THIS IS WAR! How to Survive Military (Spiritual) Basic Training (Part 1)

Doing Today . . . GOD’S Way!
Weekly Bible Study Series by Cindy Lynne

THIS . . . Is What I Signed Up For!?

“We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world. Be Ready! . . .” (Eph. 6:12, 14)

Can you believe it? Civilian “Boot Camps” (Christian events) are springing up all over the place. Folks are paying hundreds of dollars for the privilege of having someone yell at them (sing to them) while they do push ups (raise hands,) sit-ups (clap,) and run an obstacle course (do service projects.) Not quite the same thing as real military boot camp, (training in the Lord’s army) however – at the end of a couple of hours (church, Bible study, concert or project), they get to go home and shower (rest or enjoy some entertainment.) By the time they are working on their first cup of carrot juice and granola bar (food and drink), the real military recruit (Christian in pursuit of the kingdom) is several hours into his/her day — with several more hours to go.

Currently, over 40 percent (percentage unknown) of those who enlist in the military do not make it through the first four years. A significant portion of these do not even make it through boot camp (First difficult trial.) For many, this is because of unrealistic expectations. The military (the spiritual army and workers on earth for the kingdom of God) and especially Boot Camp (trials and overcoming temptations), is not what they thought it would be. Sometimes recruiters (preachers, other Christian teachers and leaders) do too good a job of selling the military (the church and the Christian life) as just another occupation (something to help them get more stuff and an easier life.) Then, once the recruit wakes up at 0300 with a drill instructor (Satan and his minions) screaming in their face, they say to themselves “Whoa! Where’s the ‘Condos’ and the ‘gourmet food?’ Where’s the Gym (health) and the discount PX items (wealth) and the NCO Club (happiness)? Where’s the job (abundant life) I was told about?”

Regardless of what your recruiter (“converter” – pastor, preacher, teacher) told you, being a member of the United States Armed Forces (church) is not just like having a civilian job. You need to understand this right down to your toes before you sign that contract (commit and are baptized) and take that oath (make that confession of faith.) In the military (church,) there will ALWAYS be someone (God) telling you what to do, when to do it, and how to do it — and you’ve got to do it. Sometimes they’ll tell you to do something that you don’t want to do, or tell you in a way that makes you angry. Failing to do it is not an option (is an option.) The willful disobeying of a lawful order won’t just get you “fired,” as it would in a civilian occupation, it can get you sent to jail (hell.)

In the military (Lord’s church,) you will (you will choose whether to) work the hours you are told to work, work “overtime” with no additional pay, do the tasks you’re assigned to do (even if they don’t relate exactly to your “job”), live where you’re told to live, and deploy where and when you’re told to deploy. If you’re not absolutely willing to make these sacrifices, then do yourself and the government (God – “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” Rev. 3:16) a big favor and don’t join up. However, if you are willing to put the needs of your country (others) and your service ahead of your own, you’ll find several rewards in a military career (serving as an ambassador on the earth for the Lord,) or even a short term of service (every single thing you do out of obedience and for Him.)

T.I.’s and D.I.’s (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) . . . do not derive any pleasure in your pain and discomfort. In fact, most of them (God, in three persons) are pretty nice folks (love you more than you can comprehend). The training programs are scientifically (specifically) and psychologically (individually) designed to tear apart the “civilian” (flesh and its desires and corruption) and build from scratch a proud (humble), physically fit (spiritually fit), and dedicated (devoted) member (son or daughter) of the United States Armed Forces (eternal position, ruling in heaven with Jesus). Go into it with a little fore-knowledge, the right attitude, and a few tips (the Bible), and you’ll graduate (run the race) with no problems (help from the Holy Spirit). You’ll find that boot camp (refining as gold) simply gets just a little bit easier (the peace begins to pass understanding and your joy is no longer based on circumstances) each and every day. *
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Hurting is basic training. We are often frustrated, confused and in emotional pain as God breaks down and removes “self” in order to reshape us into someone who can follow commands, eventually; implicitly and immediately. A grunt is frustrated, confused and in physical pain as the military tears down his individuality in order to remake him into a person who can obey orders, in an effort to create a machine made to move in unison at a single command. We, the church must also learn to move in unity at the commands of God and to dedicate ourselves to that which is our reasonable service.

As a grunt’s discipline is learning to run, climb and jump past exhaustion when he can’t understand why he is still running . . . ours is to remain in continual praise and prayer when we can’t see the answer. Military discipline includes extreme exercise, cleaning past clean, marching in perfect unison. Spiritual discipline includes loving others more than ourselves. Giving up the pleasures of the flesh. Humility. We must learn how to use the weapons of battle. Military weapons are guns and planes and ships and bombs. Spiritual weapons are fasting, confession, praise, prayer and worship. As a soldier attacks with guns and grenades and chemicals; we are to march forward armed with love and the Holy Spirit and share the gospel. We both will sacrifice for others.

