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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Sid Roth » Sid Roth - God Gave This Marine an Unusual Order

Sid Roth - God Gave This Marine an Unusual Order

Sid Roth - God Gave This Marine an Unusual Order
Sid Roth - God Gave This Marine an Unusual Order

Sid Roth: Welcome, Holy Spirit. Go and flow. My guest, Rick Jimenez, was raised Catholic. When he joined the Marines he left the church. Then after five years of marriage and two children, he found himself on the brink of divorce, and losing his family. Rick, explain.

Rick Jimenez: I was serving as a Marine Corps drill instructor, which is a three-year duty station in San Diego. I received orders to drill instructor duty on 9-11-2001, so the day the towers fall. Headquarters Marine Corps sends me orders to drill instructor school. So this was troubling for me, because I'm an infantry Marine, I've trained to do my job, and now that there's a conflict, I want to go. You know, just like every other Marine that's trained. So I know immediately that I'm going to spend the next three years training recruits, and I'm not going to be on the battlefield. So going into that duty station, I was married, had two small children. And it was very taxing, it was a very intense environment. Needless to say, this put a tremendous strain on my marriage and on my family. And ultimately, our marriage, you know, we had a wedge, a splinter, we were fractured. My wife and I separated. She moved back to Fresno, California, which was a six-hour drive from where I was in San Diego.

Sid Roth: Oh.

Rick Jimenez: And so that's where we were at that time.

Sid Roth: Now, your wife found a church, and you went with her. Did it make much difference?

Rick Jimenez: So right at the close of drill instructor duty, headquarters Marine Corps has sent me orders to my next duty station. So I found out very quickly that I would be checking into an infantry unit, inheriting a platoon full of infantry Marines, and we would be deploying to Iraq in just a couple of months.

Sid Roth: Oh.

Rick Jimenez: So in the interim, I drove to Fresno one particular weekend. And I'm not big on dates, Sid, but I remember this date, and I'll probably never forget this date. Phew. Wow. January 23rd, 2005, was a Sunday. I drove home to visit my family. And my wife, as you mentioned, had found a church. She basically gave me an ultimatum that day. She said, "If you want to see the kids and you want to see me, we're going to be at church on Sunday, that's where you can spend time with us". So I went to church with my wife. I sat, I remember sitting in the last row of this church, with my arms folded, listening to this pastor. But at the end of his sermon, he gave a very clear and very concise gospel message. He gave an invitation to follow Christ. Now, I didn't surrender my life to the Lord in that moment, I didn't respond to the call. But that message, that clear, simple message of the gospel resonated with my heart and made a deep impact on me. I left Fresno, and I was driving back to San Diego, six-hour drive. And as many of you can understand, when your heart is heavy with that kind of brokenness, you know, on one hand I had my broken marriage and the thought of losing my children, and on the other hand I have this combat deployment on my horizon, filled with uncertainty. And I'm wondering, how do I reconcile this? All this is happening while I'm driving my car on this six-hour drive, with the radio in the off position. And in that moment, I had a vision. There was this beautiful green pasture, this open field. Dividing this field was a white fence. And I was sitting on this fence, straddling both sides of the field. And on one side of the field, it's like I could feel the emotion, I could feel the pain of my life. I felt like one side of the field represented my life up to that point, and it was filled with regret and brokenness and pain. And on the other side of this field was Jesus. And there was such an overwhelming sense of peace that I felt when I looked on that side of the field. So in that moment, I cried out to the Lord, in my car, surrendered my life to Him, Sid, not even fully knowing what I was getting myself into, or what that would look like, but I knew that I needed Him. I didn't just need Him to restore my marriage, and I didn't just need Him to protect me on a battlefield. In that moment, I desired Jesus in my life. I gave my life to Him that day.

Sid Roth: Then you found your biggest battle was not Iraq. What was it?

