Slightly Obsessed #164 An Army of One


 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

– Ephesians 6:12


He was armed only with a sword purchased from a home-shopping network, a dagger, a pistol, and a pair of night-vision goggles.

He imagined God ordained him to capture Osama bin Laden. Hampered by the fact he needed dialysis for his kidneys three times a week, he decided he could use bin Laden’s dialysis machine if necessary.

Yeah, this guy was for real.

Gary Faulkner was not anything if not persistent. The drug-addled ex-con made eleven attempts to capture bin Laden, some involving actual trips to Pakistan. Gary lived an undisciplined private life. But instead of accepting the help he needed to right his personal ship, he dedicated his energies toward an unrealistic goal mistakenly attributed to God’s calling.

When sternly ordered by authorities to return to the U.S. after one attempt, he hatched a new plot to reach bin Laden in a hang glider. He launched himself off a cliff by the Dead Sea in Israel for a trial run and promptly crashed. He suffered broken ribs and a dislocated shoulder in that escapade.

His Quixotic journey did not stop bin Laden, but it did inspire a comedy starring Nicholas Cage. At least he got a movie out of the deal.

I wonder if the church doesn’t tip a bit toward the windmills at times.

Perhaps, like Gary, we hide an undisciplined life behind a list of personal ambitions we’ve stamped with God’s name.  

However well-intentioned, Gary’s plans bottomed out, at least a couple of times in Vegas. It took a well-trained group of men, working together under orders and supported by the proper authorities, to take out Osama bin Laden. 

Perhaps we could take the hint.

Church, do we get in God’s way when fly out on our own, thinly armed, deluded about our marching orders? Are we so determined to take out the skeptics that we push aside the voices of reason in our lives?

There is no army of one in God’s sight.

None of us are so important we don’t need fellowship and correction and direction. Especially, we need the accountability that comes with being part of a team.

Are you an army of one, or one man in a great army?  


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