2 Timothy 2:1-5, Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. 3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
Some of Paul’s last words, at least written words, can be found in 2 Timothy. He writes these words to a young preacher named Timothy, from a prison cell. Paul is encouraging Timothy, as well as all who will read these words, to keep going forward for Christ and the cause of Christ in the midst of trials, troubles, and trying times, and pain, poverty, and persecution. And, above all, to find, follow, and fulfill the mission of God for our lives!
In the passage above, we are reminded that if we are saved and our sins are forgiven, we are not simply sons and daughters in God’s family; we are also soldiers in God’s army. As soldiers, we are to endure hardness and not become entangled with anyone or anything that keeps us from accomplishing the task He has set before us in order to please Him!
Not long ago I read these very convicting words:
Just as we all have a mission— a way of contributing to God’s kingdom that we were designed and gifted for— we also have what might be called a shadow mission. My shadow mission is what I will do with my life if I drift on autopilot. It consists of the activities toward which I will gravitate if I allow my natural temptations and selfishness to take over. Everybody has a shadow mission. … God has a calling for each of our lives, but there’s a problem. God typically calls us to an uncomfortable mission. We prefer our calling to be comfortable. Thank you! And so we refuse to give ourselves to God’s mission for our lives. But we will give ourselves to something. Something (or someone) will become the object of our obsession. Something (or someone) will be what we pour our lives and time into. And our somethings tend to be safe and selfish.
Whether we want to admit it or not, we are all soldiers in God’s army. We all have a mission to accomplish. More often than not it isn’t safe, but it’s right. Like the Marines, God is looking for a few good men!