Friday, June 1, 2012

Gut Check, Part Two

My husband and I recently watched a 6-segment documentary about the Navy SEALS training.  Every word I think of to define it is simply lacking the punch.  It was INTENSE, INSANE, OVER-THE-EDGE, GRUELING.  These guys enter into the SEALS training voluntarily.  They put themselves under intense training to become Navy SEALS, specializing in "unconventional warfare."  It consists of 6 months of grueling activities.  Their bodies are put to tortuous testing.  Their minds are assaulted from every angle.  Some who sign up for training drop before they ever get out of the indoctrination class...before they ever get to the first day of physical training.  Out of those who do make it past indoc, most drop out before graduating.  I've read different statistics, but most agree that drop-out rate for SEALS training is approximately 80%. 

While we were watching the documentary, I noted that nearly every single guy who dropped out said he simply didn't want it badly enough to go through the torture.  And those who did make it to graduation said they wanted it more than anything else in their lives and were willing to give up anything to make it happen.  It boiled down to a choice of what was important to them and what they were willing to put up with in order to attain it. 

Training reveals that these guys can put up with 15 times the amount of pain and discomfort they previously thought they could handle.  The instructors set them up to learn to survive anything they might face and to be able to fight anything they need to. 

As I watched them in the midst of such intense training, I couldn't help but wonder what would happen if more Christians were this serious about following our Lord.  Would we be willing to endure anything for His glory?  Would we be willing to do whatever He said, go wherever He called, endure hardships for His Kingdom work?

"Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the recruiter." (2 Timothy 2:3-4)  Don't we get entangled in the concerns of civilian life?  Don't we falter when we know God is calling us to step out, but we are afraid to give up our civilian job or insurance or title or security or all things familiar?  Don't we have our list of things we are willing to do and another list of things that we would never consider for various reasons?

In our resolve, do we resemble a soldier?


Or do we relate more to the letter written to the church of Laodicea in Revelation 3?  "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I wish that you were cold or hot.  So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth."

The lukewarm soldier could never make it through SEALS training.  To be a Navy SEAL, it takes something that most simply do not possess.  They have to want it more than anything else in their lives.  They have to determine to resist every attack on the mind and push through every blow to the body.  Simply put, it takes something that most of us would never in a million years be willing to do.  And their reward at the end of training?  They are sent to the most dangerous combat zones to fight.

WHY???  Why would anyone be crazy enough to do that??  Simply put, they believe in the mission and are willing to do anything to further the cause.  

Why would we, soldiers of Jesus Christ, think that our lives should be comfortable and easy?  Why would we dare show up for training with a lukewarm spirit?

He said He will vomit the lukewarm out of His mouth.  Do we believe Him?  Are we so lukewarm sleepy that we simply don't have the energy to care?

Where are all of the soldiers?  The volunteers who will step forward to do the hard things?  

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