“Thou therefore endure hardness(hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth ( himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” II Timothy 2:3-4
I had a friend who introduced me to fantasy football several years ago. I became enthralled with it and listened to podcasts and spent several hours getting intel on players who might help me win. I participated in several leagues and even had my own league for many years. I remember the exact day when you could put in for free agents, and I spent my free time thinking of ways to better my team. I started to realize that this was taking too much of my time, and I would even find myself cheering for my fantasy player scoring over my own beloved Cowboys. I look back and I cannot believe that I would actually cheer for an opposing player, but that is the depths in which I had plummeted.
God started to work in my life through the Freedom That Lasts curriculum, and I began to take inventory of the things on which I was spending my time. I soon began to realize that I didn’t have time to play fantasy football as this was interfering with my time with God. I also began to realize that I was spending my time on a lot of things that didn’t matter. I was placing eternal value on temporal things as opposed to putting my efforts into pleasing my God. I know there are things that God gives us to enjoy, but we must not attach eternal value to these things. God has called us to be a soldier for Him, and we must endure the hardships we will face and dismiss the things that will keep us away from Him.
I was speaking to someone on the phone and she was part of a prison ministry. She was telling me of the problems she was having and how the Devil was attacking her. I told her that he only attacks those who are doing something for God, and encourages the others who are not. He has no need to go after the ones who are doing nothing for God as he would rather not discourage them in their work. Life is hard in general and you will face hardships, but I would rather them have eternal value than just be hardships that hold temporal value.
With what affairs are you entangled today? Do you seek to please the One who has called you to be a soldier in the war we face? Do “things” take precedence in your life or is your focus set on things that will not rust or corrupt? We have one life to live and a life that will soon be over. Are you entangling yourself with the Devil and his fleshly appeals or are you engaging in battle with the enemy? May we lay aside the things that keep us from our God, and may we strive to please Him. Keep your eyes on Him, and the affairs of this world will quickly fade away. When you see Him face to face, what are the words you will want to hear?
Stay in the fight!