I was asked to give a few words today in regards to my decision to join the military. I really only have one answer, the answer that has become an American rallying cry: "I have not yet begun to fight!" There are really two ways to take this simple but powerful declaration. First, my time in the military is still in front of me. I have not yet begun to fight.It seems like I was in this same position not that very long ago.The story starts back at the last time I was asked to give a speech at my graduation.At that time I talked about the past and future, but as stated then the past can never be changed, only God knows the future and each and every moment of “today” determines the extent of our life.Also as mentioned then the military was a possible answer to the question of the future.So as God has guided and directed through two years of Bible School, I now feel called to pursue God’s call to protect our country as part of the United States Marine Corps.
Since I have not yet begun to fight, I have struggled with the questions that many others have asked me. With question such as, can a true Christian actually fight and kill some one?Or is there a more full time mission field that you could be involved in here or abroad that would be more affective?I think it all comes down to the question, where has God called YOU?I would far rather go on a 14-mile run then answer some of these tough questions but I thought it necessary to state to you how a young Christian could feel called to join the military. Nevertheless, I see it as an opportunity to defend the innocent citizens of our nation as Job talked about doing in Job 29: 17 “To break the fangs of the wicked and pluck the victim from his teeth.”This is precisely what John Paul Jones was doing when he declared, "I have not yet begun to fight!" I take it as my cry as well. This is the second meaning of these wonderful words. It is true that in the process, the death of the enemy may happen at my hands but it is all in the protection of my fellow soldiers life and in the defense of the innocent Americans at home.But these deaths are the result of sin, not wrong in themselves.
I am also looking forward to the physical and mental challenges ahead of me to prove that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13).I think I will be quoting this verse a lot in the months and weeks a head.I know that God has a special way of working through hard times.As stated in Rom. 5:3 That tribulation produces perseverance, even if that tribulation is self inflicted see that I was the one who signed up to go to boot camp.
More then any thing my desire for having you all hear to day is to ask for your prayer support during my time in the military.As much as the physical challenges in the military I think there’re going to be greater spiritual challenges in the way of temptations and unchristian company.I need you to keep me accountable so that I may stay on the straight and narrow way and be a example of Christ and not an example of what a Christian looks like when he falls.We are promised by Jesus that in this world we will have tribulation and temptation (John 16:33) and I am sure at times I will fail but that is when I need to be pointed back to the Jesus who has over come the world.You can be one of the pointers to show me Jesus once again. I need you to declare on my behalf "I have not yet begun to fight!"
I am privileged to have a Christian friend going with me by the name of Tony Ward.I have known him since I was small (yes, at one point I really was small) and I feel privileged to have him along with me as a buddy through the enlisting process and now through boot camp.So when I fall, be it on an obstacle course or in my spiritual walk I will have a friend there to lift me up. I am also shipping out with another friend of mine by the name of Nathan Houscamp.
As I think back over the past years since graduation I must once again thank my parents and siblings for all the support they have given me through all my crazy adventures.I also would like to thank the staff and students at the AFLC Bible School that I attended for two years for teaching me from the Bible, and also giving me opportunities to lead and help out with activities on campus.I also had a great VBS team this summer who supported me as their leader and challenged me spiritually.With out these people I would not be as prepared as I am now both physically and spiritually for the challenges ahead of me in the Marine Corps.
Primarily I want to thank the Lord for his faithfulness to me over the last 20 years of my life.It is only as the Lord is Semper Fidelis that I will be able to be Semper Fidelis. It is only with the Lord that I will always no matter the circumstance or type of battle, be able to say, "I have not yet begun to fight!"