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. (2 Timothy 2:4)
A battle is a time of intense focus and concentration. A soldier can ill afford to be distracted from the task at hand. He must be well trained and proficient in the use of the weapons at his disposal. His equipment must be well maintained at all times and ready for use at a moment’s notice. His mind cannot wander to the loved ones who wait for him back home. He cannot think about the possibility of being wounded or killed. The only thing that matters is the battle at hand.
A good soldier knows his enemy. He knows the weapons the enemy will use against him. He knows the enemy’s tactics and he knows how to counter the enemy’s attacks. A good soldier knows the battlefield. He knows the best places to ambush or to avoid being ambushed. He knows the places with the best vantage points and the places where he is most vulnerable. A good soldier is prepared always for the battle.
As soldiers of Christ, we are in a battle, “though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh … Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3,5). The armament of a soldier of Christ is spiritual: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4). As good soldiers of Christ, we must maintain our weapons in battle-ready condition: truth, righteousness, the preparation of the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and the Word of God (Ephesians 6:13-17), and the greatest weapon of all – prayer (Ephesians 6:18). These are not merely defensive weapons, they are offensive. Our weapons are designed to charge the gates of hell, “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
As good soldiers of Christ we cannot afford to allow the cares of this life to entangle us. “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:34). “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3).