No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 2 Timothy 2:4 (ESV)
In certain branches of the military a recruit is known as a G.I. G.I. stands for “government issue” or “general issue.” At one time the term G.I. referred to the generally equipment that was issued to servicemen, but was later used to describe the servicemen themselves.
The apostle Paul told Timothy to share in suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:3). What are the sufferings of a good soldier? An enlisted man, although he is compensated monetarily for his services, he in return relinquishes certain rights. He must follow the commandments established by his superiors. He is expected to go where the military sends him and do what the military tells him to do. Often times those orders require that he leave his comfortable home and his belongings and be apart from his family for extended periods of time. Yet, those are sacrifices that he has pledged an oath to make. Many times following orders puts him in harms way and may even cost him his life.
The inferences for the Christian soldier are easy to make. Paul asked the Corinthians, Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? (1 Corinthians 9:7 ESV) The answer is “no one.” A Christian soldier is enlisted by the one who paid the price for his life; Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23). The Christian must follow the orders of his superior (John 14:15;1 John 2:3; Revelation 14:12). Those orders may require him to leave his earthly possessions and his family for extended periods of time or in death. Jesus said, Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:37 ESV) And Paul wrote, Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. (Philippians 3:8 ESV)
At times the Christian soldier may be ordered to put his life in harms way or even give up his life. Jesus said, Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:39 ESV) Paul wrote to the Philippians, For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21 ESV)
So, the Christian soldier is not to get entangled with the things of this world; the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions (1John 2:16). He has relinquished all rights. Paul said, I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 ESV)
The aim of all this sacrifice is to please the one who enlisted him (2 Corinthians 5:9). The reward is to hear the words Well done my good and faithful servant (Matthew 25:23).
Are you entangled in the things of this world? Is the aim of your life to please the one who bought you?
Scriptures for meditation:
1 Thessalonians 4:1