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The Good Soldier May 15, 2007

Posted by Joe in Random Musings.
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Lar,

Thanks for pointing us to that post yesterday. I do enjoy his blog even though I am not a pastor. This quote from Stott stood out.

“…what is forbidden the good soldier of Jesus Christ is not all ’secular’ activities, but rather ‘entanglements’ which, though they may be perfectly innocent in themselves, may hinder him from fighting Christ’s battles.”

We talk about it often on this blog, but in my opinion, we probably can’t talk about it enough. For the things that keep us from a deeper walk with Jesus Christ are usually not outright sins. Though that is surely the case for many, a man or woman might genuinely be pursuing Christ, but still lack a real passion and fire that bears faithful witness to His greatness and glory. Why? Well, often it is because they are spending too much time with ‘entanglements’, perfectly legitimate activities that hinder them from walking with Christ in such a way that their lives bear witness to supernatural joy.

I have been thinking the past few days about our great need as Christians to become people on fire for God–and to maintain that fire. This is our greatness witness to the world. In today’s church culture, we have all sorts of methods for reaching the unreached or reviving the lukewarm. But it seems to me that we often overlook the most obvious of methods: hearts and minds ablaze and excited about God’s glory and the coming of His kingdom. Just think it: why would anyone be attracted to a Christ that we aren’t excited about? The answer is plain.

As it relates to Stott’s quote, we can faithfully say that we won’t be excited about Jesus if we aren’t willing to ‘give up’ various innocent pleasures that keep us from greater pleasures. That is to say that we must be willing to make war on our inclination to settle for the good, lest it get in the way of the best. Our desire for comfort and ease is continually making war on our desire to love Jesus Christ. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy legitimate pleasures to the glory of God. But the call needs to be sounded for us to excercise some discernment and to ask ourselves: what legitimate things are keeping me from a more intimate knowledge of Christ? What legitimate things are holding me back from being excited about Jesus?

In the end, whatever we ‘give up’, will actually be nothing, because the gain will be so sweet. But the process isn’t easy. May the Lord grant us a greater preocuppation with the Prize, so that we might more faithfully and fruitfully fight the fight of faith.

Seeking Him with you,
Joe

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