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Monday, July 27, 2015 As for Me...

(Posted July 27, 2015)

Every now and then we have to plant a flag.

One News Network commentator, 22-year old Tomi Lahren planted such a flag when she gave a “patriotic rant” after ISIS inspired murders of five military personnel in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The video has gone viral – you can easily find it on the internet. While not seeking fame for herself, Tomi’s clarity and conviction have mobilized thousands who feel equally patriotic… and indignant. Her prompting to speak her conviction gave power and permanence to her deeply held values.

We have many Biblical examples of the same dynamic: God, of course, planted a flag of relationship and provision when He told Abraham, “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, And you will be the father of a multitude of nations” (Genesis 17:4). Since that time, many others followed this example of verbalizing their commitment (emphasis added):

  • Abraham’s servant planted a flag acknowledging divine guidance while seeking a wife for Isaac when he said, “…as for me, the LORD has guided me” (Genesis 24:27).
  • David planted a flag of trust in God when he declared, “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works” (Psalms 73:28).
  • John the Baptist planted a flag of humility when clarifying his role for admiring followers, “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11).

 In Resilient Warriors, I write the following:

  • Calling often implies a deep sense of conviction to pursue noble goals, certainly the case for most enlistees putting on the nation’s uniform, or missionaries enlisting in the Lord’s work, or the business owner pursuing excellence on behalf of his employees and his family.
    Calling is very important, particularly when strong winds begin to blow”1
    (Page 86, italics and bold added).

Today, let’s dive deeper into the conviction that undergirds calling. While it is important to have heartfelt conviction that is sometimes never expressed verbally, there is particular power in speaking one’s conviction to others. While we could approach this from many angles, let’s look deeper at Joshua’s expression of conviction “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord...” (Joshua 24:15b):

  • As Joshua was nearing death, he calls all the tribes of Israel to Shechem (24:1a)
  • Joshua recounts the history of God’s provision, although Israel was often undeserving of such Godly grace (24:2-14)
  • Joshua points the people towards sincerity and truth, and then challenges them: “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today who you will serve…” (24:14-15a)
  • Then his powerful proclamation: “…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (24:15b)

At this point, Joshua could not predict the response of Israel, but he could speak for himself and his family. He said and did what was right, not being swayed by popular opinion or political correctness. Then the tide turns; the people also commit, “… we will serve the Lord” (24:21). One man’s expression of conviction had influenced an entire nation to also choose the right path. One man’s steadfast resilience had become the model for many.

Just as Joshua fortified his and others’ sense of calling by making a public expression of commitment “As for me,” so it has been with Tomi Lahren and her “patriotic rant” which has inspired thousands. Now what about you and what about me? What “As for Me” declarations should we make to fortify our calling and to give us more conviction and resilience in future storms of life? When should we express righteous indignation that emboldens others to do the right thing? How and when should we plant our flag?

1 Dees, Robert F., Resilient Warriors, San Diego, CA: Creative Team Publishing, 2011.

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Respectfully in Christ, 

Bob Dees
LU Institute for Military Resilience
www.LUOnline.com/IMR

 

PS: The next Institute for Military Resilience (IMR) Webinar entitled

"Valuing and Empowering
Veterans in Today's Work Force"

will be presented by Mr. Will Gunzelman
Special Operations Leader, and Adjunct Professor, LU School of Business

8 PM on Thursday, September 10, 2015. 

Our troops serve with distinction in uniform, yet they face significant challenges as they transition to the civilian sector. Service members have incredible potential in the private sector – experience, expertise, maturity, initiative, integrity, and so much more. This webinar will help veterans “put their best boot forward” in their transition process, and help employers appreciate the amazing value of our “next greatest generation.”

See you there for a powerful time of unique insights into "Valuing and Empowering Veterans in Today’s Work Force"

Register at www.liberty.edu/IMRWebinars.

 


 
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