And he described the many instances when he saw God's faithfulness. He also challenged the thousands of men gathered to rise to their calling to be warriors for Jesus. This is such a meaningful and pertinent presentation. And I know the men who are listening today will be uplifted and inspired by what they're about to hear. And for those moms and wives that are tuned in, I hope you'll pass along this message to the men in your life, and encourage them in their pursuit of godly leadership. Without any further delay, here is retired Lieutenant General, Jerry Boykin, my friend, on this edition of Family Talk.
Jerry Boykin: Exodus 15:3 says "the Lord is a warrior. The Lord is his name." Revelation 19 gives us a very vivid picture of Jesus coming back riding a white horse, wearing a blood stained white robe, leading a mighty army with a sword coming out of his mouth. He's coming back to do battle with the enemies of the kingdom. Don't you think somewhere between Exodus 15:3 and Revelation 19, we're supposed to be warriors in God's kingdom? We are supposed to be warriors in God's kingdom. It is a fallacy that God redeems us just so we'll go to heaven. He redeems us so we can be warriors in his kingdom. And let me tell you unequivocally, there is a special place in God's heart for a warrior. For a person who will step forward and say, "Here am I Lord, send me." Just as Isaiah did. "Here am I. Send me." 1983, the president sent us into a little Island called Grenada. He looked down there and he saw the Cubans and the Russians building airfields that would put Russian MiG's and Russian bombers within range of the United States.
And Ronald Reagan said that ain't going to happen in my hemisphere and it ain't going to happen on my watch. And he sent us down there to spearhead this operation to take that island away from the Russians and the Cubans and to rescue a thousand American medical students that were being held hostage down there. We got ready to launch that operation, one of those sergeants that had been trapped in that burning wreckage came up to me, and he said, "We're not launching until you pray." I said, "I'm with you, man. Get them together." I stood up on the loading dock, and I began to pray. I said, "God, in the name of Jesus, keep your hands on us. Guide us, protect us, and bring us home to our families, in Jesus' name." We sang "God Bless America." We launched that operation. The next morning, just as the sun came up over the blue waters of the Caribbean, I was sitting in the right troop door of a Black Hawk helicopter. We'd never used Black Hawks before. This was the first time we'd ever used Black Hawks.
They were brand new. Got my AR15 stuck up under my arm here with some magazines stacked up. We were going into a prison called Richmond Hill Prison. We were going to rescue political prisoners and put them back in the offices they were elected to. And we were coming up on the island, and all of a sudden people are waving at us. And I thought this is going to be a great day. And we come up on Richmond Hill Prison up on the target. And all of a sudden the skies erupted, red tracers, and green tracers coming at us, and then pop, pop, pop, pop, and I'm hearing them going through the rotor blades, and we're jinking and jiving and all of a sudden wham, wham. And I knew I'd been hit. I got hit by one of these 50 caliber anti-aircraft guns down on the ground there.
And it cut a big chunk out of the side of my chest. And then one came right up through my armpit. And I thought it had shot my arm off. We made a second pass, my helicopter was still flying with 54 holes in it. You think that wasn't a miracle? They didn't have any place to go now, so they took me out to a carrier, operated on me, and then brought me back to Fort Bragg the very next day. Operated on me… right into the operating room. Operated on me and I woke up in the, I have to be careful, because I did say delivery room one time. I woke up in the recovery room. They said, "Sir, you have a very serious injury." And I said, "Really? You went to medical school to be able to tell me that? I've got an arm that I can't use. I can't feel."
They said. "The bone in your arm is shot completely in two, and we need to take your arm off." I said, "What's plan B?" They said, "Sir, you don't understand, a nerve is shot in two. Nerves don't regenerate." And they said, "We need to take that arm off." And I said, "You ain't taking it off, because I've been praying. And God has said to me that if I'll trust him, he'll heal me." So they said, "Oh, you have a very good attitude." I thought, "You don't know what I'm talking about." But let me tell you something. God healed my arm. He healed my arm, and I actually said to Him, I said, as I was sitting there in my pain with the tears just pouring down my cheeks. I was saying, "God, in case you forgot, I led the prayer before we launched. And if you don't heal me, it's going to look bad." That's the arm they wanted to take off. It's a good arm, and I can still swing a golf club with it, and play my guitar. But that's the arm they wanted to take off.
1989, the president told us to go into Panama and take down a notorious, diabolical leader down there named Manual Noriega. He told us to bring him to justice in the United States. And it turned that country back over to the people of Panama. As we got ready to launch that operation, I stood up on a platform. We gathered all our men together. And we began to pray, "Father in the name of Jesus," I said, "I'm asking you Lord to keep your hands on these men, and bring them home alive. And God, I'm asking you to protect them." In Jesus name, we sang God bless America right there in the hangar. And we launched that operation. Our first mission was to go into a prison called Carcel Modelo Prison, to go into that prison and take it down and to bring a man in there named Kurt Muse who had been running a clandestine radio station. It was broadcasting anti-Noriega propaganda. And he was using equipment that the CIA gave him. We were supposed to go in there and bring him out.
