Written by Oluwatosin Fatade
A soldier does not encumber himself with civilian affairs, that he might please his commanding officer who has enlisted him.
Those who are at war have no time for frivolities or festivities. A soldier must be focused on his orders, strategy, opponent and territories yet to be conquered. If he does allow other issues to encroach his mind and attention, he might run into an ambush and suffer untoward loss if he is lucky to escape death.
Jesus declared explicitly to his followers that they were not of this world (John 15:19; 17:16). He also charged them to affect the world they are in by being salt and light to it (Matthew 5:13 -16). How do we affect the world we are in without being influenced by it, especially in the light of 2 Timothy 2:4? Where do we draw the line between being entangled with the world and seeking to affect it?
It is not just foolhardy to try to compartmentalise our existence into sectors of spiritual, mental, academic, financial, etc.; it is impossible. An attempt to succeed in such fragmentation usually ends up in a disaster.
It is always important to put all things into context and consider issues wholesomely. It is almost impossible to affect a system you are not a part of. It is clear from scripture, that God calls some to be certain things, not all.
Ephesians 4:11 KJV
And he gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.
But he has called all to be sons, priests, ministers of reconciliation; as many as receive him and believe on his name (2 Corinthians 5:18). Those he has specially ordained may have very little opportunity to be socially felt or seen directly, even as much as they are not prohibited from such.
Take Paul, for example, going by available records, it would seem all he had was a spiritual life from the time he became a believer. He went from mission to mission till the very end. But remember he made tents – that doesn’t sound like a crusade. There would have been other tentmakers, with whom he flowed and mingled, he most likely preached to them too anyway Acts 18:3; 1 Corinthians 4:12.
How about our Saviour Jesus? He was fully committed to his ministry in His adulthood. Before then, he was part of a family where he functioned as a child and prepared for ministry. In the course of His ministry, I would say He attended banquets at Zacchaeus’ and Lazarus’, or call it dinner Luke 19:5-7; John 12:1-2. Note that he did ministry at those social events. He paid tax (Matthew 17:25-27); observed Jewish festivals and did things we might tag charity were they done in our days – He fed 4,000 and 5,000 people; turned water into wine at a wedding Matthew 14:17, 21; 15:38; John 2:11; John 4:46.
Luke, one of Paul’s companions was a Physician Colossians 4:14; I don’t know if he had a private practice or worked for the government, or if he abandoned it altogether for ministry.
Joseph of Arimathaea followed Jesus, but certainly not like the other disciples, he wasn’t one of the 12 but was one of the disciples of Jesus Matthew 27:57.
The Ethiopian who Philip met at sea most probably did not go become a pastor after believing Acts 8.
Dorcas was a tailor or fashion designer, she even made clothes and garments for widows for free Acts 9:36-39.
In the Old Testament, Daniel was a top class politician, a man of God, whose relevance in governance spanned different dispensations and regimes. He didn’t compromise, but delivered service and justice to the people.
Joseph was prime minister in Egypt, he saved the world from what would have been a devastating plague of famine.
So, believer and soldier of Christ, if ye have been called or ordained as a minister over a flock or congregation, face it and do all God commands you. Be socially responsible, for that will be part of the wholesome package one way or the other. Wherever thou art as a believer who isn’t an ordained minister to preside over a congregation, be responsible and let your impact be felt strongly without forgetting that you are a minister of reconciliation and a priest of the most high God.
“The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes”. – Martin Luther.