Episode 5 / No Soldier Left Behind

When I was 18 years old, I joined the United States military. When I graduated, I was assigned to first-sentry division, that at that current time, was in a deployment to the Persian Gulf. When I got there, I was taught that we would not leave one soldier behind.

And that was a code that we lived by. When I got out of the military and the Lord called me into the pastorate, for me, it was almost like I was being called back into like spiritual ministry service. But my experience prior to that was that the church isn't always friendly. And no soldier left behind, to me today, means every Christian, every person that walks in the door of our church, is fighting a spiritual battle or will be fighting a spiritual battle. and we should not leave them behind.

Everyone is gonna get hit.  When I was in the military, if someone did get hurt, there were combat medics, or if you were hurt severely, you were sent back to the rear. I think the church should be that. I think a church is really supposed to be more of a hospital than a museum for dead Saints, so to speak. I want us to look out for one another and to have each other's back.
People are gonna make mistakes and people are gonna fall. People will be in spiritual battles that are over their head. People are gonna make dumb decisions sometimes, but it doesn't mean that they are in and of themselves a bad person. They're having a bad time. I recognize the reality that sometimes people go AWOL and in the worst cases there are turncoats. That's true.

But Jesus told us that we are supposed to love one another, and that if we would abide in him, then he'll do all the pruning. We are not the folks that prune. And that to me is another aspect of no soldier left behind. Let God do what God does and let us do what God wants us to do.
"Love one another and by this all we'll know that we are His disciples because of our for one another."

I think a really good practical example of this is Judas to Jesus. Jesus still washed Judas' feet and like manner, we are not the judge. God is. And recognizing the reality of a spiritual battle, and I, I would even say this. Because of different callings, different anointing's that God places on people, ministry tasks, even. Some people fight bigger battles, spiritual battles than other people. There are also people that may look like everything is okay, but we might and usually don't know the depth of things they're dealing with behind them.

Because this is what I've seen sometimes in combat, there is what's called "friendly fire," accidental fire because of the chaos. But someone in the military should never shoot intentionally someone on their own team. So what I have seen though is that in the church, sometimes unintentionally, but sometimes intentionally, we shoot our wounded and I don't want us to ever do that. I want us to love one another and look out for one another.

We are in war. People are going to get hit. And even if they aren't hit by an enemy's weapon, maybe in their running or just doing battle, there is all kinds of dangers all around a trip and fall. Drop your equipment, whatever it might be. We are at war. Look out for one another, protect one another, and watch each other's back.

“We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭15‬:‭1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again…” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭24‬:‭16‬a NKJV‬‬

“And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭22‬:‭31‬-‭32‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” ‭‭I Peter‬ ‭5‬:‭6‬-‭10‬ ‭NKJV

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