Many Christians today seem to have lost their identity. In this article I want to provoke thought towards one question – are Christians citizens or soldiers?

The answer is simple – Christians are soldiers on a battleship and not civilians on a cruise ship.

And as soldiers in God’s army, our battle is not against people. Our battle is against evil spirits and powers in the heavens.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12, NKJV)

Life is a wrestling match. We wrestle against principalities and powers. It is easy to see people as the enemy. But God says not to view people as your adversary.

We are to look beyond the bad behaviors of people and discern the spirits that influence their lives. Some people are like puppets on a string. Some strings include disappointment, trauma, and life tragedies. Other puppet strings include evil forces in the spirit realm that order circumstances that stimulate anxiety or set us off in frustration or anger.

In order to counteract the strategies of evil, we must discern the spirits behind the scene.

Discerning the spirits

Christians must develop the gift of discernment. The gift of discernment sees beyond earthly behavior and into the spirit realm.

Discernment defines the spirit that results in human behavior.

This gift of discernment divides the symptoms of people into the cause of why people act out. We could say that the gift of discernment separates the symptom from the cause.  The gift of discernment is big in deciding who is the real enemy.

As we learn that people are not our enemy, we learn where to aim our prayers and direct our passion. We do not pray against people. We are to pray against wickedness, evil, and corruption.

Yes, we are in a battle with principalities and powers in the heavenly realm. We must not forget that we are soldiers. Christians fight battles through prayer, fasting, worship, and the Word of God.

Are Christians soldiers or citizens? 

Christians have lost their identity. God is our general, calling us to engage in His spiritual battle. We are soldiers on a battleship, not civilians on a cruise.

“A cruise ship docks during wartime. Battleships sail during wartime.”

-Dr. David Ireland

Most believers have a cruise ship mentality. Many view God as their mascot on a cruise ship. God is no mascot for anybody. He is God, all by Himself.

The civilians on a cruise ship have a vacation mentality. A cruise is all about relaxation, serve me, provide for me, and feed me. This sounds exactly how some people view God — serve me, feed me, provide for me, and bless me.

The “me” mentality is not the way of a Christina soldier.

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. (II Timothy :3–4, NKJV)

The crew on a battleship knows their place and calling. Soldiers are there to fight, protect and serve their captains. We are soldiers of our captain, Jesus Christ. Being a soldier is no cakewalk. They are trained for hardship and ready to endure the battlefield.

Good soldiers are focused on the battle.

The life of a soldier is not about the soldier — their life is not their own.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20, NKJV)

Too many believers are caught up in a life of their own. Believers that are soldiers give their life and live their life for Christ.  Soldiers live for the army and not for themselves.

Pastors and leaders 

Believers do not have choices. Pastors and leaders are like military leaders. War demands courage, and leaders willingly step into battle. The true shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. These Pastors and leaders do not fear death. They do not fear COVID-19 or any disease. The decision to step into battle was made when we enlisted in the army. We gave our life away the day we signed up.

Military soldiers cannot and do not opt-out. Soldiers can make decisions in the battle but not about the battle. Soldiers go. Leaders on the front line do not have the privilege of reviewing the circumstances.

The fear of catching a deadly disease does not stop a soldier from running into the battle. Soldiers may be afraid to die, but death does not stop them from taking on the battle. The true pastor runs to ICU and prays for the sick. True pastors do not stand down; they stand up in the strength and courage of God.

Pastors that consider themselves warriors are battle-ready. They are ready to fight for the failing marriage, the lost child, and the wounded saint.

All Christians are soldiers 

Being battle-ready is not only for Pastors. All Christians are soldiers.

All believers are called to battle and commanded to armor up.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:10–18, NKJV)

God’s soldiers:

  • Put on the whole armor
  • Stand against evil
  • Do not fight against people
  • War against evil spirits
  • Pray always
  • Stay alert
  • Make supplication for other saints

So, take a look at the list above. Are you a soldier or a civilian?

You can’t be both.

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear from you.

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