The good life has been enjoyed by many Christians over the last two or three hundred years but it is the exception to the rule. We have had it comfortable and easy. This has made us soft and spiritually immature. The only exception is those in dictatorships or communist countries where they are abused for their faith. Our text encourages us to refocus back to the truth that society is anti-God and Christians are in a war with the powers of evil.
In the passage of 2 Timothy 2;3,4 Paul advises us that, “Now therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that wars will entangle himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him that has chosen us to be a soldier.”
What is meant to be entangled? That is to say, snagged, braided, embedded, intertwined, and even satisfied. An example of being entangled is like a soldier who becomes involved in a foreign country’s civil matter. Or a banker that transacts business with questionable individuals. Or that a leader who has been influenced by those with ulterior motives. And the consequences of being entangled is to be compromised and become ineffective.
What is the meant to have an enemy as described in Scripture? He is powerful and serious with his intention to fight us. He even knows are vulnerabilities. He wants the worst outcome for us. And Satan has weapons of doubt, dissatisfaction, and distraction.
The half-brother of Jesus explains what is to be in a state of war. He says in James 4: 1-4, “from where comes wars and fighting among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight in war, yet you have not, because she asked not. Ye ask, and received not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lust. He adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
Therefore, whatever is wrong to us, is commonplace and usual for the spiritual captives of the Enemy. There are times that we think that there is something of concern to us when it is not even our responsibility. What seems to be an outward battle is actually one that is inward and spiritual. And that which we think should have an end may actually be an indefinite period.
So, if we are to win a war, what would that look like? It means that we obey our commander, the Lord Jesus Christ, and please him. It means we trust him to know how to carry on the war instead of us relying on our own ideas. We have duties to fulfill as soldiers of the Lord: and we are faithful every day, every hour, all year. There are times when you may feel that you are defeated, but those defeats may lead to ultimate victories.
It’s easy for the average Christian to become too friendly with the world. Such a Christians’ mental and spiritual position can be described by God is adultery which means unfaithful or preferring an alternate way. Whether we realize it or not, and whether we want to accept it or not, those who are true Christians that believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior are in a war. And every day we must make a choice for which side to serve, with which side to associate. We are admonished as Christians to only serve and associate with Jesus Christ and fellow believers. However, it is easy for a believer to serve and associate with the wrong side. Which side are you going to serve and associate?