ON DUTY — Living Ready
A soldier on duty doesn’t get caught up in making deals at the marketplace. — 2 Timothy 2:4 (MSG)
The Bible describes the relationship a Christian has with God as a Father-Child relationship, but it also describes it as a Master-Servant relationship. Part of the confession of our faith is the acknowledgment of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Lord means many things, one of them is ‘owner’. We are God’s own, bought with the precious blood of Jesus.
Several times in his letters, Paul described Christians as soldiers. We are; whether we acknowledge it or not. We are bound by rules and commands, there are tasks, duties, and responsibilities. There is warfare, there is a fight. You might not have heard it this way but Christianity is an invitation to get right in the middle of trouble, but, a worthy one. Christianity is not a cruise, it’s a call to fight, but from victory, not for victory; we are called to enforce a victory already won by the greatest sacrifice ever made. Christianity is a call to give our lives for the cause of the One who laid His for us.
A call to Christianity is to lay down our agenda, to draw close and listen to the Master’s heartbeat then join Him in His work. To embrace Christ is to lose our identity and be found in Him. To accept Jesus is to prioritize our responsibilities over our rights. Paul said in 1Corinthians 10:23 (paraphrased), everything is lawful (rights) but not everything is beneficial… (responsibilities). To live ready is to live continually broken and open so that our will is never in contention with God’s. Many of Paul’s words in his letters echoed these thoughts. We are “fools for Christ”, Paul a “prisoner of Christ”. As Christians, we are called to live for a higher purpose that is beyond us, this call then constrains us to stay within God’s boundaries yet frees us to be all He wants us to be.
So what does it mean to live ready? It means staying sensitive to the Master’s call, it means staying flexible for the Master’s use. It means to be available to be used in the pews, in the boardroom, and on bended knees. It means to continually seek out God’s will and not be stuck in our agenda. It means to be available to join in wherever He is working. It means to detach ourselves from anything that may constitute a distraction to our assignment. It means to never live for the ovation or approval of men. It means to keep trusting to the very end.
God has called us to active duty, not to be on the reserves. This call is to every one of His children. We can’t be soldiers some of the time, not even most of the time. We can’t be soldiers only when it’s convenient, we can’t opt in and out at will. We are either all in or not at all.
We must decide where we stand, we can either be on active duty or entangled but not both. We must decide what we will carry, our baggage or the cross.
As for me, I always want to be On Duty.