My daughter is promised to the Army, so she is now called Future Soldier Wiseman. She heard the call to join the United States Army, and after weeks of discussions, has chosen to join. This means that she will have to go through Basic Combat Training and AIT Training for her specific job. Only then can she be placed where she is best utilized since she will have gained the strength and learned the skills to fulfill that calling.
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”
1 Timothy 4:8
Let’s consider that our christian walk on earth is much the same. We are called by the Lord, and some of us answer that call by joining His family. Then we experience the initial difficulties and challenges of being a part of His army. There is no way that we can immediately overcome those obstacles that come our way unless we first learn how to overcome them. As we go through each challenge, hopefully we become stronger and eventually wiser, making it easier to accept them and look past that obstacle toward the finish line. That is not to say that we will always get it right, even years into the training, but we are on our way, moving forward, and getting closer to the end. Our growth only happens because our Instructor is there right along side us, continually encouraging each of us to keep going.
I have been dwelling on this thought lately: our life as believers here on earth is our training ground for life in heaven.
For example: praying for other people. God doesn’t need us to do this since He already knows everything and everyone, our health status and financial needs, etc. BUT, He asks us to share with one another everything from money to time to compassion and by praying for one another. How does this help us? By allowing each of us to focus on others rather than ourselves. Isn’t that how Heaven is? All are focused on God, and not ourselves. It is serving Him alone by loving others as He loves us.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
Can we perfect our lives here? No. Can we learn and grow each and every time that we experience something hard or painful? Absolutely! Will this give us the strength and hope for not only the next chapter but for life eternal? I believe YES without a doubt. Not that our conquering these challenges gives us a leg up in heaven, but it does teach us how life with Jesus can be far greater when we submit to Him and trust that He has our back and will get us to that finish line. After our life of training here, we can expect the result is that the Lord places us in a heavenly post, and it will be tailor-made for each one of us.
Food for thought: What if we took the Soldier’s Creed and used it as a basic format for a Christian Creed? (Not to be confused with the Nicene Creed.) We would be God’s soldiers, who serve the people and live Godly values; our arms and equipment would be: the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, the shield of faith, helmet of salvation, belt of truth, and prayer, and we would stand ready to engage the enemies of God with uncommon holy love, to destroy the lies of our enemy (the evil one) and guard the Way of Life by cherishing His name. We would be Heavenly soldiers, and our leader would be Jesus himself.
Fun facts: Basic Training typically lasts for about 9 weeks. It is very rigorous and extremely intense. In spite of this, for the Army, Navy and Marines, only 11-14% of recruits drop out of boot camp. The Air Force’s rate is even less, coming in at 8% of recruits dropout.
Photo by: Kari Wiseman – Soldier’s Creed