The Lord's Army
“Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer” 2 Timothy 2:3-4.
Because we live in a fallen world, hardship is part of life. As soon as Adam and Eve chose to do things their own way, life got hard. Within moments of sin entering their lives, their world changed completely. For the first time in their existence, they worried. Then came shame and fear. And because of sin they would have to work hard to survive—even the earth was cursed. Sin ruined everything... or did it?
The hardship, suffering and destruction that sin brings are endless. Its devastation is greater than any tsunami, hurricane, earthquake or tornado could ever be. And while we will always have to live with sin and its effects during our earthly lives, we do not have to live in it. Jesus offers something much greater than sin—hope. In Him is hope that we can endure, and one day overcome. He offers a different life, a better life—one lived by faith and not by sight. He offers a life that chooses to live for what will be instead of for what is right now. In Him we can see past circumstances, believing that each hardship is for our eternal well-being and God’s ultimate glory.
The Apostle Paul compares such a life to that of a soldier. Hardship is non-negotiable, but a good soldier endures. He doesn’t waste his time and energy on civilian affairs because his focus is on pleasing his commanding officer. Like a good soldier, Christians can choose to live above our circumstances. The civilian affairs of success, pleasure, popularity, wealth and ambition need not control our lives. As soldiers in God’s army, we can direct all of our energy toward pleasing our Commanding Officer.
It is so important that we remember who we are... soldiers in the greatest and most powerful army of all time. Our cause is the gospel. Our goal is the glory of God. We fight for the broken, the poor, the oppressed, and the helpless. Our weapons are truth, love and the Word of God. We march in justice and compassion. Our enemies are unseen, and our stakes are eternal. But most importantly, our victory is assured.
Are you entangled in the civilian affairs of the world, or are you marching with an undivided heart towards eternity? Remember who you are today, a good soldier seeking only to please your commanding officer.
Almighty God, You are powerful and gracious, holy and compassionate. I am humbly reminded today that I exist for Your glory alone. Please help me to live to please only You. Help me not to become involved in the things of the world as I strive to faithfully follow Jesus today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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