That's not what we are going to talk about today. We're going to talk about being a soldier for Jesus. We are also going to distinguish the diference between being a soldier and being a part of the Elite fighting men and women of God. There are differing levels of service that one can practice one's faith.
The first category is simple: The Saved... the millions around the world who have accepted the free gift of eternal life through the blood of Christ. There is not a nation on the face of the Earth where there are not believers in Jesus. You have eternal redemption from sin by the blood sacrifice of Jesus and that no one can take away, it is the gift of God.
Next there are the witnessers; the thousands of men and women who actively promote their faith by sharing it with others. This is called witnessing and all Christians are required to do it, even if Salvation is already a given. Methods and intensity of conviction differ greatly. Most here are your average church goer plus. (plus 'cause not all churches promote witnessing...???)
The Missionaries: the brave folk who give up their own comfort in order to bring the Gospel to others, be it in foreign lands or even right at home wherever home might be. Almost all martyrs for Jesus are missionaries. These are the front line soldiers, the men and women in the spiritual trenches, fighting for the cause of right over wrong, faith over doubt, Truth over the lies and Love over hate. The called, the few, the missionaries of truth. The word missionary actually means "one on a mission" or "one who is sent". "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit."(Jn 15:16) "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."(Mk 16:15) "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."(Phil 3:14) These have the high calling of God because they chose to be "chosen".
" Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;"(Eph 6:10-18)
The Elite: comparable in dedication and commitment that is required from the likes of the world's most heavily trained fighting forces.(SAS, Green Berets, Seals, Rangers, Special Commando Forces ect...) They fight for the affairs of the politics of this world, we fight for the affairs that pertain to the kingdom of God and the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but spiritual.
" For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 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; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled."(2Cor 10:3-6)
We, unlike they, do not use physical violence to gain victory. We deploy the sword of the spirit of God and conquer the hearts and minds of men and women everywhere with the weapons of truth, love and forgiveness of sins. Jesus said,"My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight."(Jn 18:36) We fight for our King and we pledge allegiance (the fidelity owed by a subject or citizen to a sovereign - Webster's) to no flag but to that of the kingdom of God only."
He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love."(SoSol 2:4)
We are not limited by convention or pre-conceived taboos designed by those who do not have the courage to pay the price of being in this war.
"... the word of God is not bound ! Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us."(2Tim 2:9-12)
When the Lord brings that special soul across our path there is no price too high to pay, there is no sacrifice that is too much to ask. We are the hard core, the undaunted, the unafraid. "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."(2Tim 2:3) We are the Elite ! This is not to say that the recipient doesn't also have some work to do, but we are there every step of the way to guide and take that personal interest needed to form a fighter for Jesus.
Special Forces are only deployed in special circumstances. The time away from "action" is spent in training and study of techniques and methods to accomplish some of the most daring and dangerous tasks that are asked of any soldier. They are like cells that are very qualified, heavily trained and dedicated, and, when called upon to perform will execute their "duty" to the utmost of their abilities. "So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do."(Lk 17:10) This is no place for the weak and the whiners ! It is no place for those who do not want to dedicate themselves with "all your heart,soul and mind" to the love of God and the furtherance of His Truth ! This is going to cost you ! This is going to cost all of you. The cost is high, although the rewards are equally high. "Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches."(Pro 24:3-4)
I think the point was best brought out in the film "BrotherSun SisterMoon" by Franco Zepherelli where the young lady, daughter of a rich ariscocrat, after watching the poor band of bedraggled followers of Francis of Assisi for some time decided to join their ranks even though it meant poverty and discomfort. Her declaration went,"I no longer want to be understood, I want to understand !"... And understand you will,"For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding."(Pro 2:6 ) "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever."(Ps 111:10) "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."(Pro 9:10)
It all depends on what is important and of value to you. "Evil men and seducers wil wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.."(2Tim 3:13) Things aren't going to get any easier; quite the contrary, the Bible says that we can look forward to a time when we will be hunted and killed for our faith by those claiming to be doing God's service. These will be the days of Geat Tribulation (Webster's describes tribulation as: distress or suffering resulting from oppression or persecution.)
"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord !" was the declaration made by Joshua (Joshua 24:15), one of Moses' leading soldiers during the exodus from Egypt and faced with outrageous odds against them. Pharoh's armies were bearing down upon them fully intentioned to slaughter them all and their backs were up against the Red Sea with no escape. But they did escape didn't they ? God made a way didn't He ? Sure didn't look that way though did it ? It looked for all the world that they were about to really get it, but then God did the miracle." Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."(Pro 3:5)
"Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me."(Ps 139:7-10)
"The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me."(Ps 138:8)