White Feather Fretting on a Week Day

We think we can be prepare for everything.

We can. Just, not the way we think.

Soldiers in boot camp ask veterans to tell them what it’s like to be at war. They never get enough of battle stories but old soldiers give their stories up sparingly. In boot camp, we think knowing what’s ahead will make us ready. Veterans know that being there is what makes you ready. All you can do in boot camp is practice the moves and learn to take an order without asking why. Readiness shows up on the frontline.

I live my life in boot camp. Rise with gratitude and praise. Put on the armor of the Lord. Make my confession, my petition, my intercession, and my amen. Serve the Lord through the day. Retire with gratitude, confession, praise, intercession, petition, amen.

Somewhere in that day, I hear the news. Christians taking stands in far off countries or four states away. Christians speaking out. Facing ridicule, legal action, mocking, torture, imprisonment, death. Sitting in a boring meeting in a hard chair ready to chew off my own arm to be allowed out into the sunshine after only forty-five minutes, I can’t imagine I’d hold up well under ridicule, never mind torture. I worry, then, that I possess a white feather faith, which would be no faith at all.

Jesus-followers take stands against sin, they refuse to side with the darkness, aide or abet the enemy, compromise the truth. Jesus-followers resist sin. Cowardice is a sin. Does my people-pleasing disposition indicate an orientation toward cowardice? Is my meek nature a symptom of an inner chicken affliction? I dodge uncomfortable conversations in the lunchroom. How, then, would I ever hold the line of truth before authorities, cameras, or a social media campaign?

His Word holds my answer.

The only truth I need to know is that my faith will hold in the moment of testing even though in my imagination I fold at the knees. Jesus said, “Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” Matthew 10:17-20 (ESV)

Jesus runs a need-to-know basis boot camp. For now, my future is classified information and my clearance level doesn’t go that high.

Jesus is with me in boot camp. He’s here when I rise and when I retire. He surrounds me as I serve through the day. Why do I imagine He would leave me on the battlefield? He would not.

No matter how I feel, I am already prepared for whatever comes because I follow Him. Because He has invested His own blood in my salvation. Because, through Jesus, God has adopted me into His family. I will be ready for battle because He is with me.

The disciples were just a bunch of guys. They had issues. Their faith looked a lot like mine – like dodgy windshield wipers or a Neon sign on the blitz. They checked out on Jesus when He needed them. But after the cross, after the resurrection, after Pentecost, they were warriors because He was with them.

Fretting and fear are distractions. The darkness hopes to pull me off the kingdom work at hand by causing me to dread assignments that may never be mine. But, if they ever are, the best way to prepare is to be aware of Him now, pay attention here in this moment, learn to follow directions in faith, and know Him well enough to trust Him in on the frontline.

Welcome to boot camp, loved ones. Are you paying attention now?

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    The Conversation

  1. Carla says:

    You have just started a new idiom, like lol–ica (inner chicken affliction) 🙂

    I think we would be lying if we said we didn’t look at the future with trepidation–we ARE still human. But Abba is teaching us that, just like boot camp, we are in training. Do we obey instantly? Do we question His commands? In an earthly army, such breaches in sanity would get us court-martialed! Let us get serious about serving in the boot camp of God. Let His commands be the first thing we hear in the morning, and the last thing we hear at night. May His words of strength, faith, and victory be our battle cry, and may we so serve that, in the end Jesus will say to US, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant! Enter into the joy of the Lord!’

  2. Lori, God is using you as His mouthpiece. My prayer is that we are all listening and heeding the word. Be prepared for war! Thank you.

  3. Excellent combo of catchy terms and a classic hymn.
    Buckling on my armor so that I too might stand in THAT day. Thanks.

  4. When I was a young teacher, the teacher in the next room (high school) told me in a conversation I have forgotten, “You have to pick your battles.” Jesus, who said,”Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them,” none-the-less did not pick up a stone to throw at the adulteress woman. We are quick with the stones and slow to reach out to the sinner as a fellow sinner. We must remember that at Armageddon, The Messiah defeats Satan’s army without our help, indeed without the help of anyone.
    Speaking out is not the same as attacking.