Years ago the Marine Corps had a slogan that stated, “We’re looking for a few good men.” The concept behind the ad campaign was obvious: not everyone can be a Marine. The training and duties are tough. Anyone desiring to serve in the Marines has to be a kind of rugged individualist, willing to take orders, that also works and plays well with others. These same attributes may be applied to people desiring to serve God.
Our Heavenly Father has always looked for men and women who are willing to serve him. The sad truth is that he hasn’t always found them. In the Old Testament biblical book of Ezekiel, chapter 22 and verses 23-31, the King James Bible states: “And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, say unto her, Thou art the land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation. There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken. The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.
Ezekiel chapter twenty-two is primarily devoted to explaining the sins of Jerusalem, the results of those acts and God’s punishment for them. It’s a very sad progression of events. The problem begins when prophets that are supposed to be serving God serve themselves instead. They do not follow or obey his law. This disobedience soon infects the priests. They also begin to ignore the law of God to the point where the people are no longer told what is right and what is wrong. Like so many churches today, they create a kind of “do your own thing” religion which ignores many biblical teachings about and admonitions to the local church and the body of believers as a whole.
The corrupt circle is completed when the leaders of the people, having been lied to by the prophets and priests, also begin to follow their own ways. They oppress the people in order to make themselves rich. The poor and strangers become their easiest targets and the most vulnerable victims of their treachery. It’s amazing to see that God still wants to set things straight in the midst of all these evil doings. All he needs is someone who is willing to “stand in the gap before me for the land.” Sadly, he doesn’t find that person.
God was looking for a person who would tell the people the truth based on the laws that he gave to them. It was really just a simple matter of obedience, but no one wanted to step up and take the chance of being shunned or punished by the those unwilling to serve God in the manner that he taught them. Everyone just decided to “go with the flow” and not rock the boat. The results were tragic and progressive. The prophets and priests continued lying, while the leaders of the people kept oppressing them. God turned their own lies and evil against them and allowed their enemies to overcome them.
Today we also see a sad progression of events based on the disobedience of those who claim to speak for God. Many Christian pastors, evangelists, teachers and church leaders have turned away from the word of God to false teachings. For example, they no longer teach or practice the fundamentals of the faith which include the divine nature, virgin birth, sinless life, substitutionary death, victorious resurrection and visible return of Jesus Christ. They question the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible and use versions that are corrupt and untrustworthy. They ignore the teaching that people should be born again, confessing their sins to God and accepting Jesus as their Savior. Even some that believe in the second birth deny the biblical teaching that all Believers should be active soul winners. The New Testament biblical book of 1 Peter, chapter 2 and verse 5 makes this clear in the King James Bible where it states: “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
Like the Marines, God is looking for a few good men and women to serve. That service starts with your ability to obey the simplest of his teachings. First, you need to become a Christian. If you do not know for sure that you’re going to Heaven when you die, God tells us that you can know for sure by accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior. Simply pray to God, admit you’re a sinner and ask Jesus to come into your heart and forgive all your sins. The New Testament biblical book of Romans, chapter 10 and verses 9-10 states in the King James Bible: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Salvation is the first step. Finding a good church to attend and join is the next. That church should be a bible-believing, Christ honoring house of God. Once you find a church home, you will need to be baptized in order to join. The Bible teaches baptism by immersion in water. John the Baptist practiced this method and God’s Word give us an excellent example in the New Testament biblical book of Acts, chapter 8 and verses 26-39 where the King James Bible states: “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias (Isaiah) the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
Once you are a church member, you need to start learning the Word of God. You should do this in two ways. First, by attending services which usually include a mid-week Bible study, Sunday school and worship service. The pastor and others will teach you the Word. Second, you need to read God’s Word for yourself. Obtain a King James Version Bible and start with the New Testament biblical book of Luke. It’s one of the four gospels and is the only one that really explains how John the Baptist and Jesus are related. It also gives us a look into the childhood of Jesus.
Prayer is another important step of obedience that will help you to become someone that God can use. Pray at least two times daily: when you wake up and just before you go to sleep. Pray for yourself and others. The New Testament biblical book of Matthew makes it clear that prayer is all about asking. In Matthew, chapter 7 and verses 7-11 the King James Bible states: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one thatasketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his sonask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if heask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them thatask him?”
Another important step to serving God is deciding to tithe. A ‘tithe’ is ten percent of your income. That may sound like a lot, especially if you do not earn much money. However, God uses that money to fund the local church and allow Believers to carry out His Will. He also promises to give back to those who give to him. The Old Testament biblical book of Malachi, chapter 3 and verse 10 states in the King James Bible: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
God doesn’t ask you to be saved, baptized, attend church, pray, read the Bible or tithe for his sake, he asks it for your sake! You avoid Hell, grow in faith and gain confidence in the Lord by doing these things. Just as basic training helps recruits become Marines by building organizational skills and physical fitness, obedience to God’s Word builds spiritual strength and helps a Christian prepare to better serve the Lord. In return for your obedience, God blesses you, takes care of you and is there for you when you need him most. God is looking for a few good men and women. If you’re ready to serve him, your marching orders are in the Bible.