Summary: This sermon deals with discipleship and why is it that we chose to become Christians in the first place.
Why Did You Sign Up?
Eric Jackson was a nineteen year old junior in high school who wanted some excitement in his life. He had failed the proficiency exams three times and it didn’t look as though he was going to graduate next year. He was tired of teachers getting on his back about assignments. While watching BET one day, he was captivated by the commercial “an army of one.”
There on the tv screen, was a young man with a rifle in his hand, with a special helmet equipped with night vision glasses, and a host of high tech gadgets strapped on his belt running across the terrain in the country. That young man was an army of one. The more Eric thought about the adventure, the excitement, the thrill of it all, the more he decided to quit school and join the army.
What Eric signed up and what he got were two different situations. Eric barely survived boot camp. The hikes and the exercise routines were the first real physical tests in his life. He hated getting up early in the morning. He hated the sergeant yelling and telling him what to do. He hated not being able to go where he wanted to go and to do what he wanted to do.
The freedom he thought he would find in the commercial was missing. Instead of being an army of one running in the countryside, he was in the kitchen cleaning the floors in the dining hall. There was somebody else with an agenda already set for his life, and he had to fit within their plan. Eric thought to himself, “this is not what I signed up for.” Eric decided to go AWOL. That’s absent without official leave.
Do you think Eric was justified in running away from the army? Should the army have the right to place soldiers in assignments and positions that will best suit the needs of the army, even if the soldier is unhappy with the assignment?
We are soldiers in the army of God? When we accepted Jesus Christ, we enlisted in his army. But why did you sign up for cause of Christ? Have you come with certain expectations like Eric, that you are going to find a certain type of life with all kinds of benefits to it?
Did someone promise you a life of joy, peace, health and wealth? Did you want to impress someone, or did it in order to make yourself more attractive to a certain guy or girl who was already signed up? Did you sign up because other people had come forward and you did not want to be left out?
Did you sign up because of a promise you made, “Lord if you heal me”, “Jesus, if you get me out of this jam”, “God, if you do this for me, then I will sign up for service?” It’s important for us to know why we signed up, because that’s going to determine whether we go AWOL or not.
In our Old Testament reading, we ran into a man named Job. Now Job was very wealthy and did his best to live as righteously before God as possible. Job had signed up to follow God. Job felt, serving God was the best way to ensure peace and prosperity for his life. But Job was a soldier and not the commander in chief in the army.