2 Timothy 2:4- “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

Charles Spurgeon once penned concerning this particular passage, “Soldiers must be free from other business, and it is well for ministers not to encumber themselves with any other pursuit but give themselves wholly to their master’s work.”

In time of war the ranks of recruits are composed of citizens that come from all walks of life. There are doctors fighting next to ditch diggers, artists serving next athletes, and wealthy warring alongside of the wanting. Though an army enlists soldiers of different occupational and social backgrounds when the time comes to march to war, the tongue suppressors stay behind, the paint brushes are not brought, sports are placed on the shelf and there remains only soldiers. A good soldier knows his primary focus is the orders of his commanding officer regarding the fight at hand and all the other things no matter the place of importance they once held must fade into the secondary. Paul, paralleling Timothy to a soldier adjures him to act accordingly.

Following his campaign in the Pacific during World War 2, General Douglas MacArthur delivered a dynamic charge regarding the duty of a soldier. “It doesn’t matter how much you have, so long as you fight with what you have. It doesn’t matter where you fight, so long as you fight. Because where you fight, the enemy must fight too, and even though it splits your forces, it must split his force also. So, fight, on whatever the scale, whenever and wherever you can. There is only one way to win victories. Attack, attack, attack!” A soldier distracted by things differing from their duty would have a hard time living up to the General’s description of a successful soldier.

For the Timothys of today the temptations are many and multiplied that the world, the flesh, and the Devil provide to pull you away from the will of God. The word “entangleth” in our text verse means to be entwined or wrapped up in. Preachers frequently and frustratingly play the part of the proverbial fly captured in the web of a spider. Each week it’s not uncommon to hear news of a preacher who was at one time ringing the bell and raising the banner but who recently sheathed his sword and returned to the world. I’ve hear it said that most young men that go out to set the world on fire usually return home for more matches. There are many yearnings that the young preacher must deal with and defend against on a daily basis lest he become entangled and ineffective. Here are three common ones to consider.


Evangelist| Dr. Justin Cooper

Clays Mill Baptist Church

Lexington, KY