Are You Striving To Be A Good Soldier?

As we engage in these last days, which the Apostle Paul calls perilous times in 2 Timothy 3:1, it is important that we know who we are. As Paul instructs Timothy, he encourages him to be strong. But his strength must come from Jesus Christ and not of himself. Ephesians 6:10 says: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” How do we become strong in the Lord?  We become strong in the Lord by being “good soldiers!”  2 Timothy 2:3 says: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” What does it mean to be a good soldier?

As I looked up the word soldier, it was defined as: “a man serving in an army; a member of an army; a person who works zealously for a specified cause.” But, as I looked at this definition, I found this is not true for every one that claims to be a soldier. A person may be in the army, but that doesn’t mean they are serving well. They may be a member of the army and wearing the uniform, but that doesn’t mean they are working zealously for a specified cause. Their reason for being in the army may be because they couldn’t find a job or they could receive educational assistance or they were drafted or to avoid trouble.

But, a good soldier is one that becomes a part of the army to serve his country because he believes in a specified cause. In the Christian army, that specified cause is Jesus Christ. Jesus is worth fighting for! Jesus fought and gave his life so we could have eternal life. This should inspire and compel us to become good soldiers to receive this inheritance. Just like in the natural no one can enlist you in the army, you have to enlist your own self, likewise in the Spirit you must individually enlist yourself in the army of the Lord to be a good soldier.

As a child, my Mom use to sing a song with the lyrics: “God don’t want no coward soldiers in His band …” It takes courage and boldness to be a good soldier. Some characteristics or attributes of a good soldier are: He/she is one that can receive instructions, then follow and obey. He/she is selfless i.e. more concerned about the cause than his personal gratification. He/she looks for ways to better the cause. He/she tries earnestly to take pressure off leaders and not add pressure. He/she is a person of love and compassion.

He/she is not a hypocrite pretending to be for the cause and their heart is not in it. Spiritual soldiers have these attributes as well as: they are people who regularly pray, fast, intercede, faithfully attend church, sacrificial, honor leadership, love the saints, busy working in the church, tither, give alms, praiser, not a murmurer or complainer, easy to be entreated, strength to the body, etc. These are attributes that make us good soldiers and are attainable to all who have the heart to strive to be good soldiers of Christ.

You may ask is it easy to be a good soldier? No, but just because it’s not easy, does not mean it is not possible! Philippians 4:13 says: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Also, I Corinthians 9:25 says: “And every man that striveth  for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”  A good soldier studies the manuscript (which is the Word of God) and has the confidence in I Corinthians 10:13 that says: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful (even when we are not faithful to Him), who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” That’s called: “Striving to be a good soldier!”

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