Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Don't Be A Deserter

Acts 15:37-38

Barnabas wanted to take John also called Mar, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him because he had deserted them in Pamphilia and had not continued with them in the work.

In Military terminology, desertion is the abandonment of a duty or post without permission and is done with the intention of not returning. Absence without Leave AWOL can refer to either desertion or a temporary absence. Such people are dropped from their unit rolls after 30 days and then listed as deserters.

Paul used the analogy of being in the army as an example of being a follower of Jesus Christ in 2 Timothy 2:3-4

New International Version (NIV)

3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.

As a follower of Jesus we cannot desert our duty. It’s been said that if a new Christian doesn’t get involved in a small group or ministry in 30 days they go AWOL. There is something to being actively involved with serving in a local church that can help you from going AWOL or becoming a deserter. Once we start serving we must make sure that we remain faithful and not desert our duties just because the job is dangerous or difficult. When our marriages get difficult we can desert our spouse too entangled in another affair. When it gets hard on the job we can’t quit just because we have a bad day. The more you quit the harder it gets to finish anything in your life.

Paul had experience in difficult missions but he was faithful through all his difficulties. (2 Corinthians 11:23-29) However, he had a companion that deserted him on the mission field named John Mark. Barnabas wanted to take him with them but Paul said, “No! If he deserted us before he will do it again.”

You don’t want to be labeled as a deserter because it takes people’s trust away. In order to be a good soldier you need to:

1. Endure hardships as a good soldier. There is a reason why boot camp is difficult. It tries to prepare the soldier for the extremities of war. Before you are ready to put on a uniform you have to go through boot camp. Before you get married make sure you go through the boot camp of dating, put your relationship to the test to make sure they pass the examination so that when life gets hard you know you didn’t marry a deserter.

2. Finish your assignment before you move on somewhere else. You can’t leave until you have finished your assignment. Never leave a job unfinished.

3. Ask for permission to be reassigned. Even though you feel like your time is up make sure God and your leader agree with you that it’s time for you to move on.

4. Stop church hopping and bed hopping. Be committed to the place and person you have been called to.

5. Don’t get involved or entangled with worldly affairs. When you are a soldier you have to be focused on your mission and you can’t act like a civilian who doesn’t have any assignment. Your mission is too important to lose focus.

Dear God,

Help me to finish what I start today. There is something you’ve entrusted for me to carry out and I cannot afford to be distracted. No matter how difficult it gets I am determined to walk with Jesus until the day is done. You can count on me, Father, to finish what you started in me. Thank you for giving me another chance to join you even though I went AWOL for a season. I’m back and this time I will not desert you.

In Jesus Name,


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