Rick Jimenez: Yeah, so that evening I arrived to the base in San Diego. It's around midnight now, and I remember going into my room. And I had a very early morning the next day, so I remember laying in my bed, still contemplating the burden, the heaviness of my broken marriage and this deployment. And in an effort just to go to sleep, I remember, just in my heart, remember thinking this thought: I was encouraging myself, and I told myself, "Okay, your family is going to have to wait. This deployment, it's your job. It's your calling. It's what you raised your right hand and swore an oath to do. So this is what you're going to do, and your family is just going to have to wait". And in that moment, I heard what I believe the voice of the Lord speak directly into my heart. I didn't hear Him audibly, but I've never heard anything or felt anything like this before. And this is what the Lord said to me. He said, "I have not called you to fight these battles". He said, "Your battles are here for your wife and for the souls of your family". And Sid, when I heard His voice speak to me, I felt His presence, I felt His life. I felt a love that I'd never experienced before, and I wept uncontrollably in my room, which seemed like hours. I don't recall ever crying like I did in that moment. I go to sleep that night, but Sid, I woke up with such an awareness of everything that had happened. Listen, I knew the condition of my heart up to that point, I knew how dark and cold and how hard my heart had become. And I'm telling you, I woke up with a new sensitivity, as if the Lord had done open heart surgery with me. My heart was so tender, and I could feel His presence and nearness. And Sid, that has never changed. I've never deviated from that. There's never been a day where I don't sense His nearness, and it all started that day. That day I knew I was born again, and I was filled with His Spirit. Now your next assignment is to be a platoon leader in Iraq, and you're a believer. And this is Marines.

Rick Jimenez: Yes, sir.

Sid Roth: And how did you navigate this?

Rick Jimenez: Sid, I felt like my values were clashing. I did not know how to be a follower of Jesus and a leader of Marines at the same time. The Lord gave me some really simple wisdom, I was asking Him, "Lord, teach me how to do this". And again, not an audible voice, but the way the Lord speaks to you, very gently, but very clearly. And this is what He told me. He said, "It is okay for you to be demanding, but do not be degrading. You can set a high standard with these Marines, you can lead from the front. You can be courageous and you can be bold, but never degrade them". Now that may sound like common sense to a lot of people, but in an environment like the infantry, specifically in the Marine Corps, and a lot of other fighting forces, it is very commonplace to degrade. It is very commonplace to yell at people in public. And I was no stranger to that method of discipline, either. And so the Lord was already doing an immediate work in me. "You can be demanding, but don't be degrading with them". So before we get into this deployment, I know some of you may be thinking, Rick, what happened to your wife? So many people were observing the changes that were happening in me, Marines, close friends, family, and specifically my spouse. Even from a distance, she was listening to my voice on a phone call. There were certain behaviors, mannerisms that she was noticing, there's something different about me. One, in particular, is that I began to apologize for the very first time. By the Holy Spirit, He was showing me all the areas in my life where I had hurt her, where my words had damaged her, where I was insensitive. And although she had tried to share this with me before, I could never see it, not until I was filled with His Spirit, and He's illuminating all these things in me. Sid, I'm such a brand new believer, that I read the Bible for the very first time in a combat zone. So I'm reading this Bible throughout this combat deployment, and Sid, there was one particular Scripture that I read continually. In fact, I had Psalm 91 laminated on a small card, and I kept it in my body armor. Sid, I read that card, I read that Psalm every day, sometimes twice a day, sometimes three times a day. You know, there were so many days that I asked God in prayer, I said, "Lord, I pray that nothing happens to us today. I pray that we don't engage the enemy today, that You just keep us safe," because I'm clinging to this promise of protection.

Sid Roth: Psalm 91.

Rick Jimenez: Psalm 91. And Sid, what I found is God's, He's so much bigger. Yes, He can keep you from danger, but He is so great and He is so good, that He doesn't just have to keep you from danger, He can walk with you through the danger. And this is what I found. This is what I found.

Sid Roth: What was life like after the Marines?

Rick Jimenez: So we wrap up that deployment. I will say this, of those 30 Marines, three of those Marines were wounded. By the grace of God, all 30 of those Marines came home alive, with all their moving parts. Now, I will say this, that that's not to my credit, and that's not because I'm some great combat leader. That, again, is a testament to the faithfulness of God and His divine power and protection over our lives. He's so faithful. He's so incredible. But we come back from that deployment. And the Lord, basically, over some time, I stayed in for about another year and a half. When it was time to re-enlist, I didn't feel permission from the Lord. It was as if the desire to stay in the Marines had waned. Don't get me wrong, I still love the Marine Corps, I love my country, but my desire to stay there was dried up. It dried up like a river. And I knew I was to transition out of the Marines, so I did. Got out of the Marine Corps, moved back to Fresno with my family. Sid, I was content to be a husband to my wife and a father to my children the rest of my days. And if that's all I did, and if that's all the rank that was on my collar, I was going to be content to do that. But as we transition out of the Marines, that's when the trauma and the fatigue from every decision, every action that we did in Iraq began to come upon me in a very heavy way. But there are so many decisions that a leader has to make on a battlefield in an effort to preserve life and bring Marines home. Not everything fits nice and neatly within the rules of engagement. Although we abide by that, and we are not out there to cause harm or destruction, we are professionals, we are professional soldiers, we're Marines. But the reality is, you do things that don't fit nice and neatly within the rules of engagement. So there was a lot of guilt about things that we had done. But we got to this point, Sid, in my own personal life, where the enemy began to whisper these lies in my ear, and this one particular Sunday, we're in church, Worship is playing. The church has their hands raised and they're worshipping the Lord. And then in most cases, Sid, I'd have my hands raised as well. On this particular day, I felt so disqualified and so guilty and so filled with shame, that I felt like I couldn't even be in the room. I left that church building and walked out to the parking lot, with no intention of coming back in, and with no desire to continue in faith. I felt that disqualified. And a good friend of mine saw me walk out of the building. And he followed me into the parking lot. And he came to me very simply, but very gently, very succinct, he said, "Rick, I don't suppose to have walked a mile in your shoes, I know you just got back from deployment. But I just want to share a word with you". And he gave me First John 1:9, and he said, "Rick, if you confess your sins to God, He is faithful and just to forgive you your sins, and cleanse you from all, not some, Rick, all, unrighteousness". Here's what I told my friend. I said, "Not only have I asked God for forgiveness, I've begged Him for forgiveness. And I don't feel forgiven". And my friend responded very lovingly, and he said, "Rick, what do your feelings have to do with the truth of God's Word"?

Sid Roth: Let every man be a liar, but God's Word is true. When we return, Rick will pray for those dealing with guilt, trauma and sickness. Be right back.

Sid Roth: Now, Rick recorded CDs for us where he talks about the armor and the blood of Messiah, from the perspective of someone who was so broken, so traumatized, and he gives practical examples of how to use them. Rick, just share a few of these right now.

Rick Jimenez: You know, when we talk about the armor of God, His supernatural power and protection, we're not talking about natural pieces of armor that you put on and take off, we're not even talking about your own strength. We're talking about God's supernatural power and His might and His ability. And to be clear, this is not a principle, this is a person. We're talking about Jesus Himself. This is what the armor is. You know, so when we talk about this belt of truth that you fasten on you, Jesus is truth. The Scripture says, "He is the way, the truth and the life". And so this truth is Him. And all the other pieces of the armor are fastened to this truth. The thing you need to know about truth is that it is superior to all other reality, so no matter what lies you're believing from the enemy, what he's whispering to you, what your circumstance or situation is, God's truth is greater than any other word spoken over your life. You know, even when we talk about this breastplate of righteousness, it's not our righteousness, it's Jesus' righteousness imputed to us. And so it protects us, it guards us. This shield of faith. Faith isn't a thing, faith is a person. The Scripture tells us that we look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. And so even this helmet of salvation, salvation isn't just a promise or an attribute, it's Him. There is no salvation apart from the Name, Jesus. He's the only Name given to us under heaven and on earth, by which men can be saved. And so all of these pieces of armor, even the gospel of peace that support your feet, that gird you to stand firm in the day that the enemy attacks, this gospel not only saves our life, but it's the gospel that changes us, so that we can go out and share this good news with others. And then there's the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, sharper than any two-edged sword, pierces bone and marrow and soul and spirit. The thing you need to understand about this Word is that the Word for "Word" in the Hebrew is closely associated with the word "light". And what you need to know about light is that light is greater than darkness. And when you have the Word of God, there is no force, no spiritual force that can stop you.

