Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. – 2 Timothy 2:3-4
Although Christianity is first a personal relationship with God, our spiritual growth is largely dependent on our religious commitment to godly practices.
In our theme scripture, Paul likens believers to soldiers. This description speaks of a highly disciplined set of people who go through rigorous training and follow instructions to the letter.
Their commitment to service distinguishes them from every other people group generally referred to as “civilians”!
See how Paul explains it: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” (2 Timothy 2:3-4)
Paul mentioned salient points here: Endurance, Mission, Consecration and Performance. We will briefly discuss each one.
As believers, we are on a mission to spread the Gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth (Matthew 28:19).
Regardless of what the world thinks, this is the most prestigious mission ever and we are privileged to be a part of this.
Therefore, we must discipline ourselves in readiness to withstand the trials and persecution that come our way. The journey will not always be smooth but we joyfully look forward to the “glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
Importantly, we must not forget our identity. We have been sent as sheep “in the midst of wolves” (Matthew 10:16).
While we bear a message of love to the world, we should not forget who we are and join the bandwagon. We are different; we have been called out!! (2 Corinthians 5:20)
Then, we have also been specially chosen by God and so we live to please Him.
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” – 1 Peter 2:9.
The new life we live in Christ places a responsibility on us to do away with ungodly pleasures and seek to fulfill the will of the Father.
This will require constant discipline on our part as emphasized in the scriptures below.
“I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”- 1 Corinthians 9:26-27.
Conclusively, believers are to live a life of total consecration to God. We are to be sold out for the cause of the Gospel. Hence, we discipline ourselves in all godliness to please God.