Analogy Of The Military

I remember (almost like it was yesterday) the day I entered the United States Air Force. I had enlisted under the delayed-enlistment program 3 months earlier. For 3 months I anticipated entering the entirely different life-style of the military. I could only imagine what lay ahead for my family and me during the following 6 years. And looking back from my current vantage point, I can truthfully say most of it was extremely good.

It was a cold, dark December morning in Jacksonville, FL when my wife Connie dropped me off at the enlistment station. Today was the day! It would be about 2 months until I would see her or the children again. (That was the hardest part). After enduring hours of more physical exams and signing papers we were off for Lackland Air Force Base, TX for basic training.

I could write volumes on my experiences during basic training, all of which laid the foundation for me to be an effective airman. But for time’s sake I won’t. For analogy’s sake I will move forward.

After basic training I was transferred to Keysler Air Force Base, MS for my training in electronics. There I spent a period of time learning the basics of electronics. After completing such a course, we moved into specialized training; training on specific radio electronic equipment the Air Force employed at the time. The type of equipment I studied and trained on partially determined where I would be sent for my first permanent assignment. In my case I was sent to Neu Ulm, Germany. Let me say that Germany was a wonderful place and presented some of the greatest experiences for my family and me. We have nothing but great memories of Germany.

I was pondering all the above recently and some questions occurred to me. What if I had signed up for the USAF and immediately sent to my first assignment…without any training or equipping? What if after raising my right hand, swearing in, and signing on the dotted line I had been put in a combat situation, or some other position crucial to our national security? Instead, the USAF invested a lot of time and money in me alone. This was to insure that when I arrived at my first permanent station I was prepared to begin to learn more!

The Apostle Paul said, “Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense?...” I really understand this portion of Scripture! It means the military puts forth the time, money, training, and equipping. It cost me nothing…but my entire life! For six years the Air Force owned me…24 X 7! For you followers of Jesus does that sound a bit familiar?

Jesus has paid the price. He’s covered the cost. And not only that, He provides the equipping. Our part is to give Him our entire selves! When a person becomes born again of God’s Spirit, He lives in them. The Holy Spirit within them becomes the teacher/trainer. And subsequent to being saved, when one receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit He empowers and equips them. God never intends for a person to become saved and launched out without any training, empowering, and equipping. He provides it all! What do we provide? Ourselves…all of us!

Many times over the past couple of decades (or so) God has used my military experiences as analogies to illustrate His thoughts to me and through me. All throughout the Bible, God demonstrates his thoughts and His plans through the military. Take a clue from the military. God wants you…all of you. But His part is to enlist you, train you, equip you, and empower you! The result is that you will become an effective soldier (airman) in God's kingdom.

Does God Still Bless America?

It's Memorial Day 2014, a day on which many are off from work. It's a day to barbecue and hang out with friends and family. Many folks in South Mississippi are hitting the swimming pools. Memorial Day is the "unofficial" kick-off of the Summer season. It's is a great time of the year. The cold weather is gone, the school year is ending, and summer is almost here!

Memorial Day is technically a day to remember all those who have fallen in service to our country. All over the social networks are pictures of those who have served and given the ultimate gift of their lives for our country.

It truly blesses my heart to see the posts of thanks and gratitude for the sacrifice made by so many for our freedom. Let me add my contribution. Thanks to Jesus for those who were willing to give ALL for our freedom. And thanks to the many who have served or are now serving in the U.S. Military. As the song says, "All gave some, and some gave ALL." A special thanks is in order for the families of those who have served and are serving. Thanks, from the bottom of my heart! May God abundantly bless you!

You must understand that The United States of America is no better (in and of herself) than any other nation on the face of our planet. America's success as a nation is not because of her superior Army, Air Force, or Navy. When it all started she had none of the preceding. But what she had, no other nation had. America had a love and hunger for the God who created the universe. And her founding fathers had a desire to share this Gospel with the rest of the world. In addition our forefathers desired to worship God freely, without interference from the government. She was birthed and blessed (by God) because of this. Those nations which depended soley on their military might eventually slipped into obscurity.

I grow more concerned with each passing day that America is steadily drifting toward that obscurity mentioned above. Our nation is becoming less and less significant in impacting our world, as our leaders (and followers) drift farther and farther from God. Say what you will. Believe what you will. But The United States of America's mission is one of sharing the light of Jesus to the world. Through the years we have focused less on ourselves (as a nation) and more on others much less fortunate. This has caused America to be blessed! When an individual moves away from God...they move away also from His provision, protection, and blessing. It is the same with a nation. Moving away from God also equals less divine interference in crucial situations like in times of war.

