Summary: In the spiritual battle against the enemies of your soul, you are either engaged, AWOL or siding with the enemy. What does it mean to be engaged as a Christian soldier.
ARE YOU ENGAGED?
There is a spiritual war that has raged through the ages. This spiritual warfare is the seemingly never ending battle between God and His kingdom and Satan and his forces. Ephesians 6:12 describes it this way: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” This warfare includes the daily battle between the old man assisted by a host of powerful satanic influences and the new man empowered by God, the Holy Spirit. In this spiritual battle you are either engaged, AWOL or siding with the enemy. To be engaged as a Christian soldier means to:
I. Follow Orders of the Commander-in-Chief Explicitly
A. II Timothy 2:3-4 “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”
B. Obedience to the Marching orders
1. In boot camp, you are taught to obey orders. There are times those orders seem to make no sense. You are to trust that your superior officers know something that you don’t know and that by obeying what may seem crazy, you will help achieve the goal of victory in battle
2. Titus 1:3 “Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work”
3. "A soldier on active service … must be wholly at his commanding officer’s disposal." (2 Timothy 2:4 NEB)
C. No Malingering Allowed
1. To malinger is to pretend to be sick or injured to avoid work.
2. One who malingers remains feeble and weak in Christian faith in order to evade duty and orders issued by the Captain of the Lord of Hosts.
1. A soldier on active duty is always a soldier. He can’t call a "time-out" in the middle of battle.
2. Ecclesiastes 8:8 (NASB) “...there is no discharge in the time of war...”
3. A willingness to accept an assignment to suffer is the sure mark of a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
II. Know and Avoid Fraternizing with the Enemy
A. Know the Enemy
1. I Peter 5:8 “Be sober and self-controlled. Be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
2. II Corinthians 11:14 “And no wonder, for even Satan masquerades as an angel of light.”
B. Avoid Fraternization
1. James mentions three enemies we must not fraternize if we want to be at peace with God:
a. The World (4:4) – The world system or society that is contrary to God
b. The Flesh (4:1,5) – The old nature with its desires and actions.
c. The Devil – (4:6-7) – The archenemy of our souls.
2. “If I had a brother who had been murdered, what would you think of me if I ...daily consorted with the assassin who drove the dagger into my brother’s heart; surely I too must be an accomplice in the crime. Sin murdered Christ; will you be a friend to it? Sin pierced the heart of the Incarnate God; can you love it?” - C. H. Spurgeon
3. Peter (1) first deserted the Lord, (2) later fraternized with the enemy, (3) then, denied the Lord, (4) afterwards committed perjury, and (5) finally, he cursed and blasphemed. Sin was progressive in his case