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« Well, Bless My Soul | Main | Attitude of the Armed »

God On A Mission

curtis_us_army_ranger-b.jpg“And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” Ezek 22:23-31


The Search for Significance still stands as one of the most powerful motives that drives human behavior. Who am I? Does my life count? Can I make a difference? What is my purpose? What calling or mission will me be a significant person in this world and the next? Last week a young man left this church to join the U. S. Army. He is applying to become an Army Ranger. What is he in for?

U. S. Army Ranger Requirements:

  • 60% Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) in the 17 to 21 age group
  • 5-mile run at no slower than 8 minutes per mile
  • Successful completion of Combat Water Survival Test (CWST) must be able to complete 15 meters in BDU’s, boots and LBE
  • Must complete 2 of 3 road marches, one of which must be a 10-mile road march
  • 70% on all exams

Field instruction is the majority of the coursework; students carry gear weighing as much as 45 kg (100 lbs), spending each day planning and executing attacks against widely dispersed targets, followed by a rapid march to a new patrol base to again begin the planning cycle. Training during the course averages 19.4 hours per day, thus, students sleep only an average of 4.6, and eat two, or fewer, meals per day. This heavily fatigues them throughout the course. Common folk wisdom, reported by students, is that they begin the Ranger course at their peak life-time physical fitness, but find themselves worn down to their lowest life-time physical fitness upon completing the physically and psychologically punishing soldiering course.

Why would any sane individual purposely choose to do this?


R ecognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high esprit de corps of my Ranger Regiment.

A cknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move farther, faster and fight harder than any other soldier.

N ever shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be. One-hundred-percent and then some.

G allantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well-trained soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.

E nergetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.

R eadily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor.

Rangers lead the way!

The Setting of Ezekiel 22:30

The implication in the text is that if God had found a man to make up the hedge and stand in the gap, the moment of judgment would have been saved.

  • We do not understand that God stakes so much on individual.
  • In the age of big business and multi-national corporations, we lose sight of individuals.
  • We are conditioned to believe that God is looking for BIG answers, not small and insignificant individuals.

The Target

We need to rid ourselves of the assumption that man is a weakling in the eyes of God.

“We are constantly on a stretch—if not on a strain—to devise new methods, new plans, new organizations to advance the church and gospel. God’s plan is to make much of the man, far more of him than of anything else. Men are God’s method. The church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men.” E. M. Bounds.

It is not enough to know that God loves us. It is not enough to know that God saved us. It is not enough to believe that God holds us in high regard. We must also believe that WE ARE NECESSARY to His purposes and work in the universe!

In God’s own sovereign and self-limiting way, he includes us as a part of his eternal purposes. But what about our imperfections? Failures? Mistakes? What about our loves and hatreds, pleasure and disappointment, joy and grief, faithfulness and faithlessness in our lives?
I know!!!! And yet, God still uses us! Isn’t God great! Yes, we are responsible and accountable and without excuse for our actions. But God is still willing to work with us.

The Role

A critical change must take place in the church!
We must stop seeing ourselves as low, helpless victims of circumstance.
These are nothing more than sorry excuses for spiritual dereliction of duty.
We are morally and spiritually capable, and therefore accountable and responsible.
We have been placed in a system of judgment and reward.
Trust has been placed in us in which we can either succeed or fail.
When we wake up to the awesome reality of this question, we tend to shirk from the responsibility.
Heaven gains or loses on the rise or fall of the individuals to whom God entrusts his divine mysteries.

1 Corinthians 4:1 “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”

The thought that God’s mysteries could or would be entrusted to us as stewards is a humbling testimony of God’s confidence in our ability to choose the right and to do right.

The scriptures teach us that despite our fallen nature, God regards us as having the capacity to engage and overcome the devil, even though the devil is the prince and the power of the air. —-Yes, we understand that apart from a right relationship with God, we can do nothing righteous. We are dependent on God in a mutually binding relationship. We are laborers together with God!

The role we play as a church in the plan of God is hugely significant.

The Examples

There are many examples in the Bible about God’s partnering with individuals to accomplish divine purposes.


Job 2:1-7 1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD…

Without explaining his purposes to either Job or to us, God entered a “wager” (to use Philip Yancey’s word) with Satan that Job’s faith could not be shaken. In other words, God permitted the destruction of all that Job had, based on his confidence that Job would not deny him, even if he was reduced to nothing but a mass of sores.

God put Job on a mission. He was charged with proving that Satan could not subvert the soul of a man if that man would not submit! With Job, God demonstrated his own faithfulness if man would place unswerving faith in him.

Enoch. Enoch walked with God when nobody else did.

Abraham. Abraham was called the “Friend of God.” God shared his intention to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah with Abraham, and gave Abraham the permission to try and change the mind of God!

Moses. God spoke face-to-face with Moses.

The Mission Continues

God is still looking for an individual, a man or a woman to pray great prayers.

James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

God is still looking for someone to secure an Apostle Paul for the kingdom.

Acts 9:10-16 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. 13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

God has not become indifferent, cold and interested only in huge causes.
God’s greatest need is for men, not machines, not money, not methods.
God’s plan is to make much of man.
Augustine said, “Without God, we cannot; without man God will not.”

God’s cry is still for people willing to sacrifice.

Where are you? Young person? Are you listening?
Young man…young woman…father…mother…established person…elderly person?
Do you hear the call?
Will you make a difference?

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.” Job 13:!5
“Neither count I my life dear unto myself.” Acts 20:24
“Men that hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 15:26

Famous Rangers

James Earl Jones, actor famous for his deep, authoritative voice, joined the Rangers after graduating from the University of Michigan in 1953 [2]

Matt Larsen, father of the Modern Army Combatives system, founder of the US Army Combatives School and author of the U.S. Soldier’s Creed served in both the 1st and 2nd Ranger Battalions as well as the 75th Regimental HQ.

Henry A. Mucci, led and trained the 6th Ranger Battalion, responsible for the Raid at Cabanatuan, one of the most successful rescue operations in U.S. military history. This action is depicted in the film “The Great Raid”.

Pat Tillman, professional American football player who, with brother, Kevin Tillman, joined the Rangers in response to 9/11; killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004.

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