We both learn how to let go of automatic responses when abused and replace it with strength and solidarity. We both learn how to restructure our daily habits and routines. We both learn how to be we instead of me. It is for our own safety that we must learn to trust what we can’t see. We must learn how to communicate. We must learn to discern who the enemy is, where and how he lies in wait and what traps, manipulations and weapons he uses and respond accordingly. We must learn to counter attack. We must learn to withstand interrogation.

We both learn to wait until we are given orders from our respective commanders. We learn what happens in the short term if we disobey orders. We begin to learn what happens in the long run if we disobey orders. If we don’t learn in basic training what we need to know – others are placed in inordinate danger. They are injured. Many die. When we fail to learn and apply, our brothers and sisters are killed by friendly fire. Therefore, we must learn. It is extreme, not gentle. We are both called to battle . . . not lunch.

Boot Camp. Yes, that’s what it feels like. Military Boot Camp. Preparation for spiritual battle; the battle, which is in reality, the only battle that is taking place. Strengthening us to withstand the opposition. Preparing us for war with the enemy. Hard. Painful. Difficult. Often seeming impossible.

There are times when each of us, as many of us as have chosen this, have wondered if we made the right choice. Wondered if we could endure it. Wondered if we could remain faithful to the commitment we made . . . and then, suddenly . . . a light breaks forth and we SEE. We see the truth. We see some of the plan. We see the enemy for what he is, the enemy. Treacherous. Seeking to stalk us, mame us, destroy us. He is out to kill . . . not only us, but those we love. He preys on our children. And then we hear our Commander in Chief clearly say . . . You are ready. Prepare for deployment. We are going in.

If you’ve signed up – Prepare . . . for war!
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Eph. 6:12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. (Amplified Version)

Luke 8: 5-8 A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold . . .” (NKJ)

Matt 7:24-27 Anyone who hears and obeys these teachings of mine is like a wise person who built a house on solid rock. Rain poured down, rivers flooded, and winds beat against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on solid rock. Anyone who hears my teachings and doesn’t obey them is like a foolish person who built a house on sand. The rain poured down, the rivers flooded, and the winds blew and beat against that house. Finally, it fell with a crash. (NKJ)

I Peter 1: 6-9 [You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations, So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed. Without having seen Him, you love Him; though you do not [even] now see Him, you believe in Him and exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy.[At the same time] you receive the result (outcome, consummation) of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (Amplified Version)

Daniel 10:10-13 Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. (NKJ)

Daniel 10:20-21Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will come. But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. (No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince. (NKJ)

Eph 4:13 This will continue until we are united by our faith and by our understanding of the Son of God. (Contemporary English Version)

Romans 12:1-2I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. (Amplified Version)
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Prayer:
Holy God, You are mighty. You are powerful. You are the only one worthy of the complete trust we must have to serve in this spiritual battle. Jesus, you are not only the Lamb of God . . . You are the LION of Judah! – Oh, how I seek your refuge. You alone are Holy. You alone see all for you are the alpha and the omega and, the beginning and the end. You alone can orchestrate a winning battle plan and implement it perfectly. You have already won the victory for me and for the world. Make me strong to do battle, Lord for your kingdom. Create such strength in me that the enemy can not prevail. Let me not loose a skirmish. Blessed King of Kings – I am your ambassador, your warrior, your knight . . . I will serve wherever you call me to serve. Make my station clear. Here I am, Lord . . . Send Me. Remove any weakness in my heart or mind. Change me into the person I need to be to be mighty in this fight. Lead me to souls who are wounded and injured and dying in this war. Develop my talents, train me up right and deploy me as soon as I am ready . . . But Lord, as I know you will . . . go with me. Go with me into battle. Don’t leave me unprotected or send me unprepared. Open my eyes to see your help and your power as I strive to obtain consistency in the face of fear. Remove my fear and make me bold. Lord, protect me and my loved ones _________(List them by name.) from all the plans of hell and from injury as Satan rages and wages war against us all. Blessed be your name. May you reign forever and ever, as you do and will . . . reign, my Lord, for eternity and thank you for allowing me to reign with you through the end of the ages, in total and complete victory over Satan and over all evil. In the name of the mighty victor – Jesus Christ – I pray . . . So Be It. Amen.
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Practical Application
1. What are you hoping to gain by “signing on”?
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2. Clearly state your commitment level to the service you have been called to: _______________________________________________________
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3. How much pain and what kind are you willing to endure to be refined as gold?
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References: 1.How to Survive Military Basic Training, By Rod Powers, About.com (Full article available – this version shortened and added to per my commentary – in parenthesis.) 2. Holy Bible

**Contact me at cindylynne.wordpress.com or be my friend on Facebook!

***Book Release – Coming Soon –TO THE WIRE. . . With God, Almighty by Cindy Lynne – A true story of hope and inspiration . . . of God’s daily provision after incredible losses. A journey from Michigan to Wyoming with no money, no plans and no one . . . except the God of the universe! Hear of His answers to prayers, His supernatural intervention and lessons learned!

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