Daily Devotional: Day 85
“You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” (2 Timothy 2:3-4, NKJV).
Although Paul wrote to Timothy, who was the pastor of the church in Ephesus, his letter contains precious truths that are relevant for us all. Today’s message is about the mind and attitude of a soldier. As a Christian, you are a soldier of Christ. The day you got born again, Jesus enlisted you in His spiritual army. Paul rightly reminded the Christians in Ephesus (and us all) to put on the whole armor of God, because we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against spiritual powers of darkness. (see Ephesians 6: 11-12).
This means that you are in a spiritual war whether you want war or not. So, you might as well fight. This is the good fight of faith (cf. 1 Timothy 6:12). The earlier you got used to the reality that you are a soldier of Christ, the better. But, not all soldiers are good soldiers. To be a successful soldier of Christ, it’s important that you operate with the mindset of a soldier. Today, the Bible tells us two things expected of a good soldier of Christ.
First, we must endure hardship as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. A good soldier is not soft. He does not seek comfort and convenience. A good soldier is focused, tough-minded, disciplined and cheerful even in hardship. The night before Jesus was crucified, He said to His disciples, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Good soldiers of Christ don’t give in to pressure; they endure to the end, remaining faithful and loyal to Christ, their Commander.
Next, good soldiers of Jesus Christ must be aware that they are involved in a spiritual warfare. Aware of being in a spiritual battle, they don’t get entangled in the affairs of the world. The point here is that when you’re at war, the last thing you need is a distraction. The attractions, pleasures and cares of this world are a distraction to true soldiers of Christ. For it is impossible to be entangled in worldliness and please Jesus Christ at the same time. If a soldier of Christ becomes entangled in worldly affairs, soon he will become, not an asset, but a deficit to the Kingdom of God. Lay aside your civilian approach to the Christian life and remember that you’re engaged in a spiritual warfare. Be a good soldier; put on your armor and fight the good fight of faith to the end.
Prayer: Dear Father, bless me with the mindset of a good soldier of Christ. Fill me afresh with your Spirit and enable me to endure hardship cheerfully and faithfully. Keep my heart and mind focused on pleasing you always. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
For further study: Psalm 18:1-40