The Marks of a Real Soldier

by Buddy Maynard
(Panama City, FL)

2 Tim. 2:3-5, 2 Sam. 10:9-14


"A Christian without affliction is only like a soldier on parade."
--Felix Neff

I Chronicles 12 David's mighty man
1. His Ability v. 8
2. His Armor v. 23-24
3. His Attitude v. 33

A chaplain was speaking to a soldier on a cot in a hospital. "You have lost an arm in the great cause," said the chaplain.
"No," said the soldier with a smile. "I didn't lose it--I gave it."
In that same way, Jesus did not lose His life. He gave it purposefully. "He died that we might be forgiven and go at last to heaven."

Code of the U.S. Fighting Force
1.I am an American fighting man. I serve in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
2.I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender my men while they still have the means to resist.
3.If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.
4.If I become prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.
5.When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.
6.I will never forget that I am an American fighting man, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and the United States of America.

Marks of a Soldier
The Spartans do not inquire how many the enemy are, but where they are. (Agis II, King of Sparta)

1.Devoted to Leadership - Loyalty and obedience, does not want to dishonor his commander or his unit, or his country.

Joke - The problem with some soldiers is that they do exactly what we tell them. It's like the general who issued an order to all the guards on base that no vehicle was to be allowed to enter or leave the premises without an official identification seal. One young soldier was on detail duty when the general's car parked along the gate. It didn't have an identification seal, so the youngster followed orders and refused to let it pass.

The general was very angry. He said, "Young man, I'm the highest ranking officer on this base. Let this vehicle pass."

The soldier did not budge.

The general said, "I'm the general who issued this order. Now let us drive on through."

The soldier said, "No, sir."

Finally the general said, "I'm in charge on this base, and I'm giving my driver an order to go right on through! Do you understand that? Do you have any questions?"

The kid said, "Just one, sir. Who do I shoot first, you or your driver?"

A story is told of a great captain who was talking with his officers about what had happened in that day's battle. He asked who had done the best.
Some spoke of one man who had fought very bravely and some of another.

"No," the captain said, "you are all mistaken. The best man in the field today was a soldier who was lifting up his arm to strike an enemy, but when he heard the trumpet sound a retreat, he dropped his arm without striking.
"That perfect and ready obedience to the will of his general is the noblest thing that has been done today."
--From Best Sermon Illustrations by J. G. Lawson

2.Dedication - the mission is priority

It is said that a soldier who enlisted in the American Civil War took along his kit of watchmaker's tools, and while they were in camp he did considerable business. But one day when the order came to strike tents and prepare for battle, he looked around his tent in dismay, and exclaimed: "Why, I can't possibly go, for I have twelve watches to repair, which I have promised by Saturday night." The man had forgotten what he had enlisted for. The soldiers of the King of kings sometimes seem to forget what they enlisted for.

3.Determination - Phil. 3:13-14 Will not quit attitude, too many are AWOL

When a soldier was leaving to fight for his country, a minister said to him, "I shall pray constantly that you may win." The soldier replied: "I don't see the necessity of your prayers. If God wants to give us victory, then He will do it without your prayers. And if it is our luck to lose, do you think your prayers could prevent this?"

The minister thought for a moment and said, "All right. Take off your helmet. Take off your uniform. Put your rifle away. Go and rest. It's not necessary for you to fight. Nor is it necessary for the other soldiers to fight. If God intends to defeat the enemy, He is going to do it anyway without your arms." The soldier got the point.

God helps those who fight, not those who do nothing. The sower plants the seed. That is our job, to sow the seed in human hearts. But we must also pray that God will give the increase which is salvation. Then what a joy to witness the result and to give all the glory to God!

4.Discipline - Self-denial - Heb. 11:32-40-Heb. 12:2-
WHEREFORE...let us lay aside every weight...

5.Dress - Eph. 6

A slovenly-dressed soldier appeared before his commander, Alexander the Great. The mighty leader asked the soldier for his name. The unimpressive soldier responded, "Alexander, sir." Alexander the Great commanded, "Change your name or change your ways." With the title of Christian comes a level of excellence that must be observed.

In spiritual warfare as in physical warfare, the effectiveness of any weapon is directly proportionate to the efficiency of the one operating it. For this reason, during a late, great war, the U.S. Army assigned a new recruit one rifle which he kept throughout his training.

It was called his "piece," and it became a part of him. The recruit handled the piece continually, disassembling and reassembling it. He cleaned it. He conducted basic maintenance. He carried it 12 hours a day. When crossing rivers or streams his head might have gotten wet, but his piece had to stay dry.

Six months later in the heat of battle, the soldier knew every inch of it--every mechanism. He understood things that could malfunction and how to remedy them. He could break it down and reassemble it in just seconds, blindfolded. Man and weapon had become a synchronized and deadly, efficient fighting machine.

The spiritual warrior's proficiency with his basic weapons should be no less remarkable. But quite sadly, if believers had to rely on their own Bible familiarity in life and death situations, the majority would helplessly perish.

At Scott Air Force base in Bellville, Illinois, there hangs this sign: "An Untrained Soldier Is Just a Target." Paul notes the same thought in Ephesians 6:10-18. Peter affirms this truth in 1 Peter 5:8. The adversary is looking for easy targets, and we become one every time we walk without our spiritual armor.

* Leadership, Aug. 1994, p. 18

6.Duty
Normandy---It is Well -the story of Philip P. Bliss and his death, the duty performed by real soldiers.

7.DEATH is accepted. Phil. 1:20-21

8.Desire to fight for something greater than you.
There were many Christian men in Wittemberg who said to Martin Luther, "You don't mean that you are going to hang those up on the church door?" Said Luther "They are true; they assail damning error; my Fatherland is bowing down to Antichrist."

"Pause," said the men who would stand well with everybody. "Is not this zeal without knowledge? Think how you will scandalize the University; how you will drive off men who would follow you in more discreet course." "Away!" said the Reformer. "The people are perishing in ignorance. The crowds of the common people who come into the city to market will read these words.

Yours is not discretion, but cowardice." He did the deed; and, as the result of that act, Wittemberg received the Ninety-Five Theses, Europe received the Protestant Reformation, and the night of the Middle Ages was ended.

Confederate Retreat Story by Major Robert Stiles from the book "To Appomattox" by Burke Davis, p. 169.

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