Christian Truth & Special Forces Training
I'm not a professional writer by any means, just a guy trying to live a Christian life the best he can and sharing the journey as well as the things God in Christ lays upon my heart along the way. Please allow me to say at the outset of this writing that I'm in no manner way shape or form any better or smarter than anyone else, the opinions written here are merely mine and I feel pretty strongly about them, so much so that I've staked my life on them. I truly believe that were all created equally in the eyes of the Lord, I believe that every part of the body of Christ is important and relevant to the whole, but that some of us are called to different areas, but that doesn't make one area more important than another.
Biblically we are told that Christ died for us and I believe that to be true. Sadly, it often takes some misfortune in our lives to draw us to Gods forgiveness and Christs redemption, or like in my case several misfortunes along with having tried about everything else and doing it all my way for many years. The unfortunate thing thats taken over these days in many Christians lives is not getting past that point, they'll come to Christ, be forgiven, rebuilt and restored and then become reliant on the hand of God to cater to and pamper them. Christianity isn't a "works based" religion as many are, but we are called to serve. The "me" gospel combined with the remnants of the prosperity gospel still residing in many Churches have created a bit of a monster if you will of a self-serving religion thats all about the individual and then it went a step further with altering the true standing Word of God to "accomodate" many things that the Bible is clearly against.
What this ultimately created was, well, a lot of confusion for one thing, but it was good for numbers and filling pew seats. Many of the Pastors and leaders that Preach this "warm-fuzzy feel good" stuff grew their Churches like crazy, you'd think that'd be a good thing, all those people in Church - but if their there because of a false doctrine then what good is it really? Sadly many of them don't even realize how far off it is because they've likely never cracked the Bible open on their own and wouldn't know the Truth from fiction if their life depended on it - and it does! We will answer for our actions come judgement day before God and He'll not accept "I didn't know - so & so said..." as an answer. I'm always hearing how, things and times are different now, it's not the same and while that may be true, God, the creator of the Heavens and the earth, along with His Word as written in the Holy Bible are UNchanging, He doesn't "adapt" to the times, also, things really & truly aren't that much different, other than technology it's all about the same, humans aren't that changing and history often repeats itself. Adam & Eve erred in pretty much the same disobedient, excuse making way that we do.
It's "unpopular" not to be "cool", open and accepting and we all know how much everybody wants to be liked and accepted, but when you live your life for the worlds acceptance you do so at the sacrifice of Gods acknowledgement of you. This has all been pretty much covered in previous writings so I'll not go into a lot of that. Where I want to cover is once we've accepted and worked into Gods Army and some of the pitfalls we face there due to the same falacies that hamper many people on the outset. All the talk of being "blessed" by God usually revolves around the attainment of "stuff" or money, you don't often hear people talk of Gods blessings of strife and struggle, even though thats the type of stuff that really grows you in Him and strengthens an individual or family.
Gods will is defined in so many ways these days and I often hear people saying things along the lines of God wouldn't expect, ask or require that of someone. Many times these staements are taken as true and yet have NO Biblical backing. One example is a man feeling called to go be a missionary along with some other guys for maybe a year, leaving his family behind. Many would scoff at this notion, yet it was the case of many of the disciples. Also, it's something we expect of our military personael pretty regularly, which I admire by the way, yet even people who think it's fine for our country often don't think it's acceptable for God. I've heard so many statements that put family first and yes family is very important, but God should always be first - He will make the way, we need only to be obedient to Him. I've heard many a tale of people getting eveything in order for an extreme situation, and then God releasing them from it, He merely wanted to test the obedience, kind of like Abraham & Isaac at the alter.
Now, many people do put God first, in a way, they will start their day with Him, either in Prayer, Devotion or Bible reading and while thats great, it's only the begining, that may make Him "first call" of the day but if He's negated or relegated to the bottom after that what good did it do? God in Christ first in all things will require sacrifice, but it'll be nothing compared to the sacrifice Jesus made on the Cross for us. I want to reiterate something here that I've said in the previous posts, no one inparticular comes to mind when I write these, there isn't someone I'm picking on, I just write whats on my heart. Often, if a statement seems personal, it's likely very personal (meaning me) that I've thought of. I say all of that so that if someone gets impacted with these next staements please know that I'm not talking about you, well at least not my intent, if I am it's your own persoanl conviction telling you that. The putting God first has become such a challenge as we do have more options to distract us these days, although none of them of any true meaning. Television, music, movies & sports consume many people, Christians included, and often to extremes, there was a time when NASCAR had way to much of my attention and fondness.
