I was fascinated by the instructions Moses gave in Deuteronomy 20:1-9 to prepare an army for going to war. Let’s do a “4 S” study of this.
First, spread the information on the subject before you. For example: war is not for the faint hearted. War is for men who have faith that God will fight for them. War is not for men of divided interests or commitments. If someone has built a house and not dedicated it, they should stay home, lest they get killed and someone else will dedicate it and live in it. Likewise, for one who has planted a vineyard and not enjoyed its fruit, if he dies in battle someone else will enjoy it. If you’ve been pledged to a woman and not been married yet, stay home lest you die and someone else marries her. If you’re fainthearted, stay home – you’ll only cause others to become disheartened. Be ready to march and fight under authority.
Second, sort this information into groups, such as; faith in God, freedom from entanglements, and commitment to the cause.
When you’ve done this then structure these groups into an outline. The Title: Being ready for battle. The main points supporting this title would be: 1. Spiritual commitment, that is, devotion to God and dependence upon God. 2. Be un-entangled from material, social or romantic attachments. 3. Be Courageous and loyal in mind and heart.
Once you’ve structured the information into an outline, summarize what you’ve learned. I thought the guidelines Paul uses in 2nd Timothy 2:1-4 would be a good summary statement.