2 Timothy 2.4 observes, soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.
We should see joining the Church more like joining the military. That’s how the Muslims see it. I’m not advocating for Christianity to become more like Islam, our God is nothing like their god.
The Bible does record God expecting, dare I say requiring, His people to be absolutely surrendered to His will and committed to His cause.
Too often the Church invites people to love God for what God wants to do for them. The enticement for people to follow Jesus is a list of benefits Jesus desires to confer upon His followers. While there is some truth to this, even the military lists some benefits for those who join, the invitation is really to a cause or in the case of Christianity, a Person, greater than ourselves.
The military begins with boot camp. It is this initiation that seeks to dispel the thinking that life is about the individual soldier. Boot camp seeks to break the individualism of a person then rebuild that person into a teammate who will give his life for a greater cause. Christianity needs a boot camp.
Truly the Biblical teaching is that a person who comes to Jesus to be adopted into the family of God is making a commitment to become a family member, part of the body of Christ and committed to the cause of Christ which is the reconciliation of the world to Christ. Repentance is the turning from the self-seeking, self-fulfilling life to the God seeking, God pleasing life within the community of those doing the same.
The military feeds, clothes, and houses the soldier but the soldier obeys unequivocally where and what the commander orders them to do. So too in Christianity, God promises to provide food and clothing to everyone who seeks first His Kingdom and His righteousness.
A life given to Christ is a life surrendered to His will and His ways for His glory upon earth as it is in heaven. A Christian is a person who submits themselves to Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
We are most Christian when we see ourselves as having enlisted forever in the Lord’s army having the same attitude as the soldier who serves willingly and bravely in our own military.