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Mach 1

Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”

Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

Legendary test pilot Brigadier General Chuck Yeager passed away a few days ago at the age of 97.  General Yeager embodied and personified the characteristics of a fighter pilot, in all the good ways and in all the bad ways.  In his autobiography, “Yeager,” a coworker described it this way: “Fighter pilots are the most egotistical bunch in the business.  But flight test fighter pilots are a couple of orders of magnitude higher than that.”  Though Yeager didn’t particularly like the term ‘the right stuff’, he had it, either through experience or by birth.

Interestingly enough, Yeager didn’t start out with a life that telegraphed fame and glory.  In fact, as he entered military service slightly before the beginning of World War II, he questioned his own abilities to rise through the ranks because of his very humble West Virginian upbringing and notable lack of formal education.  He even got airsick on his first few flights, stumbling through the beginnings of his career.  Yet, he went on to break a slew of aviation records and became known as the quintessential test pilot and the first to exceed the speed of sound.   

Some of us may start out life with a humble upbringing.  Some of us may be concerned about our notable lack of formal education.  Some of us may stumble at the beginning, or even in the middle, of our careers.  Yet, it is amazing to consider what God may have in store for us.  After all, He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.  He can do great and mighty things which we know not. 

PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO LIVE TRUSTING GOD’S POWER TO OVERCOME ALL OF OUR INADEQUACIES.  While we may not live our lives beyond Mach 1 like Yeager did, we can still be used in ways we couldn’t even imagine.

Who We Represent

II Corinthians 5:20 “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”

Colossians 3:1-2 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth”

Colossians 3:17 “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

In “The Back Channel”, Ambassador William Burns tells the following story:

“When I was a junior diplomat, George Shultz used to invite outbound U.S. ambassadors into his office for a farewell chat.  He would walk over to a large globe near his desk (which many years later I had in my own office as deputy secretary) and ask each ambassador to point to ‘your country.’  Invariably, the ambassador would put a finger on the country of her and his assignment.  Shultz would then gently move their finger across the globe to the United States – making the not-so-subtle point that diplomats should always remember who they represent and where they come from.  Not a bad lesson to reinforce today.”

Perspective is everything for ambassadors and diplomats.  While these professionals are immersed in a climate and culture of a foreign land, and strive to build relationships and develop mutual understanding with foreign officials, they are there for a very specific reason and purpose.  A diplomat must always be mindful that they serve and represent their homeland.  They are away from home to meet the objectives and goals of the place of their citizenship.  There will be opportunities in their efforts for pathways of mutual benefit, but the goals of their sending land should always reign supreme in their minds. 

We are ambassadors for Christ, and our perspective is critically important.  While we are immersed in a climate and culture of a foreign land, and strive to build relationships and develop mutual understanding with those around us, we are here for a very specific reason and purpose.  We must always be mindful that we serve and represent our homeland in heaven.  We are away from our heavenly home to meet the objectives and goals of the place of our citizenship.  There will be opportunities in our efforts for pathways of mutual benefit, but the goals of our sending land should always reign supreme in our minds. 

PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO SET OUR AFFECTIONS ON THINGS ABOVE.  We must always remember who we represent and where we come from!

Resisting the Thief

John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

Ephesians 6:12-13 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rules of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

I Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”

America is in the midst of a spiritual battle.  We struggle against a devil who is seeking to devour us.  We wrestle against spiritual wickedness that is looking to bring us to our knees.  We contend with a thief who is striving to steal, to kill, and to destroy.  The solution is to soberly and vigilantly return to a Christ-centered foundation dressed in a spiritual attire characterized by the whole armour of God.  The Lord desires for us to enjoy a fulfilling, fruitful, and abundant life, and in the midst of our challenges, it is wise to reflect upon the broader perspective.

