Pleasing Your Commander

William C. Brownson

Read: 2 Timothy 2:3-7

No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. (vv. 3-4)

Those in military service can teach the servants of Christ valuable lessons. One is their readiness to accept hardship, suffering, and risk. Paul wants Timothy to face these things courageously, as a “good soldier of Christ Jesus” (v. 3). Although believers do not contend against flesh and blood enemies, their loyalty to Christ pits them against spiritual forces of evil. They have no easy road. When we get clear on that, we are ready to serve. We won’t be dismayed by opposition and suffering.

Along with courage, we need concentration. Those in the armed forces, especially during a war, can never be part-time workers. They have to be prepared at any hour of the day or night to obey a command. They can’t take on other commitments, however worthy and pressing. They are under orders, responsible to their commanding officer.

The followers of Jesus, though they take normal rest and vacation time, are never off duty. They are not their own. They are bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20). Similarly, think about the intense concentration of an athlete in a sports competition or the dogged determination of a farmer working long hours during harvest season. With them also, there are to be no entanglements. Christians are to concentrate on one thing: pleasing Jesus their Savior and King. —Bill Brownson

As you pray, commit yourself to being single-minded in your devotion to Christ.