Lay Down Your Arms, Take Up His

Michael Beck

“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” (2 Timothy 2:4)

There is a battle to be fought, but it is not against flesh and blood. (Eph. 6:12) Paul lived at a time when Rome ruled the nations with an iron hand. No part of his ministry involved mobilizing the saints to stand up to the tyrants. In this day I hear believers repeating the words of Jefferson: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

Paul called believers to: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Gal. 5:1) The liberty Paul speaks of is not a freedom from the oppression of men, but the oppression of sin. He who the Son sets free is free indeed, regardless of who is in power. Jesus told Pilate he had no power over Him, except what was given to him of God.

We lack the peace of Christ because we trust in ourselves more than we trust in God. We move in the militancy of Peter, who sought to defend his Master against the evil powers that be. We rise up in fury, like Saul of Tarsus, against those we deem the enemy to the health and welfare of our community. Would to God we cared more for those things that move Him. Peter eventually armed himself with a different mind. (1 Pet. 4:1) Paul learned how to fight the good fight.

Yes, we are called to be soldiers, but not those who fight to save their lives in this world. Sometimes, we have to lay down our arms, before we can take up His.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.