March 2024 – A Soldier of the Cross

You, therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore, must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please Him who enlisted him as a soldier.2 Timothy 2:1-4, NKJV.

I welcome you to the 3rd month of the Year of Divine Repositioning, in which the wind of the Holy Spirit is blowing revival, miracles, signs, and wonders into the church of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. The number three is a significant number in the Bible. It symbolizes resurrection. By Jewish understanding, Christ had been dead three days by the time of His resurrection on Sunday morning. This month, the renewal project of God in your life shall be completed, and everything good that is dead inside of you shall come back to life in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

This month, God will reawaken our consciousness to the fact that we are soldiers of the cross. That way, we can continue pursuing the 82-million soul mandate in commemoration of our spiritual father’s 82nd birthday this year. Every time I read 2 Timothy 2:1-4, I am reminded that we are supposed to be soldiers of the cross. We are to preach the Cross despite opposition. Paul encouraged Timothy to be a good soldier. When it comes to military life and the life of a Christian, the principal phase of army life is the conflict itself.

This month, we will look at things essential to successful warfare, such as the individual soldier’s equipment, training, and attitude. It is the Cross that compels us to march forward for our LORD. The Cross sets us free from our sins and bids us to serve the cause of Jesus as LORD! We ARE soldiers of the cross.

You must be committed to a cause for which you are willing to risk your life and dedicate all your energies and finances. The crowd at the Cross taunted Jesus, saying, “Save yourself!” However, Jesus was committed to a cause! He wanted to save the world through the Cross. As people who worship our Commander-in-Chief, we must demonstrate a heart committed to a cause – the cause of courage and evangelism. We owe our eternal lives to Jesus Christ; to Him, every knee must bow, and every tongue must confess that He is the LORD. So, I ask you, to whom are you committed?

The Prerequisites of a Good Soldier

He/she must love the cause for which he/she is fighting. He/she must have faith in the leader. He/she must have faith in his/her comrades. He/she must have the hope of victory. The call of soldiers is, “Go!”

God is still looking for soldiers who will fight the good fight of faith.  If you are interested, here are some things you must know about what it takes to be a soldier of the cross. A soldier of the cross must be a:  

  1. Trusted soldier – 2 Timothy 2:2, “the same commit thou.” Paul told Timothy to commit the things he had heard Paul preach among many witnesses to faithful men. To commit is to entrust (1 Thessalonians 2:4; 1 Timothy 1:11). In Matthew 8:9, the centurion said, “I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me.” He took orders and had men under him who would follow orders. If you are going to fight in the LORD’s army, you must be able to take commands and follow commands. You must follow the LORD, your Commander, and those He puts in authority over you. If you are unable to do this, you will never make a good soldier. The LORD will not commit these things to men He cannot trust.
  2. Faithful soldier – 2 Timothy 2:2, “to faithful men.”  In Acts 10:7, Cornelius called “a devout soldier” to travel to Joppa to get Peter. A devout soldier is faithful, loyal, dutiful, and dependable. The United States Marine Corps motto is Semper Fidelis, or simply Semper Fi, which means always faithful or loyal. I used to think you could commit these things that Paul wrote to men who had potential, and they would become faithful once they were given responsibility. Boy, was I wrong! You must find men who are faithful before you commit to them these things Paul wrote and the responsibility that goes with them. You will never be a soldier of the Cross if you are not faithful to personal Bible reading and prayer, attending church services, evangelism, and the commands the LORD gives to all Christians.
  3. Fellow soldiers – 2 Timothy 2:2, “men who shall be able to teach others also.” In the LORD’s work, we work together as a unit. In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul addressed the Corinthian church’s divisions, envy, and strife. He said of himself, Peter, and Apollos that they “are one… and laborers together with God,” (1 Corinthians 3:8-9). In the LORD’s army, lone rangers don’t do well. Since they do their own thing, and when they teach others, they develop their own following, rather than soldiers of the Cross and of the LORD.   
  4. Good soldier – 2 Timothy 2:3 “a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” A good soldier endures hardness. So many things can knock a man out of the fight. He must be able to take it. If he cannot, he will quit. So, if you desire to be a soldier of the cross, remember that there are many hardships, and you must endure them all. The LORD and the people for whom you are fighting are counting on you.
  5. Chosen soldier – 2 Timothy 2:4, “that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” When you volunteer for duty, the LORD tries you, then He chooses you for a job He has. There are so many ways to become distracted in a fight. You must discern which of these really need your attention and which are simply “affairs of this life.”  In order to please your Commander, you must serve Him “in [the] singleness of your heart” (Ephesians 6:5) and fight until you have accomplished that for which you were chosen (Acts 20:24).  Paul had to work in many places where he preached to feed himself.  But he never let his work interfere with his calling.  He used it instead for his testimony to further the gospel.
  6. Soldiers of the cross have their orders…GO!

Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the commanding officer” (2 Timothy 2:3-4, CSB). The Apostle Paul was sharing with Timothy the importance of being a soldier for the Kingdom of God when he wrote that. Our goal in life is to do those things that please Jesus and the only way we can do this is by following His commands, heeding His orders. Jesus has the authority as our Commanding Officer.

  1. Christ’s order of highest priority is found in Matthew 28: 18-20. He commands us to “Go into all the world and make disciples.” In Galatians 3:27, He further commands us to baptize them so that they are clothed with Christ. To give them a uniform, so to speak, that they can wear with pride. To give them a purpose and an identity. Soldiers of the Cross!
  2. It is our calling to go and share with the world around us and the world abroad the freedom and hope that is found in Christ. That is our purpose as soldiers of the Cross. Never surrender. That should be the motto of every soldier of the Cross. The enemy is great, but the cause is grand.

I pray that every Christian soldier reading this will fight the good fight till their dying day, the same as the Apostle Paul (2 Timothy 4:7).

Conclusion

It is essential for a child of God to recognize and understand the purpose of the
multifaceted life we are called to by God. For this reason, the Holy Spirit reveals to us in 2 Timothy 2:3 that we have been called to be soldiers of Jesus Christ. A soldier does certain things to fulfill his or her vocation. Enduring hardness, shunning worldly pleasures and distractions, and keeping to the rules of military service are some of the basic characteristics expected of a soldier. Soldiers are also required to fight to defend the territorial integrity of their country from external attacks. In addition, they are to engage in warfare to expand the territory of their commander-in-chief, monarch, or emperor. As it is in the physical, so it is in the spiritual. The comportment of a soldier is that of discipline, and a Christian soldier should be even more disciplined (Philippians 4:12; Hebrews 12:16; Luke 4:3-4). A soldier of Jesus Christ avoids any distraction (good or bad) that would take his or her focus away from the way of the cross he or she is fighting to defend.

Prayers

  1. Father, I thank You for the death of Jesus Christ for me on the Cross of Calvary. Thank You that I am going to heaven.
  2. I am grateful, Father, for the privilege of being made a soldier in Your army.
  3. Father, I ask for Your mercy and forgiveness for not fully following my duties as a soldier. I repent and change my mind to obey Your orders always henceforth, LORD.
  4. Father, give me the grace to endure the hardness of the life of a soldier in Your army and keep myself from being entangled in the affairs of this life.
  5. Help me, LORD, to work faithfully as a fellow soldier alongside other men and women who have been chosen to fight in God’s army for the cause of Christ.
  6. Father, give me the grace not to end up like Esau, who sold his birthright for a plate of pottage. Make me a disciplined soldier, LORD.
  7. Uphold me to the very end, LORD. Deliver me from all forms of worldliness and grant me the grace to please You all the way till the end of my days.
  8. Teach me, LORD, to war against sin, which destroys mankind by proclaiming the gospel while putting on the whole armor of God.
  9. Help me to be diligent in exercising my divinely given authority in the place of prayer.

Thank You, Father, because You are the God that answers prayer.