He replied, “You give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish–unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” About five thousand men were there… (Luke 9:13-14)
In the military, we know what it means to run low. The logistics tail gets a long and skinny and we start feeling the squeeze. We can remember the times when we were running out of chow, water, ammo, fuel, batteries, daylight, socks, etc… In this life, we can start being drained physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Isn’t nice to know that we have a God who owns the universe? He can supply our needs even when it looks like our personal supply lines are running low.
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy– to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. (Jude 1:24-25)
One of my greatest fears was climbing on Mount Yonah during the two-man buddy climb. It’s a shear cliff and if you fell the only thing between you and rock poisoning was your belay-man. It was his responsibility to hold the rope in case you slipped during your climb and you had to trust him. The only question, ‘was he trustworthy?’ Thankfully, there is no question when it comes to the trustworthiness of God. He is the Great Belay-Man; ‘He is able to keep you from falling.’
My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. (Jeremiah 2:13)
In Panama while I was doing jungle training we ran out of water. We got so thirsty that we elected to fill our canteens with the water from a mud puddle. It took 4 iodine tablets and sifting the mud and sticks between our teeth as we drank. God makes sure that we always have cool, clean water. But if we don’t report to Him and draw our rations, we are left with the foul waters of our own choosing.
‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’ (Jeremiah 1:5)
Each person is special in God’s eyes. He sees us before we are even born. He equips us with our own special destiny and then ushers us into the world. But each day brings the little choices that lead us closer or further from the glory. God has big plans for us. Are we fulfilling our God-given destiny? It starts with the right choices right now.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
I’ve done a lot of dangerous things in my career. Jumping out of aircraft, repelling out of helicopters, surf infiltration, platoon night live fires, and the list goes on. I also took my life into my hands every time I drove my car when I was stationed in Italy. But the things I worry about are usually simple. How are my boys going to do in life, what will my next assignment be, am I doing a good job. We worry about all kind of things. But God says, ‘Stop worrying, call unto me and I’ll take care of you.’ We can take Him at His Word. Lift up you worries to Him in faith and carry on.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)
At times as a chaplain you have to tell people they are wrong. And sometimes that includes the Commander. When I was stationed at Ft. Stewart I had to go into the Old Man’s office and tell him he was making a big mistake in leadership. He sat there silently and listened to what I had to say. Now as the Commander he doesn’t have to listen to a Captain Chaplain. And who’s to say I was right. I’m only an advisor. But he humbled himself. He said, ‘Chaplain, you are right. I’m going to change that.’ Humility is a rare trait among those who serve in the military, but when you see it, you really appreciate it. I really admired the Commander for that. Remember this, teachability and humility go hand in hand. Don’t let your pride get in the way of your personal or spiritual growth.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. (Ephesians 5:3)
There is a very distinct sound when the chaplain comes visiting in the field. You can hear it in the tents, on a M1 tank, in the fighting position, and even in the Tactical Operation Center. It’s the sound of rustling pages of the pornographic magazines as they fly to a safe hiding place. Why? Well most guys don’t want the chaplain to see such things that a man of the cloth shouldn’t. But another reason is because many of them are professing Christians and they know they’re wrong. The real damage is not done when the chaplain is around. The real damage is done when our comrades observe a believer acting in a obviously ungodly manner. We call that hypocrisy. Adjust Fire, Fire for Effect, Over.
Application: The worst source of pornographic temptation today is the internet. I assume that if you are reading this Blog entry, you have the internet. If you are struggling, may I recommend that you get an accountability partner and Covenant Eyes at http://www.covenanteyes.com and fight this one with all your might.