Have You Ever Been AWOL?

Posted on October 2, 2018 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters

“When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.” — 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NASB)

Fear is a liar…but if you’re ruled by it, fear becomes your master. I should know, I’ve bowed down to it a few times but I’m not afraid to share that you. When I was a kid, however, I didn’t behave as if fear was my master over anything, but somewhere along the road fear got the better of me and caused me to turn tail and run. That lead to a disastrous life that only Jesus Christ could redeem me from. I was forty when that happened and ever since then I approach fear from a different perspective and it goes a little something like this, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).

My Bible is probably THE greatest “can’t rely on self”-help book I own, but I do have a few other books that I go back to and reread. Tim Kimmel’s “Basic Training For A few Good Men” is one of them. Even though my own military career wasn’t the best, I can relate to this book in that sense. Chapter 7 is titled “AWOL” and in it, Kimmel writes how he had to help the MP’s (military police) understand why so many recruits were abandoning their duties and going AWOL (absence without leave). My experience in the US Army had seen a few guys do this…including me. Frown on me if you wish but at least I’m no longer afraid to admit it. Like I’ve said…fear is a liar.

To quote Kimmel:

“Whether it’s leaving a post, ignoring orders, being insubordinate, or deserting in the face of the enemy, too many Christian men have failed to meet the minimal demands of a good soldier of the Cross. I know. I’ve fallen short. And so have you. There isn’t a man who hasn’t at some point deliberately disobeyed his marching orders. But every time we do, we weaken the ranks and give ground to the enemy.”

Here’s the thing, there was divine order about things but the pride of life threw that order outta wack and I, for one, believe that a certain amount of selfish pride actually covers up a certain amount of fear. The fear that God was holding something back on His created beings caused them to step up and eat that which was forbidden and the cost of that act has had its consequences. One of those consequences are men who now find it easier and easier to flew from adversity and taking a powder instead of running towards to One who can strengthen them so they can stand against it.

A United States senator, who is a woman, just recently said, “I just want to say to the men of this country, just shut up, and step up. Do the right thing for a change.” Now this was said in a manner that says men should just roll over and accept judgement for whatever wrong doings the world decides to accuse us of, but the statement may not be too far off the mark. In certain ways we’ve shirked our responsibilities when the going got tough and now Secularland looks at men who just have no hope in regaining what is rightfully ours in the first place. This is where we need to be serious about our character and put on the person of Jesus Christ.

Character has a habit of trickling down and if that character is Christ there isn’t anything to fear. We’ll be able to create a marriage with the reflection of the very God that created us in His image. We’ll have an easier time expecting and receiving the standards of the character we would expect of our kids. We won’t have to have our faults pointed out by a government that itself lacks character. We’ll be able to radiate what the God of hope gives in the way of joy and peace and believing, so that we’ll abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. In short, we’ll be able to stand against all the wiles of the adversary without hesitation and reflect the love of a mighty God.

We are gonna trip and fall from time to time but staying down is no place to stay. The way we handle our shortcomings, mistakes and sins will say everything about who we are in Christ. Repenting is a great way of confessing personal responsibility and ownership to whatever extenuating circumstances come our way. Remember, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). Amen?

Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Matthew 1, Luke 2:1-38| You can download our 2018 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

Daily Quote: “The presence of hope in the invincible sovereignty of God drives out fear” — John Piper

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: O Lord, the hope of Israel, All who forsake You shall be ashamed. “Those who depart from Me Shall be written in the earth, Because they have forsaken the Lord, The fountain of living waters.” Jeremiah 17:13

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