No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
—2 Timothy 2:4

The New Testament repeatedly compares Christians to soldiers in a battle.

In New Testament times, the primary mission of Roman soldiers was to expand the emperor’s kingdom throughout the entire earth. No soldier would wake up in the morning and ask himself, “Why am I here? I wonder what I should do with my time today.” Those questions had already been answered for the soldier. His job was to serve his commander, not himself. Similarly, today, our soldiers do not formulate their own mission; their job is to fulfill the mission of their commander-in-chief.

Not long ago, I heard a fascinating interview with Lt. Col. Steve Russell, who commanded the unit that captured Saddam Hussein. During Steve’s 21 years of service to our country he has been stationed in the Arctic, the desert, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Now think about this: When Lt. Col. Russell arrived in a new country where he had been assigned, did he look at a map and say, “Gee, I wonder where I would like to go sightseeing today”? Was his mission in that place to visit as many local restaurants as possible to sample the local cuisine?

Not at all! If those things had been his purpose, he would not be hailed as an American hero today. Instead, he probably would have been dishonorably discharged from military service.

A soldier’s job is not to fulfill his own desires, but the desires of his commander. For Lt. Col. Russell, his commander-in-chief’s assignment was to stop the spread of evil and instead to spread the light of freedom.

Instead of bringing us home to heaven, God has assigned you and me to this foreign outpost called planet Earth for a similar purpose–not to build a solid portfolio, successful career, or have a happy family life . . . but to build His kingdom.

You and I have been enlisted to fulfill the mission given to us by our Commander. Just as Jesus came to seek and to save those who are lost (Luke 19:10), we have been recruited to continue His mission. Simply put, our immediate purpose in life is to join God in His positive purpose of rescuing as many prisoners as possible from Satan’s kingdom and turning them into fully committed followers of Jesus Christ. Like Lt. Col. Russell, we are to follow the orders of our Commander-in-Chief to do everything we can to stop the spread of evil and instead to spread the light of freedom through faith in Jesus Christ.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Power of a Positive Purpose” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.