“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” (2Timothy 2:3-4).
Jesus said, “Occupy till I come” (Luke 19:13)
Occupy as a good soldier of Christ.
The Kingdom Of God is AT WAR with The Kingdom Of This World.
When two countries (kingdoms) are at war and one country sends in troops to occupy the other country, do the soldiers participate in the political affairs of the occupied country? Do the soldiers vote in the political elections of the occupied country?
Paul, in 2 Corinthians 5:20, says that we are “Ambassadors For Christ”.
Ambassador: a minister of the highest rank employed by one prince or state, at the court of another, to manage the public concerns of his own prince or state, and representing the power and dignity of his sovereign.
As a rule, an ambassador DOES NOT involve himself in the politics of the country where he has been sent as a representative of his King. He is there to represent his King, his Kingdom, and his King’s Laws in a diplomatic way that is intended to make the citizens of the host country want to JOIN the country that the ambassador represents.
Ok, so lets combine the two…
Soldier…Ambassador….we are Soldier-Ambassadors.
We endure hardness, affliction, pain…we’re willing to go through the toughest trials and fight in the most difficult of terrains and YET we PERSEVERE through it ALL… as a good soldier! Because we wish to please Him who is our Commanding Officer.
BUT, as an ambassador we show forth the PERFECT qualities of our King through patience, gentleness, long suffering, meekness, temperance, LOVE etc. etc. (Fruits of the Spirit…Galatians 5:22-23) in order that we might make those we encounter in this occupied country jealous for our OBVIOUSLY Better Way Of Life. And through this, hopefully, cause them to desire to become citizens of Our Kingdom and serve Our King, whose yoke is easy on them and whose burden is a light thing to carry. A PERFECT King who truly loves His people.
“Behold, I send you forth, as sheep among wolves, be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” ~Matthew 10:16
The followers of Christ are as sheep, set out and surrounded on all sides by ravening wolves which only seek to devour them as a tasty meal. But despite all of this we are NOT to be victims, nor allow ourselves to be used, manipulated or led astray by the powers of this world. Being a meek sheep does not make you a sitting duck!
We are to be wise as serpents… How does a serpent act? He chills in the grass mostly just minding his own business, he usually does not attack unless provoked. He is very sharp sighted and cunning, usually seeing his enemy and discerning his plan long before his enemy ever even realizes his presence, but if somehow he is caught off-guard he will usually just flee deeper into the brush rather than fight back. It was this mentality that the founding fathers had in mind when they chose the snake for the flag of their rebellion.
And harmless as doves. We all know the dove, it is a symbol of The Holy Spirit. Pure white, meek, gentle, innocent. Being free from all wicked cunning and craftiness, without malice or wrath. Not meditating and seeking revenge, but meek and humble, leading inoffensive lives and proceeding in the course to which God has called them.
We are aware of the plans of The Enemy, we know his wiles and his deceptions and like a serpent we slither through the snare before it is set and come through unharmed. We do not allow ourselves to be used to further someone else’s ungodly agenda, but see through ALL their lies with the sharp-sighted wisdom of the serpent. The Enemy oftentimes is not even aware of our presence as we sit so still in the grass, near enough to witness of their evil but thoroughly undetected. .. and yet harmless! So, that if The Enemy did detect he would say “oh that’s just a harmless dove! don’t mind him, he’s nothing!”…but little does he know…little does he know…hehehe 😉
We have the knowledge that The Enemy posses..we know his plans better than he does! But because our hearts have been changed by the indwelling of The Holy Spirit we cannot use this knowledge as a weapon of our warfare. Our simple knowing is powerful enough, as The Light exposes the evil deeds done secretly in darkness. But it also causes us, if our hearts be right, to further humble ourselves as the innocent and meek dove knowing that those who come against us are most often unwitting victims of The Spirits Of Dishonor who indwell them. So being hated we do not hate, being lied to we do not lie, being envied we do not boast, we do not rouse up strife but instead, because of the wisdom we are given, seek to LOVE and be of service and to grow further in grace. Seeking the lowly path, the humble road.
“That ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands…that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.” ~1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
These are the weapons of our warfare 😀