Civilian Affairs

“No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.”  (II Tim 2:4)

What a crazy day this has been already!  I had two phone calls at 7:00, one having to do with a job opportunity, and one having to do with ministry events that are coming up.  Ken and I were talking as we ran this morning about the need for all of us to not get entangled in civilian affairs, to really put our ministry first.  Then I get a call that could lead to me working full time and being more occupied and distracted!

On top of that I just received two texts from people I spent time with yesterday who told me about positive things happening as a result of our time together. (With God working, of course.)  It is good for me to have more time for people.  How do I have wisdom about entering the work force again?

Today I read Francis Chan’s introduction to “Follow Me” by David Platt.  He also discussed civilian affairs. He said, “We busy ourselves with ‘civilian pursuits’ and occasionally jump into the battle when we fell compelled…. Jesus wanted followers from every nation on earth…He expects us to structure our lives so that our actions revolve around completing this mission…. We need to figure out how to make each day count for his purposes.”  Chan talked about the spiritual crisis he had in his life as he began to admit to himself that his lifestyle did not resemble the life of Jesus or the church he read about in Acts.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8)

Chan said, “While every Christian wants to experience the power of the Holy Spirit, we often forget that the Spirit’s power is given for the purpose of being his witnesses.  Experiencing God, which is the longing of every true believer, happens when we are being his witnesses and making disciples.”

Finally, Chan quoted II Timothy 4:6-8, “The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me.”   “Could there be anything better than approaching his throne, knowing that you finished what he asked of you?”  Chan asked.

Ken and I have been doing some serious talking and planning for retirement, for the last years of our life.  Yet we want to be able to not just prepare financially for these last days, but to feel like we have prepared every day for our spiritual retirement in heaven.  I could spend every day working so we would have enough money later in life, but would I accomplish what is most important?

But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast.” (Luke 5:35)

It is a good thing to have a relationship with Jesus.  But there are many who don’t, and for them, even through they do not realize it, these are dark days of fasting and mourning.  They are desperately in need, and they don’t know where to find help.  “We all growl like bears; we moan mournfully like doves. We look for justice, but find none; for deliverance, but it is far away.”  (Isa 59:11)

“The end has come. It has finally arrived.  Your final doom is waiting!”  (Ezekiel 7:6)

The Spirit said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who are planning evil and giving wicked counsel in this city.….Therefore, prophesy against them loudly and clearly.”  (Eze 11:2)

The end is coming for all of us, and there is so much work to be done, so many people who need to know the truth, so many who need maturing, love and encouragement.  It is good, fulfilling work.  It is work I will never look back and regret.

Civilian affairs beckon to me.  I am tempted to slow down a bit, enjoy life a bit, be practical, not be as radical.  I don’t have the wisdom for this, but I want to keep my love for God as strong as fire, and my passion for the calling the most fervent thing in my life.

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Heb. 6:10)

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