Flak Vest Devotion #21 — Why Did You Enlist?

For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. Matthew 8:9

When a military recruiter begins a relationship in an attempt to draw someone into the military, he looks for common ground with his new prospect. They want to determine if the applicant’s interests lie in education, fringe benefits, camaraderie, etc. Once that is determined, a good recruiter will be able to tailor his presentation to those things that appeal to the individual. They will ask questions related to hobbies, passions, subjects excelled at in high school and family members. The recruiter is highly trained to be reactionary to the answers they receive and respond in ways that will help to sell the idea of the applicant entering military service.

Once a person draws close to the end of their enlistment, it is important for them to remember why they entered military service in the first place. As they rehearse in their own mind what motivated their decision in the first place, it helps them determine whether they will continue in military service. Many times the very thing that recruited the young person into the military has gone greatly unused. Educational benefits that rival a valedictorian’s educational scholarships are one of the best arrows in the quiver for a recruiter. But, sadly many serve entire enlistments and never use the educational benefit.

The United States military offers unparalleled opportunities for serving this country. Some people enter the military coming from middle and upper class families. Many come from financially disadvantaged families and the military is definitely seen as a way to escape of poverty. There are others who grew up in abusive households and see the military as the way to escape the hold that an abuser may have had on their life. As a result, some see their service as being “saved” from a certain lifestyle.

Likewise, when we begin to have thoughts of “throwing in the towel” because of adversity in our Christian life it’s important to rehearse why we are in the Lord’s service. It’s vital that we remember what it is that God saved us from. Whether it was a life of outright blatant sin or a tamer testimony, in every case becoming a Christian introduced a level of joy and peace not previously known. Our adversary will try very diligently to stray a believer away from that peace and joy. However, if a believer rehearses what God has done in their life they will find a strength and stamina to stand against such negative thinking. By remembering why we are in God’s Army it helps us to withstand adversity.

Father, help me to remember I am a lifer in your Army. There is no room for going on leave being absent without leave. Help me to be a good soldier in your heavenly formation. Teach me to be vigilant every single moment of every single day making the most of every opportunity you give me.