Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs–he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. 2 Timothy 2:3-7
All That You Ask Of Me
What does a good soldier look like to you? A good soldier is well trained. Have I been training you? Yes, you have. What else? A good soldier is strong and determined to complete his mission. He has a singular focus and is not distracted by civilian affairs. His desire is to please his commanding officer by following the orders that he has been given. No amount of adversity or hardship will cause him to withdraw from what he has been called upon to do. He will never give up. How about you? Are you this good soldier? Will you follow me with that kind of determination? Don’t answer me yet. I have more to ask of you.
What does an elite athlete look like to you? An elite athlete has a vigorous and balanced training regime that includes exercise, rest and healthy nutrition. How balanced has your training schedule been as you have followed me? I have had a hard time staying in balance. What do you mean by that? There have been many times when I have over trained and allowed myself to become weary and worn out. That’s where you are right now isn’t it? Yes, I suppose that it is. There have been plenty of other times when I have not trained hard enough. I’ve been pretty lax about my growing, following and serving you. But, not now? No, not now. Aren’t you missing something that almost all elite athlete’s have? What’s that? Don’t they all have a coach to help guide them in their training? Yes, they do. Who is your coach? You are my coach. Yes, I am. Will you allow me to guide your training as you follow me? Yes, I will. Are you sure? Yes, I am. You won’t try to take control of your own training? No, not anymore. I’ve tried that and it doesn’t work out very well.
What does a diligent farmer look like to you? A diligent farmer labors with great perseverance until he receives a crop. He keeps patiently working until he sees the fruit of his labors. He is patient because he knows that he will reap what he sows in due time. Do you have the patience of a diligent farmer? I’m afraid that I don’t. So often I want more immediate results. It’s hard for me to wait until the time of reaping. Do you believe that one day I will reward you for all the labor that you have done for me in this life? Yes Lord, I do.
So let me ask you these questions. Go ahead. Will you serve me with the singleness of mind of a good soldier so that you will be able to fight the good fight of faith? Will you allow me to coach and train you so that you will be able to run the race I have laid out for you? Will you persevere as a diligent farmer so that you will be able to reap a rich harvest and enjoy the fruit of your labors? Yes Lord, I will. I know that I can rely on you to help me to be and do all that you are asking of me. Yes, you can.
Lord, it is you that gives me strength to endure hardship. Help me to keep moving forward with you like a focused soldier, a committed athlete and a hard working farmer. I want to live a life bearing an abundance of fruit for you. Amen
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