Are you a soldier for Christ or are you still a baby in the Lord who is always whining and crying when things don’t go your way? Would you rather play than get down to some serious work for the Kingdom? God is looking out for soldiers He can use to wreck the kingdom of darkness (Jeremiah 51:20), soldiers who won’t get so wrapped up and entangled in the pleasures of this world that they forget that life is a battlefield and there’s a battle to be fought for the plan and counsel of God to be fully established in our lives, families, churches and nation (2 Timothy 2:4).
Before you get enlisted in the army, you will be tested to see if you are physically fit. There are a lot of believers today who are physically fit and in good health, but they aren’t active and effective in the Lord’s army. It takes more than just being healthy and physically strong to be a soldier for Christ. It’s not just enough to wear a soldier’s uniform to become a soldier, you must have passed through the rudiments and training, from the simple to the more complex. It’s not just enough to dress like a Christian, speak like a Christian, and attend all the Christian gatherings and programs to be a soldier of Christ, you must have endured hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:3-4).
Below are the attributes and qualities of true soldiers of Christ. Let’s reflect and ponder on these attributes to see if we are truly soldiers for Christ:
1. Spiritual Maturity (1 Corinthians 14:20, 1 Corinthians 13:11, Hebrews 5:14, Philippians 3:12-14). Soldiers of the Lord are not meant to be babies who need to be pampered and petted before they can do the work and will of the One who enlisted them in the army of God. Babies in the Lord are focused on their own needs, while spiritually mature believers are focused on the needs of Jesus, their Commanding Officer. Babies in the Lord have not developed character and perseverance. They can’t stand on their own, they are constantly depending and waiting for someone to hold them and help them. Soldiers for Christ are spiritually mature; they have been tried by adversity, tested by the fire of trials and afflictions of life (James 1:2-4).
2. Availability (Isaiah 6:8). The availability of a true soldier is not dependent on whether there is someone to call, remind, write, visit, entice or lure them to do the work of their Master. When Jesus called His disciples they immediately left their nets and followed Him (Mark 1:17-18). They didn’t give excuses (Luke 14:16-24), they didn’t put other things and people before the needs of the One that called them. True soldiers of Christ can leave their ‘net’; their business, career, family, personal needs and ambitions and follow Jesus. When their Commanding Officer needs them, they are there; they are available for His use.
3. Determination (2 Chronicles 15:7, 2 Timothy 4:7, Luke 9:62). True soldiers have resolved in their heart that they will see Jesus in glory and reign with Him, they are determined to remain a part of the Lord’s army for eternity, and so they won’t allow anything and anyone deter them from this goal. Nehemiah was determined to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, he didn’t allow any opposition and resistance from Sanballat, Tobiah or anyone amongst his brethren hinder him from achieving his goal (Nehemiah 4:1-23, Nehemiah 6:1-14). Regardless of the difficulties and challenges that come their way as they serve in the Lord’s army, soldiers of the cross won’t neglect or abandon their place in the army or be talked out of following the path of the Lord. People can’t hurt them to the point that they make a U-turn and go back to the world. Situations of life can’t discourage them to the point that they turn away from their Lord. They are focused and determined servants of the Most High, not people that are easily swayed and distracted. It’s hard to stop them. They are winners not quitters.
4. Ability to work with a team: No soldier no matter how well trained and equipped he is can win a war on his own. It takes a team to conquer and win! Soldiers of Christ understand that true Christianity is not a one man show and that two are better than one. It is better to march to war with other soldiers, if you fall or get wounded, another soldier can help you get up. But if you are all alone on the battlefield, warfare is tough and you can easily be overpowered (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). Soldiers of the cross of Jesus Christ understand that there’s a limit to what they can do on their own; they understand that on their own they can just chase a thousand, but with another soldier by their side, they can put to flight ten thousand enemies of God (Leviticus 26:8, Deuteronomy 32:30). And so as much as it lies with them, they try and live at peace with their fellow soldiers (Romans 12:18) so that together with their comrades, they can do mighty exploits for God.
5. Faithfulness and Commitment (2 Timothy 4:7, 1 Kings 8:61): The real soldiers for the Lord can be counted on any day, any time. Their hearts are fully committed to the Lord, not one leg in, another leg out. They do not need to be given money, handouts or recognition before you can get them to serve the Lord. In times of stress, bad weather or sickness, they still maintain their commitment to service. Even if no one in the church remembers their birthday or sends them a Christmas gift, even if no one applauds their efforts or promotes them for their years of service, you will still find them serving dutifully in the Lord’s army. Their commitment to God is not seasonal or temporary, it is a life-long commitment. For life, they will serve and salute their Commander and Captain Jesus Christ; they will fight the good fight of faith to the very end.
PHOTO CREDIT: Chuanchai Pundej on Unspalsh