witnesses, and that we have been called to be fishers of men (Matthew 4:19; Luke 5:11) and ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). This stance of passivity and inactivity by the church leads to confusion in the new believer or in the zealous convert. Why confusion? The new believer or the zealous Christian is frustrated and confused, because the overriding attitude in the church is that Christians are simply to go to church and be nice and do nothing more, but those who are new to the Holy Spirit’s fire or who are intoxicated by that fire long for godly adventures. Indeed, as we examine the New Testament and as we observe the lives of the apostles and of the early saints in the infant Church, we read words like diligence and perseverance and endurance and striving and labor and hardship and suffering. These radical labors and activities of the early saints are in stark contrast to the listless and innocuous lives and the timid efforts displayed by many, even most, professing believers today in the American church.

So in order to combat this trend I want to ask some questions and make some comments to spur us on to serious love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24). Since we are soldiers, it must mean that we are in a war. The Lord would not recruit soldiers if there were not a war to be fought. And if there is a war, there must also be an enemy. In fact, we know that we are in a war (2 Corinthians 10:3-4; Ephesians 6:10-17) and we know that we have an enemy, the devil (1 Peter 5:8; etc.), who also has a host of other demons which oppose us. Here then are some thoughts and questions for my fellow soldiers.

Is the enemy aware that you are his enemy? That is, does the devil even know for sure that you are his enemy and are vigorously opposed to his activity? Has the devil seen you damage his kingdom often enough to know that you are his adversary and are a serious threat or can he ignore you with impunity?

Are the forces of evil actively trying to take you down? When the demons get together to plan their battle strategy, does your name come up as a strategic target to eliminate?

Are you dangerous to the devil? The question is not, “Are you frightened of the devil?” The key question is, “Is the devil afraid of you?” Are you a soldier of the cross who strikes fear into the hearts of the demons?

Can you inflict damage on the devil’s dark kingdom with your spiritual weapons of our warfare? These are divinely powerful for the destruction of strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4-5), but they must be wielded with skill by the believer to inflict damage. Does your prayer pull down strongholds? Does your proclamation of the truth rattle the gates of hell? Does your witness for Jesus dispel the darkness?

Does the enemy want to silence you or are you already silent? What good is a herald who will not proclaim the message he was sent to proclaim? What good is an ambassador who does not announce his King’s good news? What is the value of a witness who does not testify?

It is said of the idols that they have mouths but they cannot speak (Psalm 115:5; 135:16). Of course they cannot speak, because they are nothing but dead idols, the work of men’s hands. But let it never be said of the Christian that he has a mouth, but he will not speak. Let it never be said of the disciple of Jesus that he has a mouth, but he does not know his message. O brethren, we have mouths and we MUST speak! (2 Corinthians 4:13) The Lord has given us a message and woe to us if we do not proclaim the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:16). We must be Christians who are bold to tell of Jesus and who wield our spiritual weapons with skill and precision gained from years of diligent use and practice. Let us be soldiers who do damage to Satan’s kingdom and who cause fear among the ranks of the evil ones. (RMB 5/14/2015)
“I want to so live that Satan throws a party when he hears of my death.”

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