Now with that said, I have some encouraging news. America's roots are not quite like any other nation. Remember, our nation was born out of a desire to serve God, and to worship Him freely. Our founding fathers were willing to give their lives for this freedom. What our nation is built upon is what made us different from the beginning. What am I saying? I'm saying that if America returns to her roots, she will return to her former status of making a positive impact on the world. America must return to God!

It starts with the church in America praying for a revival in our nation. Understand, it's not about the United States of America. It is about Jesus. Instead of "God Bless America", we must make it "America Bless God Again!" When we once again make it about Jesus, God will bless our nation. As we exist to help the less fortunate and the oppressed God will bless! And with each opportunity to help the less fortunate and the oppressed we must share the Gospel of Jesus! When we pay the price of revival prayer, God will move. But if not, there will come a time in which it will be too late. It's not too late at this point. Pray! Pray fervently! Pray continuously! Will you join me?

The Restoration

Restoration. The word applies to cars, houses, boats, old furniture, appliances, and even people. 

Restoration: the act of restoring; renewal, revival, or reestablishment. What does it mean to restore? It means to bring back into existence, use, or the like; to reestablish: to restore order. When something or someone is restored, it means their significance has been reestablished. Please understand this truth.

Nothing can be restored unless the one who restores sees its significance. Some folks can find an old car, hidden amongst the rubble of a junk yard. Somehow they see it's significance. Not many see what they see. But what they see is the significance and value of the old car...restored. Many an old "heap" has been turned into a valuable, expensive, useful, and of course beautiful car. The reality of its significance was reestablished through the miracle of restoration. It is a transformation worthy of the process because of its significance.

What about you and me? What about all of mankind for that matter? We were lost in sin and destined to eternal death because of the fall of man. We were without hope in the midst of a lost and dying world. It seems we had no significance. We certainly had no impact because we were lost. But the One who created us never lost sight of our significance. To Him our value never lessened, even though we were lost in sin and separated from Him.

Because He loves you and me (and all the world) so dearly, He brought restoration and reestablished our significance. The price of our restoration was infinitely expensive (if I may put it that way). The price was "He who knew no sin", Jesus. You probably know the story of the cross of Jesus, and how Jesus took upon Himself our sins. Please also understand that you are worth the restoration process. You are worthy of the transformation. The Bible calls it "redemption". It doesn't matter where you are now or where you've been. You are worthy of it. Why? Because God created you. Nothing God creates is insignificant. Everything God creates has extreme significance and value.

Surrender your heart to Jesus, God's Son. Only through Him do we come to the Father. Only through Him do we come back to the Father. One of the greatest illustrations of our significance is told by the story of the Prodigal Son in the book of Luke. (Luke 15:11 - 32) Please read this and know you are extremely significant to God.

He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. (Psalm 23:3)

The Call Beyond

Over the years of my life I've heard phrases like "he/she has a calling upon them." This means, of course, God has called them to do something specific like preaching, teaching, missions, etc. There are specific calls on specific people to do specific things. I also believe everyone has a similar call who are followers of Jesus Christ. We ALL have a calling to go beyond. Beyond what? Beyond the present. Beyond our current position. Beyond our current status.

The "call" on your life is not a landing place. It is not a final destination. It is a journey. God intends to keep you moving forward. The call on your life is to take you beyond your present point. For many of us, our present point can be quite comfortable. But the call of God on us is designed to bring us out of the comfort zone, to the place in which we must rely totally on Him. Without the call, you won't fulfill your destiny. Your destiny can be fulfilled only by moving forward. And again, the call is to keep you moving forward.

There is a greater place for you than your present position. There is a much better status for you than your current status. There is a place beyond where you are...and God is calling you there. That's the nature of the call. We can be content with where we are, while at the same time knowing there is more for us. God has more for you than what you are experiencing...and He is calling you there.

Age does not affect the call. It is never too late. God can do in a very short time what normally would take many years by human effort alone. Whom God calls He also enables. When God enables, heaven is involved and anything can happen! Lack of finances does not affect the call of God on your life. When God calls, He provides, if we simply obey Him.

There is a call on your life my friend. I think you understand what I mean. Perhaps you feel you've missed the call. Perhaps you feel you've waited too long. Are you still breathing? Then heed the call. Seek the face of Jesus. Expect Him to take you higher and further than your present position. The enemy's ploy is to get you to believe you're no longer needed by God. Excuse me but.....poppycock!!

The Holy Spirit spoke these words by the Apostle Paul in Romans 11:29, "...for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." He is speaking of the nation of Israel, and God's call upon the nation to be a light to the world. God's plan for Israel will come to pass in the last days. Why? Because Israel has a call to go beyond where they are at the present time.

God has something extraordinary for you to do and it hasn't happened yet. But it will happen! His plans are to take you beyond the status quo into incredible exploits for Him. It is the call on your life. Those whom God calls...He mighty ways. Get ready!!