"No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him." - 2 Timothy 2:4
I'm sure I've written about this before, probably almost two years ago now because this is a life verse for me. I read this section again today and was really chewing on it particularly because verse 7 says, "Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything." So I read this and the verses around it and then began to pray for understanding. Now having said that I don't want you to think that now I'm saying, "So this is the word of God," because I'm not. I'm merely going to tell you what I've been pondering since then.
First of all I remember reading this written more like this, "Therefore as a soldier of Christ do not be caught up in the affairs of this world, you are to please Christ your commanding officer." Okay I don't know why I remember this way, I cant find a translation that writes it this way but this is how I remember it. There are some subtle differences and some large, but the biggest is the difference between "the affairs of this world" and "civilian pursuits."
See if I'm not supposed to be concerned with anything in this world then I'd be so "So heavenly minded" that I was of "No earthly good." But that's not what we're called to be. God left me in the world and called me to be IN but not OF it. If I live my life only for heaven then I miss the opportunity I have here and now to bring redemption to all of creation.
So what does "civilian pursuits" mean? I think this is the things that the non-kingdom minded people are pursuing. That means money, fame, lust, (insert your idolatrous sin here). For me the biggest thing is fame. My civilian pursuit that I get caught up in is wanting to be known. I don't know why I have this longing as strongly as I do. I want to be published, or at least well known in the blog-o-sphere (which is sort of like being published by a loser). I don't know why but I begin to pursue this instead of pleasing my commanding officer.
As soon as life becomes about something other than the battle (namely ME), it falls apart. I can't take it, can't process it. I'm supposed to still be involved in this world in a practical way, but I'm not supposed to be OF it. Pursuing the things the civilians are pursuing.
Because I am not a civilian. I am soldier of Christ. "I'm in the Lord's army. Yes sir!" My concern is winning the battles, focusing on the fight, with my eyes on the war which is already won. I have the privilege to fight, I don't want to be sidetracked and taken out of the battle because I forgot what the role of a soldier is.
Anyhow. These are my thoughts. Still a life verse, but now I have a different take on it.