“Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” [2 Timothy 2:3 NASB]
In part 1 we saw the good soldier is consumed with a passion for the honor and glory of His Commander and, thus, willingly suffers hardship that his Commander be glorified. He is persuaded there is no greater honor or privilege than to serve as a soldier in his Lord’s army.
“No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life,” [2 Timothy 2:4a]
In part 2, because a good soldier is always in active service, he is not to entangle the old life focus of self with the new life focus of Christ. He is able to focus on Christ because God equips him in the strength found in the grace of Christ Jesus.
“so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” [2 Timothy 2:4b]
Now let’s look at the goal of the good soldier. It is but one goal: that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
The good soldier is to have the single purpose and focus: to please his Commander, the Lord Jesus Christ. The good soldier is not to be entangled in the affairs of everyday life. No, the soldier serves the Commander with all his heart, soul, and mind.
“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’” [Matthew 22:37 NKJV]
The Commander was clear when the call went to the soldier, “You are to live, move, and have all your being in Me.” The soldier has been set apart, made holy, so he would be fit to be a good soldier of Christ Jesus, the Commander. And the good soldier answers this call without reservations.
“for in Him we live and move and have our being…” [Acts 17:28]
“As He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’” [1 Peter 1:15-16]
However, the flesh is weak and at times the soldier may become entangled in affairs not to the glory of his Commander. He may sin. The Commander has given instructions to direct the soldier how he may once again walk in good standing.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” [1 John 1:9 NKJV]
God’s forgiveness gives the good soldier his good standing. For his Commander has directed him to pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace (2 Timothy 2:22). This pursuit is a call to the good soldier to fight in a manner worthy of a soldier’s calling, and in so doing he will please the One who enlisted him as a soldier.
“Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power.” [2 Thessalonians 1:11]
Note also that this calling and walking worthy as a good soldier may continue because there is an increasing knowledge of God and the Commander, the Lord Jesus Christ.
“walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;” [Colossians 1:10]
The more we know our Commander, the better we will serve Him and please Him.
Are you a “good soldier of Christ Jesus” who pleases your Commander? A good soldier answers the call to be holy, set apart to his Commander. He confesses and repents when he falters. In his forgiveness, he continues to walk worthy of the calling of his Commander. He will walk suffering hardship, not entangling himself in everyday affairs, and doing all things to please his Commander. May we be good soldiers in all these things.
“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 2:4 NASB]