The military is a way of life. From the early mornings to the long days, there is a pattern to the military lifestyle. A part of that design is orders. Just about everyone in the military takes orders from someone. Most of the time the orders make sense. Occasionally the orders don’t make sense, but one follows them anyway because that’s a part of the lifestyle. This part of military life is a critical one. Not only does it keep one from trouble, but it teaches a service member a key part of life: faith.
Yes, there is a connection between practicing faith and taking orders in the military. No, it’s not because God is a cosmic Drill Sergeant seeking to enforce divine push-ups for disobedience. Rather, the connection rests on the idea that God often leads us, calls us, or asks us to do things we do not always understand. He might use our current circumstances. He could ask something from scripture. Either way, his request is a timeless command that will make life easier if we trust and obey.
No matter the means asked, at some point, we must follow with faith. We must respond even when His request does not make sense or is not agreeable to us. Think about the times when we felt God leading us towards obedience. Perhaps we were not sure, and we disregarded an order from ignorance. Then there are those times when His orders were plain because it was written in God’s word. Were the consequences worth the disobedience? How would life be different had you trusted and obeyed?
Fortunately, when we respond in faith, our faith is eventually accompanied with a reward. The benefits of our faith may be immediate or in the future, but the blessing remains.
Take the centurion in Luke 7 who asked Jesus to heal his servant. Being a soldier, he understood the power of orders and commands, which let him trust Jesus. Therefore, he insisted that Christ did not need to come to his home for his servant to be healed. No, he knew and trusted that all Jesus had to do was give the order. As a result, his servant was healed, and Jesus responded with, “Not in all of Israel is there such faith.” See, this soldier’s faith was approved, his servant was healed, and his life became better because he had faith to trust the power of Christ’s commands.
On what level do we trust God’s commands today? How do we respond to His orders and call? Do we seek to justify our disobedience by reinterpreting scripture fit to our needs? If any response results in rebellion then we need to repent and remember the blessing of God’s commands and orders. Soldiers, Airman, Sailors, Marines, Service Members, etc. do it each day. Most often the obedience works to their long-term favor. In turn, as members of God’s Army who are engaged in a war against flesh and spirit may we seek to trust God where He leads. Otherwise, we leave behind the greatest blessing of all: trusting in the journey of faith!
“No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the commanding officer.” (2 Timothy 2:4)