Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Promise Of The Spirit.3

"I will not leave you comfortless. Now it is necessary for you that I go away; for if I do not leave, the Comforter, the very breath of God, will not come to dwell among you. If I depart, I will send him to you.

When he has come, he will reveal to the world what is sin, and what is righteousness and judgment. 

Sin, because you do not believe in me; 

Righteousness, because I go to my Father, and you will not see me; 

Judgment, because the oppressive power of the prince of this world has been broken."

The number one movie in the USA now is Lone Survivor, the story of Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell's dedicated effort to give an account to the heroism of his friends lost in battle. Trying to squeeze the events that shape a man's life into a ninety minute film is like writing his two paragraph obituary; unfortunately, its about the most an average person is willing to endure.

Endurance is the hallmark of the training it takes to be a 
SEAL and is the reason why average men don't make it.
Truthfully, not many even way above average men make it.  Of the 180 men who started the training in Luttrell's class only 32 completed it!  "Hell Week", a monstrously grueling week marked by explosions, gunfire, panic, sleeplessness, hunger, frigid cold, pain, danger, hallucinations, and exhaustion is designed to separate the pretenders from the defenders. A bell is situated near the various exercises and is used when a DOR (dropped on request) rings the bell and sets down his helmet next to the previous man who has signaled enough.  
"That line of lonely hard hats was a stark reminder not only of what this place could do to a man but also of the special private glory it could bestow on those who would not give in.  It drove me onward...I'd rather die than surrender." --Marcus Luttrell
Honestly, I believe that quote from Marcus describes the kind of comfort the Holy Spirit ultimately is sent to give us: not coddling from the difficulties of life but the internal inspiration that endurance through those difficulties is producing something in us of eternal value!

Now if we are honest with ourselves, don't we "ring the bell" almost daily? Jesus, the Captain of our Faith, takes us through grueling obstacle courses to reveal what in us is just not right...let's call it what it is: Sin.  Just yesterday my integrity and courage were tested in the course of a business transaction.  I didn't need a bible study to know I was wrong, I didn't need to argue that Jesus was unfair, misunderstanding, too harsh or demanding, I needed to renew my pledge to do the right thing to the Man who is our Righteousness.

"If you want to know righteousness, love a righteous man."  I love The Righteous One, whom, even though I've never seen him, I know him because I know something about righteousness and truth and love.  How?  Because He is constantly teaching me what it means!

Are you glad we have men of the caliber of a Marcus Luttrell defending the principles of our constitutional way of life?  Men who, because of the rigorous training and testing, can make capable judgement in the most demanding circumstances against a powerful and relentless enemy bent on our destruction.

May we have the wisdom and commitment, as followers of Jesus Christ, to recognize that although we have a powerful and relentless enemy bent on destruction of the soul, we are being fully trained & tested to endure and overcome!

"I have been initiated into the company of those whose work is to send sin out of the world, beginning with myself."