And we got ready to launch that operation and we prayed and I got in that helicopter and we took off. We came out across that canal, and when we did, the skies erupted, red tracers, green tracers coming at us. And I was having flashbacks. I'm thinking, "Not again, Lord, not again." And then all of a sudden we'd dropped down low, as low as we could get, came across the tops of the buildings, and then popped up on top of the prison, and set the birds down on top of the prison, blew a hole in the top of the prison, went down, got to Kurt Muse's cell on the third level, blew the door off his cell, got him out, took him upstairs, got him up on the roof and put him in a little bird. Most of you know what a little bird is, you see them in the movies, they call them little because they're little. That's why they're called little birds.
We got him in there and the little bird took off and it started back over towards Howard Air Force Base. And all of a sudden it started taking fire. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. It got hit in the hydraulics. And suddenly the helo went in, and it went in hard. Boom, crashed right in the middle of the street. One guy got hit in the leg, another guy got hit in the side of his chest, another guy, the helicopter skid landed on his toes and he had to cut three of his own toes off to get out from under it, to get away from it. And then another guy jumped out and started running and the rotor blades were still turning. And all he had was just a plastic helmet on, and it hit him right in the head. Should have killed all of those men, guys. Should've killed all of those men, but I'm here as a witness. I'm here to tell you, ask anybody that it was there. Every one of those men went back to full duty. They recovered fully, went back to full duty.
And the man that lost his toes actually ran a half marathon six months later. Yeah. God has a special place in his heart for the warrior, but we've got to be willing to step up. And then in 1993, we were sent into a place called Mogadishu Somalia. You know it as the Black Hawk Down story, I was a commander of the Delta Force by that time. And we landed in Mogadishu, and I got off that airplane, and let me tell you something, I felt the presence of evil in that diabolical place. You can say, "Do what? You felt what?" I felt the presence of evil. You can feel God's Holy Spirit when these people worship, when they're leading us in worship, you can feel God's Holy Spirit. You can feel the presence of God. You can also feel the presence of evil. And I felt the presence of evil. I had me a little Baptist chaplain. I said, "Steve, I don't care where you do it. You go set up a place that you could share the gospel of Jesus Christ with these men."
He went over and got some orange crates, set them up and put his cross on top, and then put his communion stuff up there. And he started sharing the gospel. And every day, twice a day, he would share the gospel, and men would come and go. Men would pass through, but men had the opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus. And that's what I wanted. I wanted them to hear the gospel of Jesus, because the Bible says, you'll know the truth, and the truth will set you free. And I didn't want them in that evil place until they had heard the truth. And then finally, we got the word to start launching operations. And we got everybody in the hangar, and in fact, I didn't bring any books, but in my autobiography Never Surrender, there's a picture of me with a Bullhorn talking to all the guys and we're praying. And we're saying "God, in the name of Jesus, keep your hands upon us in this evil place in Jesus' name, amen." We sang "God Bless America." We started launching operations.
The problem with the movie Black Hawk Down is it only shows one day. We actually went in that city six times prior to that day. And then a beautiful Sunday morning, October 3rd, my mother's birthday, we started getting intel that Aidid, Mohamed Farrah Aidid, the man that we were there after, that we had to bring to justice, that was a diabolical evil man. And Aidid's lieutenants were having a meeting in a place called the Bakaara Market. The worst part of Mogadishu, a place we did not want to go. But the intel was validated and we were told to launch. Right before we launched that operation, I got down on my knees right there in the joint operations center with everybody standing around. And I just said, "God, I'm committing these men into your hands. And I'm asking you to bring them home safely. In Jesus' name." We launched that operation. The code word for the operation was Irene.
I said, "Irene, Irene, Irene." Men started running out onto the runway jumping into the helicopters. Rotor blades started turning, pretty soon, the noise was almost overpowering. And then the lead helicopter, just like in the movie, the lead helicopter picked up and the rest got in line behind him, and they head out over the ocean. And then they turned inbound to the Bakaara Market. And 15 minutes after I said, "Irene, Irene, Irene," a hundred Americans were locked in an 18 hour battle to the death with tens of thousands of wild-eyed, drug-crazed Somalis, drug-crazed because they chewed a narcotic called khat. And 18 hours we fought them. And at the end of that 18 hours, 15 of my soldiers were dead. My most vivid memory of Mogadishu was a five ton truck coming back into our base. It's all we had to get our dead and wounded out. We stacked the dead up on bottom, and put the wounded on top of the dead.
