“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”—2 Timothy 2:3–4
A man was coming out of church one day, and the pastor was standing at the door, as he always was, to shake hands with the worshippers. As he shook the man’s hand, he pulled him aside and said, “You really need to join the army of the Lord.”
The man replied, “I’m already in the army of the Lord, Pastor.”
So the Pastor enquired, “Then why do I only see you at Christmas and at Easter?”
The man whispered back, “I’m in the secret service.”
Christians are in a spiritual warfare. The devil, the world, and the flesh are real enemies. These spiritual enemies are out to destroy the testimony and effectiveness of the believer. The enemy will seek to take you out or make you a prisoner of war. Thus, we are called upon to be good soldiers for the war.
How can we be good soldiers of Jesus Christ? What does it take for us to be soldiers who are victorious in the spiritual conflict?
First, We Must Be Dedicated
We are called to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ. We are enlisted as His soldiers. We are dedicated to His cause. The flag we wave is the flag of Heaven. Those around us should have no questions about our loyalty as His soldiers.
Second, We Must Be Durable
Paul told Timothy to endure hardness. Enduring hardness means we should not allow ourselves to become easily discouraged. It means we are prepared for conflict at all times of the day: in the wee hours of the morning or late in the night. It means we should not back down from the threats of the enemy. It means we will not allow the casualties around us to make us quit. A good soldier does not think about quitting!
Third, We Must Be Deliberate
Paul said, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life.” A good soldier is not distracted by all the things going on in this life. His focus is to represent the Lord Jesus well in the conflict and to make sure He wins. Distractions could result in being hit by a fiery dart of the wicked one. Distractions could make us the target of a spiritual assassin. Distractions could cause us to turn our backs and become vulnerable to satanic attacks.
Fourth, We Must Be Delightful
Our number one priority as soldiers is to please the Lord! God is most pleased with us when we follow our orders, we are diligent at our post, we are vigilant as watchmen, we are loyal to our cause, we fight to win, and we are steadfast at all times.
Being a good soldier requires effort. We must realize that we are not called to be part time soldiers. We do not wrestle with, “Flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Let us go onward and forward for the cause of Christ! Lift His royal banner and do not let it suffer loss. Let it be known we are in the Lord’s army, and as His soldiers we are earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints.