The idea of this book is based on being united in Christ under one body. As Christians, we are all called to be united in Christ and to stand up for our faith. We are in a constant battle with sin, but as Christians we must stand together and fight for what we believe in even when goings get tough. The plan for this book is to compare the spiritual army we are part of to a worldly army. Everything from the recruitment (when and why we become Christians); to the boot camp period (when we are broken down and begin to learn the weapons of war); and finally the battle itself will be talked about in my book.
Here is the current outline of the book:
- To all the teachers, ministers, song writers, singers, friends and family who have inspired me throughout my life to grow
- Origins of the idea
- Why I wrote this book
- What can you expect
Part 1- The Broken
- Chapter 1 – Life Before Christ-
- The missing link
- The good and the bad
- Being slaves to sin
- The inability to do things on our own
- Chapter 2 – The Calling-
- Hearing the call
- Picking a path
- The controversial Debate
- Chapter 3 -The recruitment-
- Explain why people join the military
- How do I join?
- What is Jesus’ Significance
- Chapter 4 -Beginning the journey
- Wanted dead or alive
- A New Life
- What is your life source?
Part 2-Boot camp
- Chapter 5 -Out with the old
- Unlabeled—Boot camp Intro
- Why we must be broken
- We will be challenged
- Accepting forgiveness and forgiving others
- Chapter 6 -Recognize your place in Life
- Unlabeled—Meaning of life
- You are trying to hard– Being good isn’t good enough if you aren’t following your leader
- God is in control
- Chapter 7 -Discovering who you are
- Unlabeled– God’s will/ video game analogy
- Why are you here?
- What is your purpose?
- What defines you?
- Chapter 8-Becoming United
- You are not alone
- No Dream Team
- Strength in numbers
- Building each other up in Christ
- Learn how to love
- Chapter 9-Graduation day
- Remember your basic training
- Your daily workout
- Humble yourself
- You have no place to judge
Part 3- Prepare for battle
- Chapter 10 -Knowing your leader
- The power of God
- Understanding the Trinity
- The father- The leader- goes ahead and prepares the path
- The Son- Follows you, picks up after your mistakes, helps get you up out of trouble
- The Holy Spirit– your internal GPS, guiding you to the path’s God set for you
- Chapter 11 -Weapons of War
- Belt of Truth (Prayer)
- Breastplate of Righteousness (Trust and Love)
- Footgear to Spread the good news (Desire)
- Shield of Faith (Faith)
- Helmet of Salvation (Gods Protection)
- Sword of the Spirit (The Word)
- Chapter 12 -Types of War
- What it is: The sin in our lives that can spread and cause massive problems
- How to prevent it: With the spiritual cleansing process – hazmat suit, frequent cleaning, deliberate efforts to avoid contaminates
- What it is: Satan’s attacks on our mind. A reprogramming to get us to believe lies, and follow temptations
- How to prevent: constantly reloading of the truth, recognizing your weaknesses and taking precautions to prevent access
- What it is: Traps and obstacles set by the enemy or left over from past battles to slow down or prevent your advances. May also be direct attacks that catch you off guard
- How to prevent: Being prepared at all times, Having constant contact with God to help you out when in trouble
- What it is: The constant battles between various religious groups and belief systems
- How to prevent: Shower the enemy with love while standing firm in your faith
- Chapter 13 -Knowing your enemy (Topics will likely change and add onto previous chapter
- Who he is
- His limited power
- How he attacks (may be similar to ch 12)
- Self Lies
- Chapter 14- How to find Healing
- Personal testimony
- Battle wounds
- God will heal all
Part 4- Fighting the war that is already won
- Chapter 15 -Your mission
- The Great commission
- Find The Lost
- Bring them to the finish line
- Defend the honor of God
- Continue to grow and love others
- Chapter 16 -Achieving victory in Christ
- Giving credit where credit is due
- The importance of Praise and Worship
- Chapter 17 -Call to Action
The following is a small sample of chapter one of my book.
LIFE BEFORE CHRIST
On your mark!
-Go on, start running.
-Oh, I didn’t tell you where you are going?
-Just go, you will figure it out.
Have you ever felt as if your life was like the situation above? You were born and just expected to get up and go; not really knowing where exactly it was you were going or why, but you knew you had to go. You knew there was a reason, and you definitely had the determination to get there; wherever there is.
But we still haven’t answered where you are going? Or even better, why are you running in the first place?
Sit down, put your feet up and continue reading as you are about to enter the greatest adventure even known to man. The “Amazing Race” we will call it; like the race on TV, just a lot bigger, longer, harder, and… oh, you get the picture.
The race I am going to describe is no ordinary race. This race involves many obstacles, challenges and skills that can be compared to no other race. There isn’t a set starting line, nor is there a single winner; but we are all in the race until the end.
To begin, imagine that when we were first brought into this world, we were all released randomly in a large, expansive jungle and we were all given the same task— to get ourselves to the finish line. Thankfully, we were not completely alone in this endeavor. The majority of us still had our parents or someone to take care of us while we tackled this race, but still, something felt missing.
When we first entered the jungle, none of us really had any idea where to go or what to do, and we became scared. Many obstacles and dangers surrounded us, creating a sense of urgency to find safety. We sought out friends and family, or pursued different activities to keep our mind off the feeling inside that something wasn’t right. Some of us gave up quickly and settled for whatever circumstances we encountered, never venturing out again to find that missing something. Others persisted and started wandering around looking for things that would guide us, things that would give us the answers we sought.
At the same time, we began to get used to the dangers that surrounded us and started noticing that the jungle is not only a big scary place, but also a very beautiful place to live. Everywhere we look, the beauty of the creations before us became a mystery. We begin to wonder what this is all for? Is it mine? How’d it get here? What is my place in this world I’m living in?
These are all questions I hope to answer throughout the rest of this book.
How many of you have ever experienced a struggle? I’m expecting that everyone reading this is mentally raising his or her hand right now. What happened when you had that struggle? Were you able to overcome it or did you let it sit, slowly working away at your life? What made the difference?
As you all know by now, life is full of struggles; some minor and some that can be very intense. But what gets us through them? What happens when you aren’t able to overcome the struggle on your own? Whom do you turn to? Where do you go? Do you ever just feel stuck in a never-ending battle wishing you could break free, but you simply can’t?
I know I have had many battles like these in my life, some I broke through, other’s I am still fighting, but I am no longer stuck. I have been set free and have found the answers to my suffering.
If you are ready, I will show you how you may also be set free. Just follow me.
THE MISSING LINK
Have you ever sat and thought about your purpose for living? For many people, their purpose is simply to be happy, live life to the fullest, and simply have fun while they can. These are not exactly bad answers, but there is something more. Sure, it is possible to live a happy and productive life without finding this answer to freedom, but how often do you still struggle internally, feeling like something is still missing? Not having the answer, you try to fill this hole with more material possessions, more relationships or more work, but nothing seems to work in the long run.
You may spend your life seeking that answer, moving from one thing to another, trying desperately to fill the void in your heart. Sometimes you think you have found the answer only to become disappointed later. Other times, you just grow use to the feeling of emptiness and push it aside; trying to continue with your life, hoping that one day that pain will just go away.
But as anyone who has ever experienced a physical injury would know, ignoring the pain can often make things worse. Treating an injury with the wrong treatments also does nothing to fix the problem you face. So why do people do such things with the emptiness they feel in their hearts?
Thankfully, no matter what you have done in the past, or continue to do in the present, healing of that emptiness is possible. Everything that you have done or have had done to you can be turned around for the good with the acceptance of your weakness and inability to solve your problems completely on your own.
THE GOOD AND THE BAD
Growing up, each one of us has lived a different life. Some of us may have lived similar lives to someone else, but deep inside, each person has experienced the world differently. Everyone has a unique set of experiences, thoughts, beliefs, challenges, or circumstances that all shape how we view the world we live in. But at the same time, we all have one thing in common; we are all slaves to sin.
It doesn’t matter if you grew up in a “Christian home” or if you grew up in a home in the bad part of town. Everyone who enters this world was born a sinner. Often, this sinful nature becomes so engraved in our lives that we don’t even know we are doing it, or if we do, we simply don’t care.
Sometimes, this sinful nature causes us to doubt our usefulness to God or the world. We believe that our past circumstances are so horrendous, that God would never want to use us. We may avoid the church out of fear of being “found out.”
“You don’t know what I did” or “I don’t deserve to be loved by God” are common phrases that may be heard as people struggle in the chains that bound them to the very thing they want to get away from. But, God’s love is not conditional; He can and will use anyone and everyone who comes to Him for freedom.
Let’s quickly look in the Bible for some examples of people just like you that God used to do great things. See if you can find someone you can identify with.
Merely a Shepard, this redheaded man of short stature, was the youngest of eight. Still in his youth, he was appointed by God to become the next king of Israel. Against all odds, he single handily defeated the largest member of the Philistine army that held the rest of the Israeli army at bay for over a month. His faith in God from the beginning brought him this victory and many others that followed as he waited to become king, and in his reign over Israel. This man who had faith from the beginning was King David. (1 Samuel 17)
As a Pharisee, the most strict and law-abiding sect of Judaism, this man took great pride in persecuting Christians for their belief in Jesus. He not only sent many Christ followers to prison, he even took the life of many who no longer followed the Jewish laws. He was highly educated and came from a highly respected tribe of Israel, but God had other plans for him. In the middle of a journey to bring more Christians to prison, God blinded this man and commissioned him to proclaim the name of Jesus. This man, once Saul, now Paul, went on to become one of the greatest teachers of the Christian faith. (Acts 9, and much of the New Testament)
Ignored by most and feared by many, this demon-possessed man also had a place in God’s army. Through his miraculous healing by Jesus Himself, he was able to share the good grace that was shown to him to all he knew. Although this character was not named in the Bible, God used this man despite his physical or relational handicaps. (Mark 5)
As a prostitute by trade, this person lived a life disrespected by those of the law. When two spies of Israel entered her house, she had every reason to turn them in to the guards of Jericho. Instead, she hid them in her house for she knew they were for the Lord. Due to her faith in the God they followed, she was spared from the destruction that was to come to the city of Jericho. This person of faith, named Rahab, risked her own life in order to protect members of God’s chosen people. (Joshua 2)
Considering himself slow in speech and tongue, this man doubted his ability to do as God asked. But through God’s help, he became a powerful leader who stood up to Pharaoh and eventually led his people, the Israelites, out of Egypt. He was allowed direct communication with God, and was responsible for recording and teaching the laws that God directed His people to follow. He was not perfect and made plenty of mistakes of his own, including a murder, but still God used him to direct his people to the Promised Land. This man, Moses, was loved by God and made it his life to serve with the direction and help of the God who called upon him. (Exodus 3)
In addition to these, God used many other people in the Bible with even more familiar, or in one case, crazy backgrounds.
Abraham was too old to have children yet became the father of many nations (Genesis 17)
Elijah was suicidal yet continued to take his stand for the Lord in the midst of a nation that did not believe. (1 Kings 19)
Isaiah preached naked for 3 years as commanded by God, and was a major Hebrew prophet who taught the supremacy of the God of Israel. (Isaiah 20)
Job lost everything: his servants, his livestock, his family, and his health, yet he never gave up his faith in God. (The book of Job)
There are many more examples, but I am sure you can now see that God used people of many different backgrounds to accomplish His will. Perhaps you have a similar lifestyle of one of the characters above. It doesn’t matter what you have done in the past, or if you believe you have nothing to offer such as education or wealth. It doesn’t matter if you are somehow disabled, or are afraid of or impeded by your abilities to talk to people. It doesn’t matter if you have never stepped foot in a church or even opened a Bible.
You don’t have to try to get your life figured out, nor do you have to be completely free of any addictions or bad habits you may have. You don’t even have to understand fully what God wants you to do right away. If God calls to you, the only thing you have to do is say, “Yes”, and God will work in you in ways you may not even think are possible. You do not have to be perfect before you can be used by God. If that were the case, we would all be waiting for a long time and would never be used. All you have to do is believe and follow where God is leading you through His son Jesus.