2Timothy 2:3–4 , “3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 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.”
Servant of the Commander’s will
What types of events or activities do people train or practice for? I have had to train for sports, competitions, tournaments in order to prepare myself to compete against my opponents. How would our spiritual life change if we took our approach to practicing for sport or musical instrument and applied it to being trained in our faith?
Hebrews 5:14 reads, “But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil. The writer mentions for those whose senses have been trained to do something, and that something is to distinguish between good and evil. Each of us have came out of the world into faith in Christ Jesus if we are Christians, and we knew evil well, we loved it, we drank iniquity like water, we were dead in our sins and transgressions. After we were changed we began to see a great difference between good and evil, but yet there are still things that perhaps we still hold to things that the Scriptures consider evil. Do you gossip (1 Tim 5:13), are you a glutton (Proverbs 28:7)? Paul writes (Ephesians 5:3-7), “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor Foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.” The metaphor of the Christian life as warfare (against the evil world system, the believer’s sinful human nature, and Satan) is a familiar one in the NT (cf. 2 Cor. 10:3–5; Eph. 6:10–20; 1 Thess. 4:8; 1 Tim. 1:18; 4:7; 6:12). Here Paul is dealing with the conflict against the hostile world and the persecution which believers were facing (cf. v. 9; 1:8; 3:11,12; 4:7).
If you desire to serve God as your commander, then you as a good solider you will heed His leadership, His word, as He strengthens you in Christ Jesus. Yet he calls you not to take part in the affairs of this life (the evil things previously mentioned). For example, when one is gossiping at the office do you engage or disengage in the gossip, or perhaps share that you would rather not be a part of the conversion? When you are invited to a movie that blasphemes God’s name, is filled with smut and vulgarity do you accept the invitation or reject it? John MacArthur shares, “A military soldier doesn’t entangle himself, because his call to duty is completely severed from the normal affairs of civilian life, so also must the good soldier of Jesus Christ refuse to allow the things of the world to distract him (cf. James 4:4; 1 John 2:15–17) (The MacArthur Study Bible).
We pull away from the things that we used to do, and replace those things with godly living, for this purpose, “[that] he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” Recall the account of King David’s men. “David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” So the three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the LORD. “Far be it from me, O LORD, to do this!” he said. “Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?” And David would not drink it. Such were the exploits of the three mighty men. (2Sam 23:15-17)
David was the King that had a desire, water. He didn’t give a command, he didn’t make his request part of his men’s job description, and he didn’t have an expectation that these three men should take up the task of his “craving” for water from Bethlehem. King David was in the line of Jesus Christ as reads in Matt 1:1 “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:”
Three mighty men out of loyalty to David went well beyond “the call of duty.” They were brave and courageous with only three of them breaking through the host of the Philistine army after their twelve mile journey to get there. These men had to break through enemy lines, the Philistine garrison (outpost) in Bethlehem, retrieved the water, and brought it back to David. These men were not commissioned to do this task. They sacrificed their very lives not to gain clout or merit, not to be in the Israeli hall of fame, and not even advance the victory for their army. No these men had one thing on their minds, to bring some water to their king! Why, because this is what would please the King. With loyalty and honor they risked their lives, “counting their lives worth nothing,” just to please the King to which they longed to do, even putting themselves in “death’s way,”. Haggai 1:8 reads, “Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,”says the LORD”. God is our King and desires me to please Him! Are you serving God on His terms, with the motive to please him who has called you? Make Psalm 139:23-24 your prayer this week and always, as you serve him as your highest duty, on His terms for His pleasure.
Until the nets are filled…Blessings, Phil the Evangelist,