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January 16, 2021

The Committed


Pioneers can’t be those who need the security of the familiar. They are trailblazers, not trail-followers. Uncommon and unqualified commitment, combined with a willingness to take risks, is what Christ requires; and it is an absolutely essential characteristic for those He uses as change-agents.


A non-advancing church in America has turned to routine, to living in the safety of the familiar, rather than moving into the uncharted waters of cultural and societal transformation. Such a mindset produces what I call “gazelle Christians.” The African gazelle can jump fairly high and up to 30 feet in distance, yet can be confined in zoos with only a 3-foot high wall! The reason? Gazelles won’t jump if they can’t see where their feet will land. Familiarity can breed more than contempt. It can also breed paralyzing fear and stagnating comfort.


Ronald Reagan was a risk-taker, difference-maker, and pioneer. Combining spirituality, patriotism, and uncommon commitment, he was an example of the pioneer spirit. Only a pioneer would stand on the world stage and against the advice of all of his advisors, forcefully decree, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”


Although he made this audacious statement while President in 1987, the seeds of a pioneer were growing in Mr. Reagan much earlier. On October 27, 1964, he issued the following poignant decree: “They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is right.”


May God give America more Ronald Reagans!


His words remind me of those in 2 Corinthians 11:2, “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” Simple devotion. Simple answers. Doing the right thing isn’t usually complicated - at times costly, but not complicated. Whether or not to war in prayer over this election isn’t complicated to me. I’ve said numerous times I’m not warring for a man; I’m warring for America’s God-given destiny. I’m fighting for babies. I’m contending for biblical values. It’s simple.


Winston Churchill helped save Great Britain and the entire world from Hitler’s Third Reich. Led by his passion, determination, and amazing ability to communicate, England fought the good fight against Hitler when it looked like he was unstoppable. One of Churchill’s many poignant quotes from that time was about duty: “The destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits--not animals. There is something going on...which, whether we like it or not, spells duty.” (italics mine)


Indeed!


Likewise, whether we like it or not, there are challenges in America today that spell “duty.” Abortion spells duty. A spiritually lost generation spells duty. Human trafficking, an anti-Christ spirit and attitude, an attack on traditional marriage, a compromising church--all of these, and many more problems in the world are issuing duty’s call. God is asking for a pioneer generation to arise, difference-makers who are willing to pray until the change comes.


I love our military. I’m inspired by their commitment and humbled by their many sacrifices. I wonder if, at a heart level, we shouldn’t possess the same degree of commitment to Christ and His cause - including to this nation he raised up to be a light to the world -- that our soldiers demonstrate. As I read portions of the U.S. Navy SEAL Creed awhile back, I couldn’t help but think this should be the Christian’s creed. I carry it with me. Please indulge me; it is so inspirational I want to share it with you. Though a little lengthy, it’s well worth our time.


U.S. Navy Seal Creed


In times of war or uncertainty, there is a special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation’s call. A common man with an uncommon desire to succeed. Forged by adversity, he stands alongside America’s finest special operations forces to serve his country, the American people, and protect their way of life. I am that man.


My Trident is a symbol of honor and heritage. Bestowed upon me by the heroes that have gone before, it embodies the trust of those I have sworn

to protect. By wearing the Trident I accept the responsibility of my chosen profession and way of life. It is a privilege that I must earn every day.


My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others before my own.


I serve with honor on and off the battlefield. The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men, uncompromising integrity is my standard. My character and honor are steadfast. My word is my bond.


We expect to lead and to be led. In the absence of orders, I will take charge, lead my teammates, and accomplish the mission. I lead by example in all situations.


I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.


We demand discipline. We expect innovation. The lives of my teammates and the success of our mission depend on me - my technical skill, tactical proficiency, and attention to detail. My training is never complete.


We train for war and fight to win. I stand ready to bring the full spectrum of combat power to bear in order to achieve my mission and the goals established by my country. The execution of my duties will be swift and violent when required yet guided by the very principles that I serve to defend.


Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed.


I will not fail.*


That heart, in the church, would change the world.


“I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13; TPT and NLT)


Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Spend a few minutes thinking about the need for courage, in order to bring the needed change in America.

  • Ask Holy Spirit to show you any areas where your comfort zones have caused you to grow stagnant.

  • Ask Holy Spirit to place His pioneering spirit within you. Tell Him you are willing to embrace His heart for situations that need to change.

  • Read the U.S. Navy SEAL Creed. Let it speak to your level of commitment to the cause of Christ.

  • Pray for our nation, our President, and any other leader Holy Spirit brings to mind. Pray against the efforts of satan to turn this nation away from God and His purposes on the earth.

A prayer you can pray:

Father, we thank You for Your commitment to us. We thank You for the commitment of Christ - His determination to redeem us back to You. We ask You to stir up within us His forerunning, pioneering nature. May we, through our prayers and efforts, be instruments of change. The church in America has grown complacent and apathetic, but You are awakening us. We stir up Your fire and passion within our own hearts.

We ask You to impart to us a fresh baptism of fire. We ask for a spirit of boldness. We ask You, Lord, to stir us with a willingness to be volunteers in the day of Your power. We know You are on a mission to restore this nation fully to our purpose and destiny. We know that begins with Your church. And we embrace this challenge.

Now we ask You, boldly, to overthrow every power in this nation that has set itself against You and Your plans. We bind every principality and power that is orchestrating this rebellion and is infusing it with strength. We ask for the blood of Christ to cleanse our land. We ask You to give us righteous leaders. We ask You to turn this election, even at this late hour. And we ask You to expose the evil in our land, including in this election. We bless You and thank You for doing this, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Decree:

Through Christ, we can do all things. We will never quit and we will not fail!


Portions of today’s post are taken from my book The Way Back.

You can find the U.S. Navy SEAL Creed here.