Are you a Good Soldier of Jesus Christ
Some people are soldiers, but most are civilians. Some people are saved, while most are lost. A civilian becomes a soldier when he is enlisted in the army. A person becomes enlisted in God’s army when he is saved by receiving Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. When we receive our salvation, we also receive the burden to seek and save the lost, by leading others to Jesus Christ and helping them to walk the paths of righteousness.
A person that is genuinely saved will no longer live for his own cause, but for the cause of Jesus Christ. He will not live according to his own will, but according to the will of his Heavenly Father, therefore a saved believer in Jesus Christ is also a soldier of Jesus Christ. There are only a few that are saved, while there are many that are perishing.
They perish for the reason that those that are enlisted as soldiers in God’s army are cowards and instead of fighting the battle, they have turned cold and have lost their way. Sadly, Christians are not aware of their battle, they have no clue on which side they are fighting, they have become allies with the enemy and they have deserted their true calling and are shooting at their own comrades-in-arms.
A Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ. He alone is our commanding officer and we are His soldiers. Our posting may be different, our duties and gifts are not the same, but our job is to do His will and walk according to our calling. The role of a soldier is primarily to complete the mission that is assigned to him or her. Our mission is to do the will of our Heavenly Father. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 19-20 NIV).
Our fight and our weapons are not carnal, but spiritual. Our enemy is not human, but spiritual. Our fight is against the devil and his wickedness. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12 NIV).
Many Christians feel it is not their duty to share the gospel with others. Some people observe the teachings of Jesus Christ, but will not care to share it with those that are lost, those that are living in sin and those that are suffering and living in ignorance. They fear of being persecuted as a result of boldly proclaiming the truth of the gospel. Some don’t want to offend others by telling them that they are living a life of sin and unrighteousness. An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked (Proverbs 29:27 ESV).
Paul is advising Timothy to teach others what he has learned and to be willing to suffer as a good soldier. You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2: 1-3 NIV). Whenever you witness for Jesus Christ, you will suffer for the cause.
Every person undergoes suffering. However, there are those who suffer for doing what is wrong and then there are those who suffer for doing what is right. Suffering in this world is inevitable, nevertheless you can choose what kind of suffering you want to go through. Numerous Christians choose to suffer by disobeying God, rather than suffer for being a good soldier of Jesus Christ. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil (1 Peter 3:17 NIV).
Our job as a soldier is to please God and fulfil our assignments. Lots of Christians are entangled with the matters of everyday life, they soon lose focus of God’s will for their life and instead become busy in fulfilling their own desires and ambitions. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer (2 Timothy 2:4 NIV).
A good soldier follows orders and holds on to his post. For some, your posting may be, to be a stay-at-home mum and raise your children in the ways of the Lord. Others are called to be witnesses in the place where they work. Some soldiers face death and are martyred for their faith, while there are others that are held prisoners for proclaiming the gospel. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12 NIV).
Wherever the Lord has placed you, persist in fulfilling the will of God. Persecution is not meant to stop a true believer, persecution is meant to encourage us to be bold and to stay true. I am not saying to go out looking for persecution, but when it comes, Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:12 NIV).
Finally, a good soldier is faithful unto death. There comes a time when a soldier has to pass through the valley of the shadow of death, a time when all the courage has disappeared and he is surrounded by enemies and discouragement. This is a time when faithless soldiers either surrender to the enemy or retreat from the battle. Only those who remain faithful to Jesus Christ, continue fighting till the end. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life (Revelation 2:10 b).
We do not belong to this world, we are only passing through, but the only way to go through is through a battlefield. The best you can do while on the battlefield is to fight. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses (1 Timothy 6: 12 NIV).