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Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Lord is Our Commanding Officer

By Niti Charlton

Dear friends, I greet you with the love of Jesus and
thank you so much for choosing to read this article. I believe the Lord
actually asked me to pass on the revelation that He graciously provided
into 2 Tim 2: 3-4.

Let us observe what this scripture says:

"Join
with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one
serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs; rather, they
try to please their commanding officer."

Paul then asks the
believers to reflect on the above statements, so that the Lord could
give them insight into it - truly amazing!! What is the insight that
Paul is talking about?

Imagine a scene from a regular training
camp of Royal Marine Commandos. The Royal Marines are amphibious
infantry who specialize in Arctic and mountain warfare but are capable
of fighting on any terrain.

To achieve battle fitness, the
recruits go through 15 weeks of close-quarter combat: "Punches,
strikes, kicks and locks; scale walls or clamber through sewers, 5am
runs, drill, monkey bars, relentless circuits of pull-ups, push-ups and
squats" followed by an "assault" course with a death slide, scaling a
6ft wall, and then rope challenges with names like "the chasm", the
four "commando tests", including the 30-miler -- an eight-hour
speed-march across Dartmoor carrying a 30lb pack -- totally 32 weeks of
blood, sweat and mud -- also known as training.

During this time, they learn some very important lessons:

We're
showing them how the brain can beat the body. It's about controlling
their movement even when they are fatigued - and when they are out on
operations, that could make a life-or-death difference."

Achieving
battle fitness means learning how to continue to run, climb and crawl
even when you've got an injury - blisters, scrapes, bruises, pulled
calf muscles, a ruptured bicep tendon and a dislocated finger - a
notion not encouraged by those who train sportsmen and women.

No motivation is required: follow instructions, or risk a "beasting" (a humiliating dressing-down).

By the time I'm crawling through the final waterlogged tunnels, my
hands are numb with cold. It's then that I realize - it's all about
telling yourself to just keep going.

"It's about self-belief," Terrill says. "I had a mindset that I couldn't deal with pain, but progressively they changed that."

But it is the emphasis on mental preparation that is most impressive - and vital in a war zone.

The attrition rate is as high as 50% on these trainings but those who go through the ordeal come out with some amazing feedback:

Terrifying
and fantastic, learnt an extraordinary sense of can-do, gained shape
and definition and a bigger engine, learnt how to be mentally tough,
was integrated into the four-part ethos of courage, determination,
unselfishness and cheerfulness in the face of adversity and best of
all, enjoyed ourselves!

As I dwelt on the cheerful spirit of
these recruits who were willing to wake up as early as 5am and go
through vigorous exercises for mental and physical training, I felt a
sense of relief!

I recounted how the Lord had put me through much
spiritual training to discipline me in godliness. I used to be
controlled by my temper rather than be able to control it. I had
trouble being kind to people I disliked. I could not digest it if
someone spoke ill of me...I had been so helpless to change all my bad
habits...I know better now, having experienced divine grace and been
altered altogether by my precious Lord.

How I owe all my peace to
Him, how glad my heart is in silent contemplation of His precious Word,
how cheerful my disposition to help even my enemies. The Lord
transforms you even when you are just waiting on Him...it happens so
miraculously -- you feel better each day as you enjoy His golden love
for you! This has been my experience and all this came so easily!!
There was no toil involved, the precious Holy Spirit brought about this
transformation while I was going about my life. It has been so much fun
being trained by the Lord!

As children of our GOD, we are so
lucky to be endowed with such a loving Master. He is so merciful and so
quick to forgive. He delights in us and calls us the Apple of His Eye!
What a splendid GOD we serve...to top it all, the rewards are so great
compared to the measly benefits of a combat force:

I have the joy
of being with Him forever, I can be satisfied and content all the rest
of the days of my life, I can sing His praises whenever I want to, I
can delight in His love and send Him my loving greetings for doing so
many things for me! I am so blessed and so are all of us who desire Him
and Him alone! He wants us to look to Him as our commanding officer who
knows that the commands He gives us will benefit us forever!

"For
physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all
things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to
come." - 1 Tim 4:8

There have been times when I found the
commands a little hard to carry out and then I would receive power from
above so I could continue my worship uninterrupted. Those were the
times when I have been refreshed by a divine encounter or insight into
the mind of GOD. I have had the pleasure of a better ME at the end of
it! In short, the pain was just weakness leaving me... GOD's power was
being made perfect in my weakness.

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." - 2 Cor 4:17

GOD
always gives us the strength and the grace to pull through. At the end,
we shall be invited into the Kingdom where the joy never ends and all
is made perfect! Isn't that a target worth working towards? Yes! We are
going to walk into TOTAL victory with a great sense of exhilaration,
because the Lord, our commanding officer is faithful. Hurray!!!

Therefore
you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord
Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so
that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is
faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ
our Lord. - 1 Cor 1: 7-9

Thank you Holy Father for the many
blessings you have given us -- even when we are not worthy to receive
any of them. You expect so very little from us compared to the price
ordinary mortals are willing to pay -- even for trivial benefits. How
much more should we be thankful and bless your Name, for you are full
of mercy, truly compassionate, forgiving beyond measure, filled with
love -- we wish to revere you like you truly deserve to be
revered...you are our commanding officer, your words are all important
to us!

Your commands give us life, they train us to walk on
stormy seas, when the enemy attacks, you are there to protect us from
danger, your all encompassing love is all we need for the rest of our
lives...we thank you and lift up your Name for ever!! We bless you and
commit our lives to serving you with a determined heart and joyful
gladness. Hallelujah!

In Jesus Name. Amen.

All italicized text is taken from the web link Fighting-fit by Susie Rushton


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