What does being deployed mean? Let me first offer this disclaimer, I have never been in the military, and thus, I have never been deployed. However, I have known people who were deployed before. One person, in particular, was ‘my baby-daddy’, who now is my husband of many years. Being a member of the National Guard at the time and his unit being activated, he was deployed to fight in the Desert Storm/Desert Shield war in 1990. To be deployed is an order for a military unit or soldiers to leave their home station to go somewhere outside of the continental US and its territories for a period of time to be used when needed. Disobeying such an order results in very stiff penalties, one possibly being a dishonorable discharge. So, soldiers typically obey their deployment orders. For a period of time, they stop whatever they are doing, leave their homes and those they love behind, and go off, most often to face dangerous circumstances, even the possibility of death. Because of love of country, oaths, and severe penalties for refusal, soldiers submit to the order of deployment.
You might be asking what does being deployed have to do with anything. I believe it is an excellent illustration of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ, a disciple, a “kingdom disciple.” Christians have been deployed or, the word we use most often, commissioned to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Jesus’ call of deployment supersedes any order that a country or nation could give; for Jesus is the Lord of lords and King of kings (Revelation 17:14). But somehow, the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) has been deemed to be optional and thus disobeyed by some who confess to be saved Christians.
The Bible is clear. The Great Commission is an order. It is a command, not a request. It is a command to deploy. But we don’t all necessarily have to leave our physical homes. We do, however leave or live outside of our comfort zones and face unknown dangers and certain persecution as we go about our daily lives spreading and living the gospel. We may not have to leave loved ones behind physically. But we do leave them behind spiritually as we choose to place God first, His kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33), in our lives over every other relationship. How we carry out this order is not left to question. We are to baptize them so that the disciples may publicly demonstrate that they are committed followers of Jesus Christ, accepting Him as both Savior and Lord. And we are also to teach them to obey all that Jesus has commanded according to Scripture (John 1:1; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Under what authority do soldiers have the right to fight or operate? It is the authority of the United States government, which has trained, equipped, and supplied them with everything they need to carry out their specific orders. US soldiers, no matter the military branch, represent the United States and are backed by them as they fulfill their orders. So it is with Christians, who are disciples making disciples. We don’t fulfill this order or deployment of making disciples under our own authority, but it is under the authority of Jesus Christ, who has ALL authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). Jesus has equipped disciples with His authority and His power through the Holy Spirit to carry out this Great Commission (2 Peter 1:3; John 14:16-17; 2 Timothy 1:7).
Therefore, let us submit fully to this deployment out of our sincere love for Him (Mark 12:29-31). Once we accept Christ as our Savior (Romans 10:9-10), we have been activated to full-time duty to be deployed to all nations, any- and everywhere we go to impact the world and its systems through discipleship for His glory (John 15:8; Acts 1:8; 2 Peter 2:11-12). And as we do this, we are not alone, as He promises to be with us the entire time. We know that God loves us (John 3:16-17); let us love Him by doing all that He has taught and commanded us to do (John 14:15).
And one more thing, soldiers are known by their uniform. So, as obedient disciples, our uniform, if you will, should be noticeable, in word and deed, in decisions, in demeanor, in character, in service, …, in life, shining ever so brightly. The command to make disciples is not a secret mission. It is an everlasting, public record written in the Holy Bible for everyone to see.
Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
A recent study of 1 and 2 Peter in my small group, a current study of Kingdom Disciples by Dr. Tony Evans, recent sermons I have heard, and God’s love and direction.
Definition of deployment. https://armycourtmartialdefense.info/violating-a-military-order/