There has been much in the news media recently about British troops serving in Afghanistan, particularly as the dreadful toll of death and injury has mounted.
It has made me think about the life of a soldier, who has to give up many of his own rights. He can no longer opt for the comfort of his own home or the right to choose to be with family and friends. Instead, he has to be completely willing and available to carry out the orders of his commanding officer, however difficult, dangerous or demanding these may be. He cannot even question these orders – he has to trust the one in authority over him and obey. There will be hardship involved, strict discipline and rigorous training.
As Christians, whether we like it or not, every one of us is a soldier of Jesus Christ, involved in warfare, and so we can no longer put our own comfort and desires first. Our sole aim should be to please our commanding officer, (as Paul writes in his second letter to Timothy). This may mean giving up involvement in ‘civilian’ affairs so that we can be totally focused on what the Lord requires of us. We will need to be disciplined and focused, prepared to endure any hardship that comes our way.
Soldiers in the front line always have to be ready for action. In past times that meant keeping your armour on at all times and your weapons at the ready. In the same way, we always need to be alert to the tricks of the enemy, because ‘our adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour’ (1 Peter 5:8). We need to be attentive to the voice of our commanding officer all the time and ready to obey every command that He gives without questioning. Are you prepared to be a soldier?
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the privilege of serving in Your army. Help me to be focused on You at all times and ready to obey You without questioning. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.