If you have spent time in any branch of the military, then you are prob- ably familiar with drill commands. These instructions for action are typically barked out by someone with DLIPS: Distinction, Loudness, Inflection, Projection, and Snap. Not only do soldiers mastering foot drills learn these commands, but marching bands are instructed by them as well. Drills are also called marching orders.
Do you recognize these commands? About face: Turn 180 degrees and face the opposite direction. At ease: You are permitted light movement so long as your right foot does not leave the ground; and you are not allowed to talk. Present arms: You are to execute a hand or rifle salute and hold it until given the command to order arms. Forward march: You begin marching from the left foot with a thirty-inch step (Army), or a twenty- four-inch step (Air Force), at 120 steps per minute.
The apostle Paul gave Timothy his marching orders. His charge to the young recruit was based in part on prophetic statements made about this soldier for Christ. They were given “that by them you may wage the good warfare.” The pastoral assignment in Ephesus had difficult challenges, and this was no time for Timothy to be at ease.
Are you wandering around, waiting to serve the Lord? Then you need to fall in! Are you ignoring Jesus’ call to faithfulness? Then you need to stand atattention! Are you walking against the ways of God? Then you need to turn about face! Are you fearful of what lies ahead? Then you need to forward march! Timothy wasn’t given commands by a soft and lazy armchair captain. Paul, at the end of his career in the Lord’s army, was able to write and say to this young man, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
O Lord, may every step I take today be ordered by Your commands. May every action I make be directed by Your Word.
For Further Study: 1 Timothy 1; Ephesians 6:10–20; 2 Cor. 10:3–5