Friday, March 23, 2018

Can’t Have It Both Ways

April 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles, Today's Devotion

Ronald E Ross, Viet Nam VeteranSometimes taking a single verse and trying to share about it without keeping it in its context is a bit difficult. Second Timothy 2:4 is one such verse: “No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs–he wants to please his commanding officer.”

It’s obvious when you read this verse that it has something to do with war. Since we already know that there is an ongoing battle in the mind and in the spirit, war is not an unfamiliar concept to us as Christians and soldiers of the cross.

Although I was never in the military, my husband served in the Navy and loves to reminisce about the time he served on the ship. In fact, he recently got out his uniform and modeled it for me … it still fits! From VietNam in the 1960’s to 2012, it’s as if he remembers most every detail. Wartime leaves a unique imprint on the life of everyone who served (and their families).

It is my understanding that a full time soldier neither has time for nor is allowed to be employed as a civilian; his life is totally dedicated to his responsibilities as a soldier. Anyone who has served in the military knows how important it is to please the commanding officer. The commanding officer will either make you or break you. If you do your job and you do it well, you will find favor and life will go easier for you. However, if you find yourself torn between your civilian life and your military life, you will have a difficult time pleasing your commanding officer and ultimately your life as a soldier will make you miserable.

We can easily apply this verse to our lives as Christians. We’re told that as Christians we cannot serve two masters. We cannot eat at the devils table and at the table of Lord at the same time. In other words, we can’t get involved in “civilian affairs” while serving in the army of the Lord. Essentially, this means we cannot live like an unbeliever while claiming to be a child of God.

In doing a quick examination of our lives, it is easy to find areas that we are still committed to our “civilian life,” areas that have not been totally surrendered to our “Commanding Officer.” As you meditate on today’s verse, make a conscious decision to cut all your ties to your former life, and wholly dedicate yourself to your life as a soldier in God’s army, eager to please your “Commanding Officer!”

You will find that living a life wholly and totally dedicated to service of the King will lead you to victory even in the midst of the fiercest war.

Father, help me to understand the importance of serving as a soldier of the cross. Help me also to understand the difference between my former “civilian life” and my new life dedicated to serving the Commander in Chief, Jesus Christ. Father, help me to cut all ties to things that hold me back from being totally and holy committed to you. Reveal to me any hidden areas of sin that hold me and bind me to my former life, then give me the courage to totally commit to being a soldier in your army. Hand in hand with you, I will march to victory in Jesus my Saviour forever, who sought me and bought me by His redeeming blood. He loved me e’er I knew him, and all my love is due Him. He plunged me to victory beneath that cleansing flood. Hallelujah! Amen!

“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4)

© Jan Ross
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