Read Deuteronomy 20:1-9

This passage powerfully illustrates God’s instructions for Israel when they went to war and provides great insights for what Paul called “fighting the good fight” or living as a true Christian.

Like many of the great battle scenes in movies, the army was given a rousing speech by their leader. But unlike those Hollywood speeches, these words almost seem de-motivational. Can you imagine standing in your place, already outnumbered, as those with thoughts of new homes, new businesses, new relationships or any fear are allowed to shuffle past you and leave the battlefield? 

At first, this might be very discouraging indeed! But as the remaining force tightens up something amazing dawns on you: The warrior for God’s kingdom on your right, and the warrior for God’s kingdom on your left, are fully committed to fighting for God at your side. Can you imagine the war cry!?! That’s not just a description of ancient Israelite battle strategy, it’s a description of God’s church full of true disciples! 

Answer these questions in your Field Guide:

  • What temptations might cause you to lose focus on fighting the good fight of faith?

  • When you look to your right and left, who do you see? Who is committed to fighting by your side? How will you commit to being a great member of the body of Christ?

A word of caution! Avoid fatalism and perfectionism. Having high expectations is not the same as being perfect. You are never going to be perfect – that’s kind of the whole point of the gospel! You’re making a commitment to be disciple/learner/student of Christ. If we were perfect we wouldn’t have anything to learn. Counting the cost is not deciding to be perfect, it’s deciding to follow the only person who ever was! Sometimes people throw in the towel because they figure they aren’t perfect enough to follow Jesus (That’s fatalism and it’s spiritually fatal!). But really this is just a big excuse to not commit. Don’t confuse commitment and perfection. You got this! God believes in you more than you’ll ever believe in him!