Life In The Military
Who ever said the Christian life was easy? If you think it is easy, then I have an experiment for you. Step 1: Memorize the Bible verse "Do not be conformed to this world." Step 2: Go down to your local recruiter, and tell them you want to join the military. Your recruiter will smile, shake your hand, and reward you with a prize: "An all expenses paid trip directly to the Arabian Gulf".
With all the war talk in the air, this sounds patriotic, right? If you actually take the verse literally, and try your best to abide by God's request, then you are in for a world of opposition. This verse is a classic formula for heartache, loneliness, behind your back ridicule and rejection. Imagine if you will the cliche movie scene where the actor is surrounded by scorpions, snakes, beetles or creatures, etc. in an airtight room where the only way he can fend them off is a single torch. Eventually, the air runs out and the actor is attacked. You now have a mental description of what it is like being a Christian in today's military.
The second you say goodbye to your family and friends you might as well place a bulls-eye on your back because you will be a target for Satan and his demons. We live in this country founded on the principle of God, and we live on a concept of freedom of religion. Ideally, we are guaranteed this right, but the application of this right in the military is a difficult one.
Most Christians will go their whole life never realizing how privileged they are living under this concept of freedom of religion. We as Americans have the freedom to go to any church we choose. Don't agree with their teachings? Then we can freely leave and join another church. Most Americans don't even think twice about the fact that we have such a freedom. It is something we just take for granted living in the United States.
What happens, though, if this freedom of choice which we have grown so accustomed to having suddenly is taken away? What if you weren't able to go to the church to fellowship with other Christians? Or for that matter what if there weren't any churches period? What happens if your Christian radio station during your drive to/from work was suddenly taken away? No more Christian friends, no more Bible studies during mid-week. Nothing. What would you do then? How long could you hold off Satan without your friends around to use as a crutch? Or your pastor to answer questions? How long could you last before compromising? Now you can begin to understand my world.
Welcome to a day in the life of a Born Again Christian stationed on any ship currently in the Arabian Gulf. "Do not be conformed to this world" is not an easy task out here. Christians are greatly outnumbered and make easy targets for the supernatural beings involved in this spiritual battle called the Arabian Gulf.
Readers, let me remind you that as Christians we are engaged in a war greater than the War on Terrorism. Evil principalities are behind the terrorists and the current regime in Iraq. Believe me when I say the Babylonian empire is emerging stronger than ever as was predicted would happen in the End Times. Notice the similarities between front pages of the news today and ancient Babylon in the Old Testament.
Saddam and Bin Laden have vowed to eliminate all Jews and their protectors. They will stop at nothing until this is accomplished. Has anything changed since Old Testament times when Israelites were despised and enslaved in Ancient Babylon with King Nebechanezzar? No! Saddam is in the process of rebuilding a kingdom and coincidently refers to it as a Modern day Babylon?
Satan is very much involved in re-establishing his kingdom. He is doing everything he can to protect his interests. His battle plan? Demoralize and render all Christians useless. Attack all Christians and make them conform to be like everyone else. Attack, attack, attack until they compromise. It is different being on a ship over here in the Gulf. We wake up and are at work. We don't have the liberty of going home to Christian safeguards.
There aren't any church services, Bible studies, Men's or Women's groups. You have your Bible and that is it. At home, you can surround yourself with Christian friends. Out here things are different. For mere companionship you have to become friends with non-Christians here, because that is all you have. Satan knows this very well. He does everything he can to hinder any topics concerning Christianity. It is like clockwork. Begin to talk about Jesus or about your beliefs, and within seconds someone else will come in, or the phone will ring, or an alarm will go off. It never fails.
Pulling into ports is a bitter-sweet thing in itself. You want to go and see the sights, and everyone else wants to go to bars and drink all night long. Tell someone you don't drink and you are setting yourself up for indirect ridicule. At first they think you are kidding, but when you stand firm they are completely shocked. Then they try to get you to drink anyway. No one likes hanging out with someone who doesn't use profanity or thinks he/she is too Holy to drink. That is how it begins. Once you are identified, you are marked as an outsider. They think you are too good for everyone else. Everyone feels awkward with you or feels intimidated being around you. Keep in mind these people are the only friends you can have out here and now they just rejected you.
Satan does everything he can to smash your name into the ground. Loneliness, rejection, ridicule are all the emotional states a Christian experiences when he/she takes a stand out here. So my question to you is how long could you last? Still think the Christian military life is easy?
In conclusion I will ask for you to pray for us. Pray for the Christians deployed on the front lines in the Gulf. Pray for our walks and our relationship with God. Pray that we never waiver and that we never compromise. It is so difficult to live out here as a Christian. It is challenging enough studying and preparing for a war possibly with Iraq, let alone studying and reading the Word ready to handle all of Satan's darts. Pray for us. Let us finish the race clean and untainted never compromising.
LT John Gomez currently deployed on the USS Valley Forge in the Arabian Gulf.
An encouraging story
from LT John Gomez, which he did not expect.