Your Marching Orders from God

You may not have thought about it before, but Christians have a lot more in common with soldiers than we might think. In what way? For starters, soldiers don’t serve to protect themselves but to guard the interests of their homeland. There is simply no room for ego or grandstanding among soldiers during the heat of battle. What matters is obeying the leader’s commands. I can’t help but think of Paul’s words to his young protégé, Timothy: “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 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 2:3–4).

Of course, there’s also an intangible longing that keeps a soldier going—the desire to go home. The soldier isn’t just a military man or woman . . . but a son, daughter, father, mother, husband, or wife. As soldiers of Christ, we yearn to be home with Him.

I’ll never forget some valuable lessons I picked up while serving in active duty in the Marines. Two truths stand out more than others. First, there are some ideas worth fighting and dying for. For us as Christians, the gospel is a legacy worth fighting and dying for. As servants of the gospel, we press on through our present groaning in this world with our eyes fixed on home—and on the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ. We forge ahead, knowing that we don’t fight against the visible, the flesh-and-the-blood world, but against rulers and authorities of the unseen world (Ephesians 6:12). We are encouraged by Jesus’ assurance that the gates of Hades cannot and will not prevail against His church (Matthew 16:18). We keep going in courage, knowing that what the apostle Paul proclaimed is true: “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Some ideas are worth that.

Second, you always dig your foxholes big enough for two people. Why? You need a buddy with you in the battle. The same is true in life. One of the first lies concocted by our adversary, the devil, attempted to isolate and deceive humanity into thinking we can live independently. It’s a voice we hear today, isn’t it? We face temptation to live only for ourselves, to consider the voice of God optional, and to sidestep any responsibility toward others. Have you ever heard the line: “Oh, it’s just me, Jesus, and my Bible!”? Oh, really? God has not called us to sit alone in the foxhole, waiting for the rapture—mentoring no one, witnessing to no one. Nonsense! We are our brother’s keeper. We are our sister’s keeper. As Christian soldiers, we never fight alone.

The same is true at Insight for Living Ministries. It’s our passion. We see ourselves in a battle for truth alongside many others who share that same commitment. We teach and guide. We minister and mentor.

As Christians, we all have received our marching orders from the ultimate Authority: to make disciples (Matthew 28:19–20). The battle, my friends, is not over yet. There is so much more ministry ahead of us as God’s soldiers. We are not home yet.

Don’t forget your marching orders . . . the Great Commission. And never forget that we are here for you—to pastor, to encourage, and to assist you in gaining godly insight for living until we reach our eternal home.

Copyright © 2016 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide.

Posted in Christian Living and tagged , , , .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.