Christians have a lot more in common with soldiers than we might think. Soldiers don’t serve to protect themselves but to guard the interests of their homeland.
There is simply no room for ego or grandstanding among soldiers during the heat of battle. What matters is obeying the leader’s commands. I can’t help but think of Paul’s words to his young protégé, Timothy:
Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. (2 Timothy 2:3–4 NASB)
Of course, there’s also an intangible longing that keeps a soldier going: the desire to go home. The soldier isn’t just a military man or woman . . . but a . . .
As soldiers of Christ, we yearn to be home with Him.
Two Valuable Truths
I’ll never forget some valuable lessons I picked up while serving in active duty in the Marines. Two truths stand out more than others.
First, there are some ideas worth fighting and dying for. For us as Christians, the gospel is a legacy worth fighting and dying for. As servants of the gospel, we press on through our present groaning in this world with our eyes fixed on home—and on the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ.
Second, you always dig your foxholes big enough for two people. Why? You need a buddy with you in the battle. The same is true in life. One of the first lies concocted by our adversary, the devil, attempted to isolate and deceive humanity into thinking we can live independently.
Oh, really? God has not called us to sit alone in the foxhole, waiting for the rapture—mentoring no one, witnessing to no one. Nonsense! We are our brother’s keeper. We are our sister’s keeper. As Christian soldiers, we never fight alone.
As Christians, we all have received our marching orders from the ultimate Authority: to make disciples (Matthew 28:19–20).
The battle, my friends, is not over yet. There is so much more ministry ahead of us as God’s soldiers. We are not home yet.
- We forge ahead, knowing that we don’t fight against the visible, the flesh-and-the-blood world, but against rulers and authorities of the unseen world (Ephesians 6:12).
- We are encouraged by Jesus’ assurance that the gates of Hades cannot and will not prevail against His church (Matthew 16:18).
- We keep going in courage, knowing that what the apostle Paul proclaimed is true: “To live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
Don’t forget your marching orders . . . the Great Commission. And never forget that we are here for you—to pastor, to encourage, and to assist you in gaining godly insight for living until we reach our eternal home.