It’s time to ENGAGE.
No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. II Timothy 2:4
The best way to summarize the context of this verse within Paul’s letter to Timothy is this: Paul is encouraging Timothy to stay faithful to, focused on and founded in Jesus.
Let me pause for a moment here and say that I have found this tough to live out. The verse says to avoid becoming entangled with the affairs of this life, but it seems that the affairs of this life entangle me before I have the chance to avoid it. Can you relate?
But I want to bring the focus to this part of the verse: “No one engaged in warfare…”
Warfare. That’s a pretty intense word. And the moment we choose Jesus, we become engaged in it. The best definition of the word I found is: conflict, especially when vicious and unrelenting, between rivals.
While the enemy can never rival God – the enemy IS vicious and unrelenting (I Peter 5:8).
Here’s the thing, though – some of us don’t engage back. The enemy is certainly engaged with us, searching for opportunities to draw us out of warfare against him. But some of us are going through this life letting our affairs sweep our focus and faithfulness away.
What would happen if we chose to engage back? What if we engaged in this spiritual warfare knowing that we are empowered by and victorious through Jesus already?
Yup, war is messy. It’s not pretty and it hurts at times, but our lives would look very different if we lived this way.
You lost your job? The enemy is going to try to entangle you here; steal your focus and skew your perspective; make you start worrying about how you’re going to make it. Don’t get entangled – choose to engage by staying faithful to, focused on and founded in Jesus.
Someone hurt you in a way you still can’t talk about without tears? The enemy is going to try to entangle you here; steal your joy and stamp your mind with the past. Don’t get entangled – choose to engage by staying faithful to, focused on and founded in Jesus.
You’re feeling purposeless? The enemy is going to try to entangle you here; convince you God doesn’t have a specific purpose for your life or make you feel like you have nothing to offer. Don’t get entangled – choose to engage by staying faithful to, focused on and founded in Jesus.
Soldiers don’t get caught up in the affairs of this life while they’re at war. I doubt you will find a member of our military fretting about his mortgage payment while he’s on the front lines of war. He stays engaged in war and focused on the mission because doing otherwise jeopardizes his ability to achieve the goal.
In our war, the goal is glorify God in ALL things. Notice how the verse ends, “…that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” We can’t do that by allowing ourselves to get entangled by this life.
I don’t know where life has you right now, but good, bad or ugly, I know the best way to go through it is to engage; to stay faithful to, focused on and founded in Jesus.