A Soldier's Life By George Stroh, Senior Pastor April 18, 2010
"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)
Every Christian is, indeed, a "Christian soldier", enlisted by God Himself. As followers of Jesus Christ we are in active service engaged in a spiritual battle against His enemies and ours. The enemy is Satan and his demons, a world that has rejected Jesus Christ and the truth of His Word, and our own sinful flesh in which nothing good dwells (Romans 7:18).
The Apostle Paul writes to encourage Timothy and every Christian to be a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Like any good soldier we are to put on the armor of God, but not be encumbered by those things that diminish our ability to fight the good fight. A soldier in active service without his armor and who is constantly distracted by the worries and responsibilities of everyday life is very vulnerable to the enemy's attacks.
Remember the account of David and Goliath. Goliath was a huge man, probably about 10 feet tall. His armor was also massive, weighting over one hundred pounds. He even had a shield-carrier that walked in front of him. No doubt Goliath had a very intimidating and fearful presence. But I imagine he also moved very slowly being weight down by all that heavy armor. In contrast, young David came to the battle as we say, "lean and mean". We read in 1 Samuel; "Israel and the Philistines drew up in battle array, army against army. Then David left his baggage in care of the baggage keeper, and ran to the battle line..." (Samuel 17:21-22b)
Not that David wasn't fully prepared and confident in God's strength. He spoke to a very skeptical King Saul; "Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God. And David Said 'The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.'" (1 Samuel 17:36). We all know what happened--- David quickly killed the formidable Goliath with just one well thrown stone from his slingshot.
David wisely didn't bring much to the battle. He left his baggage with someone else. We too need to fight the spiritual battle we are called to, putting on our spiritual armor, ready to fight in God's strength. And we too need to leave our extra "baggage"--- all those affairs of this life that can so easily entangle us. No one can tell you what constitutes extra baggage in your life. But each of us needs to examine our own lives and decide what possessions, activities, and relationships are really important and what possessions, activities and relationships are really just extra baggage that are weighing us down.
Do you want to please the One who enlisted you as Christian soldier? Fight the good fight. Trust Him, as David did, to deliver you and give you the victory to His honor and glory. Maranatha!