December 7, 2019
A Disciplined Soldier
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. – 2 Timothy 2:3
One of our veterans had this testimony of his time as a soldier: “It was my privilege to serve my God and my country in the United States Army. I was a frontline infantryman with the 88th Division, and God took care of me there. I had shrapnel come so close to me that it burned the side of my head parallel to the stem of my eyeglasses, but it never even drew blood. I crawled through muddy drainage ditches until my knees were raw, with machine gun slugs whizzing over my head, but God brought me through it all.”
Obviously, this soldier had learned some discipline before he arrived in this situation, and that discipline helped him endure the hardships he faced in battle. Discipline can be defined as, “a state of training, resulting in orderly conduct,” and must be practiced during peacetime in order for a soldier to be prepared for wartime situations. Once a war has started, it is too late to prepare for the battle at hand.
As soldiers for Christ, we also need to apply discipline in order to prepare ourselves for future spiritual battles. For example, when a problem arises in life, no matter how simple it may seem, we can exercise our faith by giving it to the Lord instead of trying to handle it in our own way. Allowing Him to show His faithfulness in the small things will help us trust Him when great trials come. And when an opportunity arises to stand up for Christ, no matter how insignificant it might seem, we should do it! In the future, taking a controversial stand for the Gospel will come much more easily if we have already made such decisions a habit. Concerning time spent with the Lord, no matter how rushed or anxious we feel about a busy day ahead, we must make time to commune with God. It is that daily communion that will add up to a life-long relationship with Him, and will reassure us during spiritual battles.
The hardships that come in the form of suffering for righteousness’ sake, such as enduring ridicule for Christian beliefs, refusing to tell an untruth on the job, or actually taking the message of the Gospel into non-Christian lands, will not seem as difficult or alien to the well-equipped child of God. If we remember our goals—standing up for Jesus and living for eternity in Heaven—we will find the strength to persevere.
How is your discipline today?