I like the question why. I like knowing why im doing something. It can either make me more passionate in finishing something quicker or sussing out a better way to do it. Sometimes i’ve even refused to do something until i know why. And arrogantly i take the stance of – its more intelligent to know the why, and im important so i should know the why of everything.
Then God says – ‘give away all of your stuff.’ and i stand there like a pouty child and say “why?” and God looks me dead in the eyes and says… “are you serious?”
Try this out on a field of battle. Your commanding officer yells to you – ‘Take your men up that mountain at full speed shooting whatever you see, i will meet you round the other side.’
Now if you stand there and ask why, you’ll get shot, or get your men shot. Your commanding officer is such because he is more experienced, more wise, has more communications and ultimately has been given the authority to make calls like this. In an ideal world, he is good at his job and part of his job description is keeping his men alive.
Lets rewind a few millennium to the border of a promised land and what would become centuries of warfare. God lined up his people – see pictures and more info here – The best commanding officer in history forms his people into a unit, trains them to obey him to the letter and then takes them onto a battle field of multi fronts and combatants. ALL of which were militarily stronger and had more battle experience then Gods tiny band of people.
So… Gods people needed to…. – TRUST HIM. They needed to be able to obey, especially when God asked weird things. (Because he would end up asking them some really weird stuff.) He trained them in the desert with fire and smoke. He trained them to rely on him for food everyday. He blessed them, he kept their clothes from becoming ruined. And before all that he rescued them from a life of slaves. So even before the training, trust could’ve been in place. But God still had to train them in dignity, respect and love of one another and themselves.
But lets say we take another group of people, lovers of God, strong identity, in a similar battle. But this time is spiritual. No swords, no helmets, no fire or siege towers. How do you train young men and women to obey without thinking in a war we can’t see and often are told doesn’t exist.
I know Gods voice. I know the enemy’s voice. and i know that i have a voice. To be honest with you i find it very easy to transform mine and the enemys voice into Gods voice.
‘Do this thing you don’t feel like doing’
‘Do this thing you like doing, but know that its not great for you’
God is clearly telling me to pick option B.
But once again on a field of battle you couldn’t just ignore what your superior is telling you because you have convinced yourself that your own voice was his.
“Yes jeremy put your gun down and eat some spam” – in the middle of a fire fight? WHAT?
How do we transform the God of the universe, the creator of all seen and unseen, the lover of our souls, the rescuer from death – into the crooked toothed, bearded 26 year old mans voice? How do we so easily mistrust our experience with God as a lover into some untrustable – forcing us into bad situations – out for our bad non-God? How do we so easily ignore his life giving authority and wisdom?
Because we are horribly trained. We aren’t trained to obey. In fact in my home country of Australia we have this awful rebellious anti authority spirit, That most aussies feel is our native right to hide behind. Its our patriotic stamp to lie to people, and avoid responsibility, and bag our elders, and rebel against whatever we can.
And no one mentions that it goes against all of Gods love and humble plans for our good. – Does it make sense? yes, because we are a land founded as a prison, disciplined by the clergy, off in a distant seas on a giant island – rejected. Is it redeemable? OF COURSE. Our hardiness, innovation, adaptability and amazing sense of humour and mateship is more then needed in the kingdom of heaven. But can we grow the kingdom to the extents of our destined ground taking whilst ignoring wise counsel? Can we be an effective part of Gods army of we can’t drop everything and obey when he asks?
OF COURSE NOT.
The following videos show a little bit of military training.
As the son of a hippy, non-violence and anti army sentiments live in my blood – a different tangent. But whilst sitting in a removalists van for 6 hours last monday with a friend of mine in the military it finally hit me.
We need basic training. We need more of our young people to go into a spiritual version national service. Straight out of school why can’t we take our young people into basic training for a year. With the only focus being the ability to hear Gods voice and instantly obey. Imagine if every christian was a highly trained spiritual warrior, unleashed on the world to smash down strongholds, free the imprisoned and fight for the oppressed?