I recently read The American Spirit by renowned author and historian David McCullough.  There are a few uplifting thoughts that I think will encourage you as you fight the good fight against a determined spiritual adversary who seeks to destroy us:

  • “With the hope that what I have had to say will help remind us, in this time of uncertainty and contention, of just who we are and what we stand for, of the high aspirations that inspired our founders, of our enduring values, and the importance of history as an aid to navigation in such troubled, uncertain times.”
  • “When he [Jefferson] wrote the Declaration of Independence he was speaking to the world then, but speaking to us also, across time. The ideas are transcendent, as is so much else that is bedrock to what we believe as a people, what we stand for, so many principles that have their origins here”

PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO SOBERLY AND VIGILANTLY DON THE WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD.  May we never forget that the thief seeks to steal, kill, and destroy.  We must resist him at every point, robed in God’s armour and encouraged by the faithfulness of our predecessors.

You Certainly Need God

Matthew 22:37 “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and will all they mind.  This is the first and great commandment.”

II Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

II Corinthians 3:5 “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God”

A few weeks ago, the Washington Post published a letter from an Army Captain during World War II to his infant son (“A World War II Veteran’s Timeless Words For His Son – And His Country”).  This letter was a powerful expression of love, guidance, and direction across the miles, with stunning applicability across the generations.

The solider shares the following thoughts about our great nation:

“I am glad for your sake that you were born an American, and, as you grow older, you will realize how many advantages and limitless opportunities lie before you in the land of your birth.  Our country is not spotless or above reproach, but the precepts upon which it was founded still rule, and the fundamental conception of freedom, justice, equality, rights and religion make it a land of opportunity, and a rich life.  I have seen enough of the world to know what all that means now.  Before this experience, I was taking it for granted and did not realize what it would mean not to have it.”

This Army Captain then goes on to stress the importance of character: “obedience, truthfulness, kindness, sincerity, tolerance, fruitfulness, and respect for other peoples’ rights.”

In the penultimate paragraph, he states these critical spiritual truths:

“Last and most important, learn to know God, and learn to love and appreciate Him for what He is and what He can do for you.  Never let a day go by that you do not read a bit from the bible, and develop a faith that will carry you through any thing, never forget, you certainly need God.”

In this short paragraph, the father provides timeless spiritual advice to his young son:  Love God, Learn His Word, and Rely Upon Him.  Rightfully so, the father highlights these truths as the most important guidance he could offer to his baby boy.  Several decades later, it is true to us today.  The wisdom in these rightfully chosen words is timeless and spans the generations. 

PLEASE PRAY FOR AMERICAN CHRISTIANS TO TRULY LOVE GOD, LEARN HIS WORD, AND RELY UPON HIM.  In everything we do, we certainly need God!

The Flames Won’t Kindle Against Us

Hebrews 13:5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

Isaiah 43:2 “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee”

Daniel 3:25 “He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

For several weeks now, I intended to close out the PLUS series of Impacting Babylon.  Along the way, I detoured into the related topics of Impacting Nineveh and Impacting (a fallen) Eden.  But now, this is the final post from a string of thoughts dating back to August 1st

Impacting our Babylons, Ninevahs and fallen Edens is not easy.  God never told us that it would be.  Yet, He promised us something far greater – His constant presence!  As we live in the midst of a society that denies God and degrades good, the Lord goes with us.  As we pass through the waters, He is with us.  As we traverse the rivers, He stops them from overwhelming us.  As we stroll through the fire, He protects us from the flame.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego can attest to the latter.

As they faced the heat of a fiery furnace, God Himself walked with them. 

As we face the heat of society that flames against us, God Himself will walk with us.  After all, He is the only One who can eternally and permanently impact lives and transform societies.  His presence with us means everything!

PLEASE PRAY THAT YOU WOULD BE ENCOURAGED AND COMFORTED BY THE LORD’S CONSTANT PRESENCE AS YOU STRIVE TO IMPACT YOUR BABYLON TODAY.  The flames will not kindle upon us as we live for Him!

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