Sid Roth: Just briefly, tell me about how the Spirit realm operates.

Rick Jimenez: Yeah, the Spirit realm is very real. In the same way, Sid, that if I were to take a platoon of Marines to a theater of warfare, we would never step foot into any country without learning the culture, without learning the nature, the people, and most certainly without learning our enemy. There was a common thing that we identified, whatever theater of warfare we were in, and it was this. We were always learning the enemy's most probable course of action. Now we don't do this to be fearful of the enemy, we don't want to be devil conscience, but we want to be wise to his devices, the Scripture tells us. And so we need to understand the way our enemy operates. This is important when we talk about the spiritual realm, and this is vital when we understand who we are, whose we are, how this armor works and how we're effective when we go into battle. There is truth that there are different devils and different levels, but listen, when you are a believer in Jesus, the Messiah, and you're filled with His Spirit, there is no devil on your level. Yeah.

Sid Roth: I like that. No devil on your level! Very quickly, one person that's exposed to this teaching and how it's changed them. One quick testimony.

Rick Jimenez: There was a husband and wife that came to my wife and I years ago, there was infidelity in their marriage, there was brokenness. And they came to us because they were wanting to reconcile. But there was a lot of pain and a lot of trauma. We simply shared the gospel with them. We shared the shed blood of Jesus, the finish work on the cross. They received God's forgiveness. They extended freely to each other the same forgiveness that they had received from the Lord. And we walked this couple through this process. Sid, if you were to look at this couple today, you would never know that they were divorced at one time, or going through the trauma. This couple that I'm talking about recently planted a church in our city, and they're leading other people and other marriages to Christ. It's amazing. Yeah.

Sid Roth: I'm going to have Rick pray for you in just a moment. But I want you to say and mean it to the best of your ability, out loud, right now, out loud. Repeat the words after me. "Jesus, I've made many mistakes. I believe Your blood washes me clean. Live inside of me. Amen". Rick, look in the camera and pray for people right now, as God directs.

Rick Jimenez: Yeah, I feel like there's people right now that even as you were listening to this testimony, you, too, are struggling with the tyranny of the bondage that you've experienced either through a traumatic event, your own personal sin, something, and you feel trapped. That in the same way that the Lord liberated me by the truth of His word, in First John 1:9, "If you confess your sins to Him, He's faithful and just to forgive you your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness". I just want to pray with you, but one important step in that is that when you receive God's forgiveness, listen to me, I want you to forgive yourself. That's key. Father, in the Name of Jesus, I thank You for every person watching this program as they confess their sin to You, as they recognize that they are a sinner in need of a Savior, God, that "You are a friend that sticks closer than a brother". "You are close to the brokenhearted". "And a broken and contrite spirit, Lord, You will not despise". Lord, heal them and rescue them, and make them new, restore them. Set the captives free today. Liberate them by Your love, by Your shed blood, and by the power of Your Holy Spirit. God, I thank You. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom". And I thank You, Lord, for Your precious love, that You show them Your peace, and that they not only believe in You, but that they follow You and they walk with You all of their days. I thank You, Jesus, that you took stripes on Your body so that we are healed. I just plead Your blood over the top of their head to the soles of their feet, into their bones and into their marrow, and to every cell of their body, into every fiber, every tendon, be healed and be whole. Jesus, I thank You for creative miracles. Father, we are grateful for doctors, and we're thankful for medicine and technology, but You are the master physician, and we love You and we put our faith in You. Heal Your people. Set them free. Deliver them in Jesus' Mighty Name. Amen. Yeah.
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