2Timothy 2:1, 3 says, "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Men, we are to be strong in the Word of God, in our walk with Jesus, and as leaders in our homes and society. We are to endure hardness as a good soldier does. If you are going to be a soldier of the cross, then enduring hardness comes with the territory. It is hard work to be a righteous man in this unrighteous world. There is opportunity constantly presented to us to compromise our integrity. Pornography is at our finger tips via the internet. Drugs, alcohol, and indulgences of every kind are easily accessible. Opportunity to lie, cheat, and steal are presented daily. Persecution from family, “friends”, and co-workers can cause us to want to compromise. No one wants to be “Odd-man out”. However, good soldiers endure hardness. It takes guts and determination to be a soldier. It takes discipline and commitment to be a soldier. It takes sacrifice and strength to be a soldier. No one said it would be easy to be a soldier of the cross. In fact, Jesus said that you had better count the cost before you sign up in The Lord's Army (Lk 14:26-35). However, if you will truly dedicate your life to Jesus Christ – lock, stock, and barrel; then He will give you the strength and courage to succeed.
The title, “Soldiers Of Fortune”, is a play on words. Most of us understand that the terms soldiers of fortune, soldiers for hire, hired guns, etc. all refer to mercenaries – those men who get especially hired by governments, or sometimes individuals, to fight for their cause. They are usually highly trained professionals with unique skills that sell those skills for a lot of money. However, as soldiers of the cross, our fortune is in heaven. We fight to obtain an incorruptible crown (1Cor 9:24-25, 2Tim 4:7-8). We war a good warfare to receive an eternal reward. Therefore, in a sense, we are “Soldiers of Fortune” - fighting for the good cause of Christianity in this corrupt world, so that we may receive the heavenly fortunes from Almighty God.
The first thing I want to look at concerning being a soldier of fortune is in 2Tim 2:1. It says, “Thou therefore, my son, be strong...”. The first command the Apostle Paul (a general in the Lord's Army) gives to young Timothy, is to be strong. Specifically, he tells him to be strong in grace of Jesus Christ. However, in general, the command is to be strong – period (Eph 6:10). This command to be strong generates from God Himself, and is often repeated in the Bible. God told Joshua in Josh 1:6, 7, and 9 to, “Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law... Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
When king David was on his death bed, he told his son, Solomon, to be strong and courageous; for God would not fail him nor forsake him (1Chr 28:20). He told him to be a man, and to keep the Lord's commandments (1Ki 2:1-3). In Isaiah 35:4, it says to be strong and of good courage, because God would save you. In Dan. 10:19, the angel of the Lord told Daniel to be strong. Daniel replied, “I am now strengthened, for you have strengthened me”. In Daniel 11:32, it says that the people who know their God shall be strong and do exploits. Soldiers of the cross are to be strong. We must walk in our God -given roles as leaders, protectors, providers, prophets, priests, and kings. We must not bow to selfishness, nor political correctness. We must declare truth and walk in truth.
Paul told us to be vigilant; to persevere in the faith; to act like men; and to be strong (1Cor 16:13). We don't need to be whining about how we “feel” and our “needs”. Men need to act like men. If you cry, it should be because your heart is broken with the things that break God's heart; or because God's kind of love has filled your heart, love for a child, etc. It should not be because you got in touch with your inner child, hugged a tree, or someone at work called you a name. Paul said act like men! Don't get sissified by our PC, femi-nazi culture. Let's be confident in our God given roles – both men and women. Even outside the Bible, nature itself shows the proper order of things. Why do the females have breast? To nurture the young. Why are males typically stronger? To protect and provide for the family. You may call me a cave man for saying that, but I just call it common sense.
Let's exercise our spiritual muscles in the Lord's Gym daily, and get our inward man chiseled and ripped. Let's keep our eyes on the heavenly fortune, and be good soldiers of Jesus Christ. Let's fulfill our God-given roles and our destiny in Christ Jesus. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord! (Philp 4:4)