(2 Tim 2:3) You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
A frequent theme in Scripture is the soldier image. The Bible describes believers as engaged in a spiritual battle. In this battle we are to:
-Realize our battle is against Satan and not against people or circumstances (Eph 6:12)
- Fight in the Spirit, not the flesh (2 Cor 10:3-5)
- Wear our spiritual armor (Eph 6:10-18)
- Let the Lord fight our battles (2 Chr 20:17)
- Know that our major weapons are the sword of the Spirit (Heb 4:12) and prayer (Eph 6:18)
- Not get entangled in the things of the world (2 Tim 2:4)
- Remember the battle has already been won! (Col 2:14-15)
- Be encouraged that one of these days the battle will be over (Rev 11:15)
Could it be that our present difficulties point to the fact that we are experiencing God’s boot camp? Is it possible that God is toughening us up and getting us ready for the next level of ministry that we will experience in our lives? Is He trying to get our attention and reminding us not to get too comfortable? It is true that too often we have a vacation mentality in a war zone? But since Jesus is our Commander (Joshua 5:13-15) He is free to condition us for the purposes He has for us.
I want to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ, don’t you? You and I must be able to endure hardness. We’ve got to put complaining and whining behind us. We must forsake the notion that we are entitled to a comfy and cushy life down here. This is not our home, we’re just a passin’ through! Let’s put that armor on and keep that two-edged sword sharpened and ready for the fight. Let’s not quit at the first sight of difficulty. Let’s accept the battle and press on to victory as soldiers of the cross in Jesus’ name!