I believe this, (in one sport or another), to be a huge problem, maybe I see it here in Daytona Fl more than I would other places, but being near the speedway, being close to 2 or 3 towns with REALLY popular sports teams (Gators & Noles), having a major league BaseBall team in Fl and THREE NFL teams. Man the fans and all the souviners and memorabilia that gets on display down here at times and the priority it takes over Christ can often be evidenced in ones life. It doesn't have to be pro sports though, I've seen families that get so tied up in a childs sport that it has to have an impact on the families spirit life, especially when it's a good team and will have tournaments on weekends and out of town often. Yes our families are important, and I know that sports have been shown to be way better than drug and alchol use among kids, but so has Church involvement and once again, were called to put Christ first in ALL things.
I've always been very Prayerful over the books I read, I'll even Pray before I go shopping for a book and seek to be led to something that will help grow me in Gods Word and Will, not only has this proven effective (along with research and recommendations) but I've even been blessed to read a few books in the right order - giving them more of an impact than if they'd been read in a different order. I say this to say that although I usually read Christian books I do have a few other interests and recently had been loaned what I was told to be a very good and interesting book, which it was. In the long run the writer was a believer, but the book wasn't written from that perspective, although it was briefly referenced. The book was "Lone Survivor" by Marcus Luttrell, great book written by the only survivor of a failed NAVY SEALS mission in 2005. The book opens describing what it takes to be a SEAL, folks, I couldn't have made it much past day one on the best day of my youth, and thats the truth, these guys are TOUGH! They are strong not just physically but mentally as well, after finishing the book and returning it and going on to read 3 Christian books, this book stuck in my head and then it hit me in the last day or two, Gods ARMY has "Special Forces" squads like the US Military does. Often uniquely or specially trained men, women or groups, designed to "fight" a specific arena of Spiritual Warfare.
Now, don't misunderstand, I'm not saying that the people that would be called into God's "Special Forces" are any more or less special than any other Christian in Gods family, He's created us all equally, it's just a different battlefield for Christ, as I said earlier, were all in this and every position is important! I've known people who became disabled or frail in their elder years and thought they'd "lost it" but came to find that although their bodies might not go as well, their minds and Prayer powers are very well strengthened by that time and they become the very important "Prayer Warriors". The "Special Forces" I'm talking about, like our military, would have different areas, each trained for their field of expertise. How do I mean, well some may be Pastors or Evangelists, some may work with drug and alchol addicts others may work with gang members or "faux" religions like cults and stuff.
I'm a part of a small group on FB that randomly formed and now looking back we can see why God brought us 7 together. It's a unique and diverse group, everyone of us are "going through it" in one way or another, each ones "issues" different, but each ones intense too! We've been an unbelieveable support netwrk to one another, I know there was a time a couple of weeks ago where the Prayers of that group were central to "pulling me through".
All of us stand for the Truth, not the watered down "purpose", we each have a unique calling or burden to serve, I believe all of them in extreme circumstances and, as I said, we've all been going through it! It hit me how much the perils this little group faces mimic in some ways the training the Special Forces went through, please DO NOT misunderstand - we are not going through the physical push they do, I don't think any of us could do it! We have a couple of people that I'm about in awe of though for what they are enduring as far as physical pain and they keep pushing on, trusting God to deliver them, this is a group of intense Faith, each dealing with almost Job - like "trial by fire". And each is suffering through their ordeal, leaning on the true and living God and claiming strength and victory in His glorious name.
I'm sure there are many more out there who are dealing with much as well, please understand, I'm not elevating this group above anyone else by any means. I write what I know, I don't write fiction, so this is my reference point. So, the point of the book Lone Survivor in all of this was (for me) I understand the intense and seemingly unrelenting training that God is allowing in our lives right now, to get us strengthened and ready for what lies ahead, or break us and drop us out now so we don't fail when it's needed, but I don't see anyone "dropping out" because the Truth is in all their hearts and the desire to serve God at all costs as well. I believe everyone of these people is willing to lose it all for God and remain faithful to Him and His Word, to stand for and adhere to the Truth through test after test and Trust God for the outcome.
In closing, I'd like to summarize, it is about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but it isn't "all about you" and your every want & need. It is about the Truth, the WHOLE Truth and standing for the Truth. It is about putting God in Christ fully and wholly first above and before EVERYTHING else, and oddly, everything else will start to come together. If you are going through more than you thnk you can bear and everything is falling down around you, even the flowers you planted for relaxation then please know this, God must be working something really good up for you, because satan is trying awfully hard to tear it and you down, oh and welcome to the "Special Forces" of Gods ARMY. Lastly, don't trust others with your life and eternity, do the research, read, study and Pray over the Word(s) in your Bible, that doesnt mean don't go to Church or fellowship with other believers, it just means you need to be in the Word and Prayer as an individual too. As always, God isn't spelled ATM, that doesn't mean that He doesn't bless us, even financially at times, but thats not His whole purpose. God bless you all, I hope and Pray that each of you were able to derive something from this rather lengthy piece.