“No soldier in active service ENTANGLES himself in the affairs of everyday life (“civilian pursuits”), so that he may please the One Who enlisted him as a soldier“(2Timothy 2:4)
What is the meaning of ENTANGLED? It means to be interwoven, wrapped or twisted together in such a manner as not to be easily extricated. An entangled man is difficult to be freed from what binds or hinders him.
This is a good illustration: In Brazil there grows a creeping plant which forest-dwellers call ‘the matador’ or ‘the murderer’. It attacks strong trees and kills them. Its slender stem creeps along the ground, but no sooner does it meet a vigorous tree, than it sends out an entangling tentacle, which cleaves and climbs up the tree, at intervals sending out arm-like branches that further entangle the tree. As the “murderer” ascends, these ligatures grow larger and their clasp becomes tighter, suffocating the tree. Up and up the rogue vine climbs until the top of the tree is conquered. Then, as if in triumph, the parasite shoots a huge, flowery head above the strangled tree. From the dead tree’s crown, it scatters its seed to the ground, to begin its deadly work again.
In a similar way the everyday affairs of this world can subtly entangle the soldiers of Christ. The love of the world neutralizes their effectiveness in the ongoing spiritual war with the flesh and the devil. The active warfare mind becomes dull, in a false comfort of a fake peace. The backsliding Christians become weak and confused as their falling begins. They are not aware of it until too late. King David, fell to adultery and murder when he stayed behind at the time kings go to war. The lust of his eyes entangled him until he sinned against God and men. Another tragic example is Samson who became entangled by his lust for Delilah. Both these great men paid dearly for their sins.
Many of God’s children have suffered a spiritual stroke. They are entangled, anxious, surrounded by imaginary troubles. They fight battles they should not fight. They ignore battles they should go and fight. It is a sad story of failure in the midst of plenty.
What is the solution? The only solution is to desire to please Jesus Christ, your Lord and Commander. He called you to Himself and He enlisted you as a soldier in His army. He did not call you to play around. He did not call you to enjoy sin! He called you to do His work. You need to endure hardship as a form of discipline. Do not make friends with the ‘civilians’, with the religious unbelievers. The battle field is not Disneyland. You need to study, know and obey His Word. You need to pray for the strength to stay faithful! This is the sure promise of the Holy Spirit: if you stay close to your Savior, no devil, no creepy murderer shall be able to surround you, to kill you. No poisonous arrow shall puncture your heart! There is safety in obedience! There is hope in humility and wisdom! Be faithful to Jesus Christ! This is a warning of love!