In my post today I am going to share with you something I wrote while going through a Challenge. This Challenge in some ways was much like the Timothy Group Challenge, but very different also. It was in some ways a “Survival of the fittest.” There were many pass/fail events during the week and many would be placed under stress. It was designed to “test” you and see how far you would push yourself. At the beginning of what I wrote, I refer to a certain candidate; this candidate is one of the most respectable men I have ever met. I first met him when he was my Senior Drill Sergeant when I went through ALERT Basic Training. For all those who have been in the Military you can relate to that! The following of what I wrote were my reasons for doing the “Crusader Challenge” and why I wanted to earn the title of Crusader; but it is not limited to being a “Crusader” or the “Crusader Challenge.” Take it and apply it to Challenge, or to anything else. I want you to take away the concept of what I am speaking of and I pray you find it in some way to Challenge you to be a better person for Christ.
Until today, my reasons for doing the Crusader Challenge were completely different. Today, one of the candidates pulled himself from the Challenge (Due to sever medical issues). This was not just any candidate though; when he pulled himself from the challenge, I realized like never before how much I loved, respected, and looked up to this man. In fact, if it was not for this man, I would not be here today as a Crusader candidate. This man has completely given me a new perspective on hardships and life. He is truly a role model in my life. The last words he said as he left the Challenge were: “Make me proud.” From that point on that became my focus for completing the Challenge was to make “Sarge” proud. I didn’t care how impossible the task was; it would be done and passed.
Now why would I want the title of Crusader? Well there is something that words cannot describe about a brotherhood. It is a mutual bond like nothing else. Within today’s culture there is more and more a need for a Christian brotherhood; A few good men willing to step up to the Challenge to serve God at nothing. Nothing will hold them back spiritually, mentally, physically from furthering and fighting for His kingdom.
Being a Crusader is just the start of becoming of those “few good men,” The mighty men of God. I believe in doing things greater than myself for one who is greater than me. As Christians, we are called to “Do hard things”; to not be complacent or lukewarm, but to give it our all for Christ. A major part of doing hard things is learning to rely on God in every aspect of our lives. This is at the heart of why I challenge myself with things that some may never dare or may even consider impossible. To not only push myself out of my comfort zone, but to force myself to rely on the one who gave His life for me. James chapter one speaks of counting it joy when we go through hardships because it will teach us endurance. If Christ endured the Cross, I surely can look for ways to “die to myself” and serve Him – such as going through the Crusader Challenge.
Philippians 3:13-14 says: “…Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of god in Christ Jesus. “Straining forward” means preparing myself for anything that may come my way as a man of God.
I want to be known as a man of perseverance. Not because I want to be prideful or better than everyone else, but so that I may set the example, just as Christ did suffering hardships before us. I want to lead the mighty men of God into battle and fight the good fight of faith. I conclude with a verse from 1st Peter: “Honor everyone, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.”
Officer Matthew Carnley