A scripture passage that has been quickened this morning …
“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 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 Tim. 2:3-4)
The first thing that I feel to say about this, beloved, is that we need to understand that God’s operation for this day is a MILITARY OPERATION. There is a war at hand, and those who engage themselves in this war WILL experience “hardness” and suffering. This is just the way that it works.
I have had some people confront me recently, mostly because some things did not go quite as hoped for on this last trip to S.F., and also because in the aftermath of this trip I have experienced some personal “hardness” and suffering. These people, in a not so subtle way, have implied that because of what I have suffered recently I must somehow be outside of the will of God. To these my response is; if we ARE NOT enduring some hardness and suffering in our fight to bring forth the Kingdom of God in the earth, then there is a real good chance that we are not engaged in the battle as we ought to be. Let’s put it this way; if the devil is letting us alone, then there is a real good chance that WE ARE NOT A THREAT TO HIM. Believe me, beloved, if we step out onto the front lines of evangelism and deliverance ministry WE WILL have a devil in our face and on our case, and this almost continually. This too is just the way that it works. Paul experienced this. He called it a “thorn in the flesh” – a satanic “buffeting,” and I must say, THIS SORT OF THING LEADS TO A HOLY WALK. This brings me to the next part of the quoted scripture passage…
This is the part about us getting free from “the affairs of life” that we might be “pleasing” and find great favor with the One who has “chosen us to be a soldier.” This is saying, beloved, that the deeper we get into the battle the more that we will recognize our need to be fully immersed into God – free from the affairs of this life. This is saying that we cannot be flirting with the devil and the ways of the world and engage in high level spiritual warfare. It just will not work.
On a much more personal note, I’ve had some more surgery done to my face just recently, and God is continuing to show me favor in this in that the doctors and the nurses involved in the procedures are still refusing to charge me anything but only a minuscule amount. I am very grateful to the Lord for this, and I somehow even appreciate the time now laid up in healing as a time to get highly consecrated unto Lord and HIS purposes. I said to someone last night that I somehow feel that I’m going to be either an instrument for REVIVAL and the coming of God’s Kingdom with power and glory in the earth or I am going to be killed in the battle towards that end. I surely prefer the former over the latter of these, but most of all, I just want God to have His way in me. I really just want to finish my course (whatever that is) and be found pleasing to Him Who has chosen me to be a soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ. What an honor it is to be chosen to serve Him and others!
Beloved, even if we have to endure personal “hardness” and suffering, let’s give all that we are now unto the purposes of God that the Lamb Who was slain might receive the reward of HIS suffering. How about it?