“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” 2 Timothy 2:1-4
I love the illustration of us as Christians being enlisted into the Army of Christ complimented with that old corny motto of “be all that you can be” ringing in my head. I wouldn’t say that all aspects of the military perfectly parallel that of our role in serving God and the Church, but we can certainly take a few points from it. Discipline, righteousness, loyalty and obedience are some of these aspects.
Discipline to stay spiritually “fit” in the word and prayer consistently, righteousness to stand firm in our faith and act as ambassadors for Christ, loyalty to the Church and our brothers and sisters in Christ, and obedience to our God and his commands. I’m sure there are many more, as I am not a military man myself.
The fact is, however, we as soldiers have our off days. Although it is our desire to be good and faithful servant-
soldiers for God, our innate brokenness will result in unfulfilled orders from our Commanding Officer. There’s not too much that we can do about this but learn from it to beetter our performance and be thankful for the absurd amount of grace that we are given. We all do things that could have us court marshaled and dishonorably discharged from the service of God’s army (stay with me here as I try my best to use military lingo) but God loves us enough to always put us back within the ranks to fight another day.
As a personal confession: It is 2:00pm and I have seen seven (7) people that I know and recognize and didn’t say a word to any of them. I barely got a “head bob” off to a couple. If you are an evangelist, you know that this is a great example of how to not carry our your orders!
How are you standing out as a soldier for Christ today? Do you know what your orders are, and are you fulfilling them?