March 27, 2020
-Pastor Tyler Alexander
What are you looking at?
Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, February 20th 2008, 0500 hours. I was 22 years young. I stood in a cold formation with many other young men who had raised their right hand and had set in their heart to defend their country in a time of need. Far before I saw the battlefield the war in me was starting here. Blistering cold, long hours of waiting, shouting, mass confusion, sleep deprivation, homesickness, and reality was setting in. We were brought to an open field that seemed as it were a park of some sort but something told me it wasn’t play time. The drill field. It was time for my first obstacle course. The drill sergeant didn’t ask anyone who wanted to volunteer but rather thunderously he called them out by name. “PARKER, I want you to run through this obstacle course, do you understand me?! Don’t stop until you’ve reached the finish line and don’t give me anything less than 150%, is that understood?! Parker squealed out, “YES, Drill Sergeant!” and the entertainment began. It was like watching the old movie platoon all over again. Bill Murray was running the course. We were a bunch of Gomer Pyle’s. The Drill Sergeant’s said we all looked like chewed up bubble gum. It wasn’t until an elite stepped on to the drill field, a man of honor, a man of experienced battle not just in the confinement of a training facility but one of war. He ran the course like no man before him, and even after months of our training, no man after him. He glided through the turns, heaped over the walls, and slid through the slopes. It was a sight to see. It was as if it were created by him and for him.Watching a professional do it changed how we ran the course. I’m not sure where that man is today but now as a Christian who can see him in light eternal I understand the more that he is a mere mortal man. His days are numbered just as mine and yours are as well.
I think about all the Old Testament saints, kings, prophets, and priests. As mighty as they all were and favorable in the eyes of God, they all fell to the wayside in the end. Don’t get me wrong, they were all mighty men of God, but none were immortal. None ran this course of life like Jesus Christ did. They all worked and toiled, labored and trained, as we did, but we and they, all fell short of the glory of God. There’s something beautiful in the midst of this. We watched Adam run the course, we watched Noah run the course, we watched Abraham run the course, Moses, David, Solomon, Elijah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and so many more. We see a list of hero’s that had shortcomings as well. But God be thanked there was a man, The God-Man, Jesus Christ. When He stepped out into the abyss, The Commander in Charge, The Greatest Elite Soldier to ever run the course, stepped out of Glory, and not only showed us how it is to be ran but sacrificed it all that we may live. From that point on the war was won but the trip home is still ahead. You see a different breed of men coming after Him. The Peter’s and the Paul’s, the John’s and James. None perfect but looking to the Perfect. They were looking back and forward at Him. The greatest of all. Church I ask you today, what are you looking at? Look to Christ, I promise you there is no better way to run this course of life, than to look at the life He lived, gave up, and raised back up again.
“Whom having not seen (Christ Jesus), ye love; in whom though now ye see him not, yet believing ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.”
1 Peter 1:8-11 KJV