As a good soldier

They’re everywhere, and they have the potential to take the form of anything.

Distractions.

Whether it be a notification that flashes across your phone screen, or a person walking into a coffee shop, there are thousands upon thousands of minute things vying for our attention. We are trying to focus on one thing, and then the mystery of the other pulls us from our intent state.

While these would typically be classified as small distractions, these are the things we have to be most wary of. We don’t think these issues are issues at all until they rear the head of a fully-developed monstrosity. We can camouflage these and brush them under a carpet, but the decision to be faithless with a little will affect God’s decision to trust us with more.

In 2 Timothy 2:3, Paul reminds Timothy to “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.”

As a visual learner, I love reading these comparisons. I like to be able to picture it all, to understand the depth of someone’s meaning. So when Paul says “as a good soldier”, I was able to better grasp the message of his words.

A good soldier is focused on the task given to him. If he is on watch for the night, the last thing he is going to be doing is digging his feet in the sand or staring up at the sky. He will be looking about him strategically, his eyes trained to spot anything abnormal or potentially hazardous. He knows his decisions affect far more than just himself.

A good soldier obeys the voice of his commander. He fears and reverences the man placed in charge of him. He does not question or quarrel against what he has been asked to do. The good soldier has learned to trust the commanding officer.

A good soldier does not give up at the first sign of difficulty. He has learned to push past those tough moments saturated with blood, sweat, and tears. He knows victory is on the other side of the pain if he but endure for a moment.

The list of a good soldier could go on and on. It’s a powerful comparison. And it’s one we truly need to filter our lives through. As Christians, we have received the same commission into the ranks of Jesus Christ’s body. We have a mission, a purpose, and a duty. But if we aren’t suffering hardship like a good soldier, we aren’t living to the full capacity to which we have been called.

Complacency is not an option on the battlefield. We must be decisive and firm in our beliefs. The enemy of our souls knows not to come at us full-frontal. He has learned the offensive tactics necessary to distract us, to knock us off our guard. Stand firm against him and live a life worthy of the upward calling of our Lord Jesus Christ. Brothers and sisters, He is more than worthy of our loyalty.

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