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On Target: Disciple/Soldier of Christ
General James Green
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?” (Luke 9:23-25).
“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that wareth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2 Tim. 2:3, 4).
CHOOSING TO BE A DISCIPLE (“disciplined one”)/a soldier of Christ Jesus, is more than a verbal affirmation, or a mental assent, it is a DAILY commitment to God, a DAILY denial of “self-life,” and sacrifice. But, if and when we do this, you and I will reap the spiritual benefits intended.
Below are three things a TRUE disciple/soldier of Christ SHOULD DO:
1. OUR DESIRES FOR OUR LIVES MUST SUBMIT TO HIS DESIRE FOR OUR LIVES.
Being a disciple/soldier means recognizing that the LORD’S plans for our lives are ultimately better than our own. This, of course, will bring about some great and small sacrifices...our time belongs to God!
As Paul the apostle wrote to Timothy: “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may PLEASE Him who enlisted him as a soldier” (v. 4). Too many Christians do the exact opposite!
Are you ready to relinquish your own plans, purposes, and pursuits for His? If not, you are NOT a true disciple/soldier of Christ.
2. WE MUST DIE DAILY!
AS LUKE 9:23 states, a true disciple/soldier will “take up his cross daily, and follow...” THE CROSS IS THE DYING TO “SELF” EACH DAY. The apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:31 states: “...I die daily.” As soldiers in God’s Royal Regiment/His Holy Tribal Army, we must be willing to lay our lives on the line in the course of daily duty.
The Cross in not merely a personal inconvenience, or even a small problem, but a WAY of LIFE! When we accept and walk in HIS WAY, we are dying to/denying our own way. This is the TRUE ABUNDANT LIFE.
3. WE MUST LOSE OURSELVES TO SAVE OURSELVES.
VERSE 24 tells us that we must relinquish FULL CONTROL of our lives to Jesus Christ the Lord. Lord means “Master.” A true disciple/soldier will desire to lose total and complete control of his/ her life. This means walking in the Spirit—letting the Holy Ghost lead and guide us.
Once again, the great apostle Paul in Galatians 2:20 stated: “I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” That is the Spiritual Life! You see, a truly surrendered life holds the key to a spiritual walk—a spiritual way of life, not a carnal one. Too many in this generation, in this hour, walk totally by their wits—by their lusts and base wishes.
Counting the Cost
THOUGH IT COSTS TO BE A DISCIPLE/ SOLDIER OF CHRIST, IT COSTS MORE IN THE LONG RUN NOT TO BE!! AMEN.