Bible Reading: 2 Timothy 2:1-7
“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” (2 Timothy 2:3-4)
Life gets busy at times, and there are all the many things that need to be done and thought about. It drains your energy, and it drains your time. In the peak seasons, you lock yourself into auto-mode and work just happens from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall back asleep. Work. Work. And more work.
In the end, it is easy to get lost in all our work. We lose focus, and we lose our sense of direction. Why do we do all this work? What is the end of all these things?
In His farewell letter, Paul encourages Timothy to serve God and run the Christian race like a soldier would in a battle. That is how we should view our walk of faith. We live for one purpose and one purpose alone; to serve God, know God, expand His kingdom and enjoy and glorify Him as a result of the whole process. That is the one task that should be our ultimate pursuit in this life.
All the work that we seem to be doing makes up little bits and pieces towards our end goal (or do they? What have we been using our time for? Do we waste it unwisely?). We go to school to receive an education to explore and develop our God-given talents. We grow and learn as we relate with family and friends. We minister and serve those in our community through our churches. Yet, big picture, all these things are so that we can be equipped to serve God, and we serve God. That is the end goal of our lives.
It is so easy to lose our priorities and get lost in the things of Monday to Friday. It seems mundane, and it looks like a routine. It does not and should not just be a list of tasks we aim to complete. Run the race with a set target in mind. We must set our ultimate goal before our eyes each day. We live to serve and please the heavenly Master, and so His calling must be on the top of our minds at all times.
In practical terms, have we started each day in God’s Word and prayer? How are we going to know what pleases our Master if we don’t know Him?
Then, how conscious are we of the little decisions we make every moment? Do we think about how we can please God in all situations, whether we are at home or out in public? Glorifying God in all things means literally all things.
We’ve got to be wise with how we use our time. We must set everything in perspective of our grand mission. We must prioritize things the way a soldier would. Essentials are essentials. All others must be laid aside.
I have to admit, it’s not easy, and sheer willpower will never yield success. It takes a humble heart, an acknowledgement of our weak self, and a constant reliance on God’s strength. Recall John 15:5 says, “apart from me [Christ] you can do nothing.”
Paul’s words were urgent teachings to Timothy, the next generation of the church. Paul was living his last days, and he knew that his life was soon to end. These truths are now being passed on to our generation. Those above us will pass one day. Are we ready to hold on to the truth and pursue it with our lives? Will we be prepared to live it out and then pass it on to the next generation after us?
Lord, we are weak and incapable. Again and again, we fall in sin and forget about Your great calling for us. We are Your servants who Your blood has redeemed to a new life. Please help us to live out our new lives every day in obedience to You and Your mission. Please forgive us when we turn from Your truth. Please strengthen us and set our minds on the heavenly task You have appointed us. Teach us to walk each moment in obedience to You. In Jesus name, amen.