A Day set aside in our country in remembrance of all those who died on the battlefields over the past 240 years fighting for America’s freedom. For many this is a day for Americans to reflect on the loss of family and friends who sacrificed their lives on the battlefields around the world. For others it doesn’t mean anything more than a paid holiday from work.
MARINE CORPS BATTLEFIELD PRIORITIES
I served 20 years in the Marine Corps including two tours in Vietnam.
1st Tour: One of the first Marine units to be sent to Vietnam in 1965. I was a young lieutenant fresh out of Quantico who believed in our country and was totally committed to the allegiance of combat priority taught to Marine leaders:
Ø 1st – Assigned Mission; 2nd – Men in our units; 3rd – Our own lives.
Early on in Vietnam, I was totally committed to prioritizing my country, and men under my command, before myself. I was a young Marine officer who totally trusted the leadership of our country.
2nd Tour: In 1969 I was the commander of a company-size unit on the DMZ as well as a place known as the Rockpile - both highly volatile combat areas. However, our government and country had shown that they no longer were supportive of our efforts in the war. A war that could have been easily won in a couple of years was dragged out in Washington D.C. by wimpy politicians and a liberal media.
As a result, many of us in the military know that thousands of lives were lost needlessly over those Vietnam years. As a small unit commander I had to write personal letters to wives and parents of those men under my command who were killed. Obviously, this was very hard.
This weakness within our government inspired a movement of war protestors which voiced an unrighteous hatred for those in the military. They even gathered in groups at airports to mock, spit at, & ridicule the military returning home from Vietnam. They hated those of us who went to war out of love & patriotism for our country.
Our government had quietly succumbed to the cries of this massive drug-infested hippie culture crying out:
“Make love, not war!”
As I witnessed some of my men and close friends killed during this 2nd tour, my combat priorities changed:
Ø 1st – Lives of men under my command 2nd - Myself 3rd - Assigned mission.
We were no longer serving our country, we were protecting ourselves.
This was not the result of “fear”; ---- it was the result of a loss of support from & respect toward those in the highest leadership offices of our country.
BATTLEFIELD PRIORITIES IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE
However, there is another war that has been going on for over 6,000 years which continues to this day. This is the war that rages between the kingdom of this world and the kingdom of God.
Ø Sometimes it is invisible and quiet but the hate of the world continuously rages against God’s committed soldiers in His army.
Ø Other times it is terribly bloody and torturous as the anger manifests itself under those governments that have complete control over their nations. These are worldly governments that will align with compromising religious organizations in order to justify their brutality toward true Christians.
But the leadership priorities of our true Commander-in-Chief are very similar to those taught to Marine Corps leadership. The priorities of Jesus Christ during His life on earth were:
Picture this in your mind:
The vast and beautiful memorial cemeteries in our country and western Europe where tens of thousands of soldiers have died fighting for our freedom which we enjoy today. I certainly am tearfully moved when I remember some of my men and also my friends who died on the battlefields of this world.
Ø These are those who died for their country but they did not “voluntarily” lay down their lives.
Yet compare this to the following
The masses of graves now covered with weeds in places like Eastern Europe, China, Russia, Africa, Indonesia, and throughout the Middle East where millions of soldiers have died for our Lord and with no visible memorial of remembrance. These are those who died for the Kingdom of God.
Ø These are the martyrs of Christ who had the opportunity to walk away if they would only compromise their faith in Jesus.
Ø Yet, they were faithful unto death and so, they “voluntarily” laid down their lives following in the footsteps of their Commander-in-Chief whom they loved more than this world.
The liberal voices in our nation today continue to cry out “Make love, not war!” However, their definition of “love” is far different than biblical “love.” It embraces horrific immorality and is tremendously biased against those who stand for the true righteousness of our Lord.
In contrast to these world-view voices, Jesus Christ, our true Commander-in-Chief calls us to:
“Make war, because we love!”
Jesus Christ was the greatest and mightiest warrior that ever walked this earth. He fought against the dark forces in this world because of His deep love for us.
Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.
Again - look at His Priorities:
1st – The will of His Father 2nd – Us, His called-out ones 3rd - Himself
Throughout the NT, Jesus calls us time and again to the frontlines of the spiritual battlefield. He doesn’t tell us that we won’t be wounded or even killed, but He does tell us that He walks alongside us through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and we will not be killed until our calling is complete. Until then a thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but harm will not touch you until your assigned mission is complete.
My brothers and sisters in Christ – today we are living in challenging times. Many in our country are aware that over the last few years, world events have been rapidly accelerating downhill – toward a time of tribulation that most Americans could never imagine would happen in our country.
This is not a time to place our hopes in upcoming elections or promised changes by our existing government. Those in the most powerful positions of governmental and economic authority have little regard for the constitution of our country and they will not relinquish their authority through an election process. The United States as a democratic nation is rapidly disappearing – constitutional law will soon be ignored. As Christians, we cannot put our trust in financial institutions or government promises. All this is of the world.
Godly leaders built this country under the biblical principles of justice, truth, and religious freedom. Sadly, our beloved country has evolved into a whoring nation who worships the gods of Hollywood, money, pornography, and every immoral pleasure that goes against the righteousness and holiness of our Lord.
Listen to the Word of God describing the characteristics of the World’s Social System in the Last Days?
2 Timothy 3:1-5
But understand this that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.
For people will be:
Lovers of Self --- Lovers of Money --- Proud --- Arrogant --- Abusive --- Disobedient to Parents
Ungrateful --- Unholy --- Heartless --- Unappeasable --- Slanderous --- Without Self-control ---
Brutal --- Not Loving Good --- Treacherous --- Reckless --- Swollen with Conceit --- Lovers of Pleasure rather than Lovers of God ---
Having the Appearance of Godliness, but denying its Power.
Doesn’t this sound like the common lifestyle of today’s America culture?
Many Americans are aware that the world is right on the verge of devastating events that will create great fear & chaos throughout our comfort-seeking nation.
However, for those of this generation who hear our Lord’s calling, this can truly be an exciting time – a time of opportunity to stand and fight for the Kingdom of God against an enemy that will soon launch a powerful offensive attack against His church.
Jesus Christ, our Commander-in-Chief is calling for strong soldiers with lamps full of oil to follow His leadership on the toughest battlefield known to man. A war against the forces of darkness that rules over the kingdom of this world and keeps many of our family, friends, and co-workers in bondage.
Ask yourself; do you want to be among fellow soldiers who embrace the following words of our Lord:
"Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:11-
Great chaos, hardships, and times of tremendous grief are shortly ahead and more and more Christian warriors are needed for a tough battlefield that will bring forth a great multitude of people that will give their lives over to the Lord -- people who will be looking for men and women of great spiritual strength in the midst of tremendous tribulations.
This is a time of “great calling” and we need to prepare. We really need to consider our life priorities during this time.
The majority of Americans will not be prepared when that time of tribulation arrives.
Fear has the tendency to cause people to stick their heads in the sand and hope this won’t happen. It will keep us from properly preparing and that day of tremendous warfare will then drop on us like a thief in the night.
I have learned from personal experience that the key to overcoming fear in warfare is by prioritizing the men under your authority over your own life. Therefore:
§ Now think about your loved ones in the midst of times when needed supplies will no longer be available.
Prioritize your family & friends before you and “fear” will no longer be in control of your decisions.
A CALL TO PREPARE
We need to start building up our faith and spiritual strength. And the only way to do that is by drawing near to Jesus in our secret closet of prayer. In the midst of the storm, you won’t be able to make it on the strength of anyone else – not your spouse, or your pastor, or any of your friends.
Ø We see this truth illustrated in Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins. When the five foolish virgins tried to buy oil from the five who were prepared, they were told, “Go buy oil for yourselves. We don’t have enough for us and you too.” Do you hear what Jesus is saying in this parable? “No one else has enough faith to carry you. You have to have your own!”
Ø These five foolish virgins are the same ones who say, “If it happens, it happens! All we can do is trust the Lord and try to make it through the best we can. There’s nothing more we can do than that.”
Ø This is a “foolish mindset” that will create great fear among the church when national disaster suddenly falls upon our nation. This fear can easily result in a “mental paralysis” that will blame God for ruining one’s life expectations. Many will then turn to the world in an attempt to survive
Concerning the Spiritual Warfare that Confronts Christians – know this:
The Sunday church gatherings are not the frontlines of our spiritual battlefield. They have an important part to play in this war, but they are behind the frontlines.
From a military perspective the organized church is:\
A boot-camp training location meant to prepare young Christians for the frontlines of the battlefield.
Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hand."
When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine.
And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.
1 Samuel 17:45-49
David, probably a young teenager, had such a deep passion for the glory of the Lord and for the Israelite army who was quaking with fear before this nine-foot giant dressed in full armor, that he ran at Goliath without fear for his self.
We too are called to fight daily for the Kingdom of God and remembering the combat priorities of leadership in the Army of God:
· 1st – We fight for the glory of His wondrous Name in the midst of a world of darkness.
· 2nd – We fight for the salvation of those in bondage to the enemy. Family, friends, co-workers and strangers that our Lord brings into our lives.
· 3rd – We fight without fear for ourselves for we are called to let go of this life and not be concerned for the consequences that may befall us.
Warriors for Christ; our true Memorial Day set aside for remembrance is:
The Day of Passover!
Jesus is calling us to, “Make war because we Love”
May our Lord gloriously anoint each of you to be mighty warrior-spirited witnesses for Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God as you continue on your journey through the wilderness of this life. A life that promises great rewards for His steadfast sons & daughters in the eternal Promised Land that lies before each of us.
Donald R. Bell, Jr.
Retired Major, United States Marine Corps
“Equipping Christian Warriors for End-Time Tribulation”
Also known as: “Knighthood of Christian Warriors”
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