Thursday, October 22, 2015

Onward Christian Soldiers

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

Imagery is a powerful tool to mold and fashion a life.  If one can envision themselves to be … it is possible they can become.  Countless stories can be told of lives that have been both successful and unsuccessful due to the image others placed upon them.  "Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is.  Treat a man as he could be and he will become what he should be."  - Ralph Waldo Emerson
In the Christian life imagery is no less important.  How do you see yourself in Christ?  Do you see yourself as one who has the victory or one who lives in defeat?  Too often we Christians see ourselves as, "sinners saved by grace."  Though the theology is correct, the imagery seems to focus on the aspect of our "sinning" rather than on the "grace" of God.  Throughout the scriptures we are given the image of being … saints, followers, children of God, brothers & sisters,  etc.  But one image we probably seldom think about being is a "soldier."  Can you see yourself as a soldier in the Lord's army?
As a child many of us sang he song "I'm in the Lord's Army." … I may never march in the infantry … ride in the cavalry … shoot the artillery … I may never fly over the enemy … but I'm in the Lord's army.  The imagery was wonderful and the enthusiasm to be a soldier for Christ was high.  Somehow that imagery gets lost in our lives.  But as soldiers in the Lord's Army we must go on in the areas of following, being faithful, fighting, and finishing for though the war has been won many battles have yet to be fought.
A young boy had an older brother who joined the Army.  The first time he visited him at his training camp he asked, "When are you coming home?"  To that he replied, "I can't come home…I belong to Uncle Sam!"  The bewildered little boy could not comprehend the commitment of his older brother to this uncle he had never met! 
Paul tells Timothy that he must remember that he volunteered to be in Christ’s army and that commitment was above all other commitments.  He is clear that the war for the souls of men was one that would bring hardship, not glory; it would require sacrifice, not privilege. 
As a soldier in the army of my God the Lord Jesus Christ is my Commanding Officer, the Holy Scripture is my code of conduct and faith, prayer and the Word are my weapons of warfare. I have been taught by the Holy Spirit, trained by experience, tried by adversity and tested by fire.  I am a volunteer in this army, and I am enlisted for eternity.  My God has and will continue to supply all of my need. I am more than a conqueror and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
Onward Christian Soldiers!
Scripture to Claim:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
 2 Timothy 4:7-8 NASB

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