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GOD’S BOOT CAMP part 1
by Colonel James Green, December 1984
“SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT!” screamed the seasoned drill sergeant. “You are here to learn one thing, and that is how to survive on the battlefield!” How well do I remember these awesome words coming from the mouth of my drill sergeant during my six weeks of Basic Training! The year was 1964 at Fort Polk, LA. Time was of the essence as the training was absolutely essential, for the war in Viet Nam was raging.
I learned many things in those few months about warfare: it was no game nor laughing matter. Many young soldiers were being sent home in boxes, DEAD! Why? They did not survive on the battlefield. That was over 20 years ago.
In 1971, I entered into another training camp: GOD’S BOOT CAMP. I have learned a few things during these past 35 years, the greatest being how to stand strong in the face of the enemy, Satan! Being a Christian soldier requires training, discipline, and obedience. As Christian soldiers we have the battle plan laid out in the book of II Corinthians, chapter 10, verses 4-6. The enemies we are at war with are mentioned in Ephesians chapter 6. It describes the enemies’ positions and ranks. As far as we are concerned, first of all, we have a commander in charge—JESUS CHRIST—who is leading us into this spiritual warfare. Second, we have a supreme commander in charge over all of the troops—the LORD GOD OF HOSTS (Lord of Armies). And third, we have a drill sergeant who gives orders, strategies, and directions—THE HOLY GHOST.
After several years of Christian training and work in various fields of the Lord’s harvest, the Lord called my wife and I into the prayer closet; we remained there for three years, receiving instructions, getting dealt with, and being given a vision of God’s End-Time Army. In 1982, the Lord commissioned us to start a basic training camp here in Sacramento, California, to train up His troops. He let us know that He was not interested in quantity, but rather quality. He is putting forth His trumpet call, calling His chosen ones into an all-out effort to put Satan underfoot. We are seeing some of God’s people go forth into the enemy’s territory, proclaiming the Gospel and liberating the captives.
The first duty of a soldier is “obedience”. If we can’t learn how to obey our commander or take orders from one of the Lord’s anointed, we will be worthless and ineffective on the battlefield. We must, without reservation, obey the Lord. It says in 2 Corinthians 10:6, “and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” In the Amplified Bible it reads, “Being in readiness to punish every insubordinate for his disobedience, when your own submission and obedience are fully secured and complete.” This means, DON’T EXPECT OTHERS TO OBEY IF YOU ARE NOT OBEYING THE LORD. Don’t expect to be used in the End-Time Battle, if you can’t come under orders.
The most evident duty of a soldier is to endure hardness. HARDNESS!!! There are no soft beds in Basic Training. There are very few “comforts of home” there either, as the training is hard and regimented. You see, my sergeant didn’t care if he hurt my feelings, nor did he care if I was uncomfortable. He had one thing in mind: to teach me to kill the enemy before he killed me!
Many Christians don’t take God’s service too seriously. They only do their duty (if that) and no more. They don’t care about being skilled in warfare. They don’t care about protecting their godly heritage. Nor do they care if the enemy comes in like a flood. NO! Many are just looking forward to the day when they can get out of the service, so they can go about living their own selfish lives. I believe that once we enlist in God’s Army, we should be “lifers”. Serving the Lord should be a total commitment. If you do enlist in God’s Army, and you choose to remain in His service, expect to endure hardness, expect promotions in His ranks, expect to live your life for Him rather than for yourself. The field is wide open!
I have never met one “Army-civilian” yet. No, the civilian life is not Army, neither is Army life civilian life; as the one is a commitment to live for self, the other is a commitment to live totally for JESUS CHRIST AND HIS WILL FOR YOUR LIFE.
There are battles to be fought, enemies to conquer, lands to be taken. Have you conquered the land of your own spirit yet? Have you conquered the enemies of your own bad attitudes? Have you put to flight Satan’s armies? Have you overcome temptations? Have you set aside all of the weights and sins that so easily beset us? Have you learned to put your rebellious will underfoot and march on after the Master? Doing all of these things requires aggressive military action.
The ultimate duty of a soldier is to offer the supreme sacrifice— his or her own life, that is, his or her own “self-life,” the civilian life. If we seek to save our life—“self-preservation”—we will lose our life in Christ. But, if we lose our life for His sake, we’ll save our life, for He will preserve us.
In warfare, nothing can be conquered by activities which do not bring us into hand-to-hand combat with the enemy. If we don’t ever challenge the authority of the enemy, we don’t realize the strength that is ours through THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!!!
As I look around at the Body of Christ today, I wonder if we’ll ever win this war. How many of God’s people are merely wasting time on pleasing themselves? Even some of those who have joined the ranks as soldiers are merely sitting in their foxholes playing cards and talking shop-talk. Some have advanced towards the enemy lines but have become afraid of what they see. Some have gone AWOL while others have totally deserted. The motto for the majority of believers is, “For we wrestle not.” Where are YOU in the ranks of His Army? Have you heard the “Battle Cry”??
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