And I walked up to that truck to drop the tailgate with my heart breaking, as I was saying, "God, where were you? God, where were you? God, where were you? You could have stopped this." I dropped that tailgate and looked at the carnage in the back of that truck. Blood poured out the back like water. And it broke me emotionally. It broke me spiritually. As I said, "God, how could you let this happen? Where were you God?" And the answer came to me. And the answer was, "there is no God, there is no God, because if there was a God, this would have never happened." Now you take this from what I'm saying to you tonight. The moment I said, "There is no God," I heard what to me was an audible voice of God that said, "If there's no God, there's no hope." And I broke and began to weep to the point that my chest was heaving. As I said, "God, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry that I doubted you God. I'm so sorry God."
The moment it was in my heart to say, "I'm sorry," I was forgiven. There is nothing you've ever done, you listen to me, take this away. There is nothing you've ever done that God will not forgive you for. Nothing, nothing. And it does not matter how many times you've done it. He'll forgive you for anything. It was just like a man named Peter, sat by a fire one night and denied Jesus three times. After walking with him for three and a half years, and watching him raise the dead, open blind eyes, heal the lame, cast out demons. I was forgiven. You can be forgiven. The next day we did a memorial service. We sang "God Bless America." We played "Taps," and that night as the sun went down, I was standing with my Master Sergeant and a Lieutenant Colonel. And all of a sudden there was a huge explosion right there, right there. And they were standing between me and the explosion. It was a mortar. Four mortars were fired. Three of them went over us, out in the ocean and one landed right there, and we all went down.
I knew I'd been hit. When I finally got to my legs, I realized I'd been hit in the legs with mortar shrapnel, but my Master Sergeant was dead. My Lieutenant Colonel was laying there, screaming, "My legs, my legs, my legs." And I just said, "God, I can't take anymore. Get me out of here, God, I can't take any more. Take me to be with you. Just kill me, God, just take me God." They took me up to a little field hospital, which is a tent. And they operated on me that night. Brought me back down to the airfield where my boys were, and I couldn't walk. I was hit in the legs, and I just laid on my bunk. And I just said, "God, give me something, Lord. I don't understand what happened here." And I just opened my Bible and I wasn't looking for it. I just opened it. I said, "Wherever I open it, God, give me something."
I opened my Bible, and I opened it to Proverbs 3:5. Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. There are things you'll never understand in this life. There are things you cannot understand because you have a human, carnal mind. We do not have the mind of God and there are things we cannot understand. I'll find out when I cross the Jordan river. When I stand before him, I'll find out what that was all about, but it is not for me to know or understand right now. And I began to weep again, and I said, "God, I'm so sorry. So sorry." And I said, "But God give me something that will bring closure to this." And somebody came and handed me a facsimile. I was laying on my bunk, unable to walk, and they handed me a facsimile. And it started in Loveland Colorado. It came from a guy that was the cofounder of the Dollar rental car company, a good Christian brother. And they handed me this thing as I'm saying, "God, I just need something to come to closure."
And it said "For they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings of eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31. You know what? Wait upon the Lord actually means they that put their hope and their faith in the Lord will mount up on wings of eagles, they'll run and not be weary. Whatever your trial is today, you stay true. You stay true. Stay in the word, stay on your knees, because you will come through it, and you'll rise up on wings of eagles. I promise you. I've been through enough trials in my life, I know what I'm talking about. You'll come through it. And you'll stand on wings of eagles. And you'll rejoice and you'll become a witness for our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. I came home the end of October, and by this time I was walking on a cane, and at 2:30 in the morning I got up and I came back downstairs on my cane.
And I sat before the Lord and I picked up my bible, and I said, "God, I'm just tormented, because I don't know if those 16 men were ready to meet you, to go into eternity." And the Holy spirit said to me, "Open your Bible." I opened my Bible. I didn't look for something. I just opened it, and I opened it to Romans 5:19. "For as by one man's disobedience were many made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." It's saying Jesus Christ already went to Calvary for us. He already paid the price. All we have to do is confess with our mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead, and we will be saved. Romans 10:9. But God used that, "for as by one man's disobedience were many made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." God said to me, "Were you obedient to me? Did you share the gospel of Jesus Christ with these men in Mogadishu?"
Yes, Lord. Yes. And then I just heard that still small voice say, "You'll see them again." Because in their dying moments, they accepted me. They turned to me. Men, it's not a human concept. You can't understand it. It's called grace. There were three crosses on that Hill called Golgotha, the Hill of the skull, and one thief on one side of Jesus mocked him, and the other thief said, "Don't mock him. He's an innocent man. We deserve what we're getting." And then that man turned to Jesus, and he said, "Father, remember me when you come into your kingdom." And Jesus said the most precious words in the Bible when he said, "On this day, you'll be with me in paradise." That man's in heaven today. Not because of who he was, because of who Jesus was. And he turned to Him.
And then finally, I'll close with this. When that mortar hit me, and I went down, I got to my feet, on wobbly legs, I started yelling, "Find my doctor, find my doctor." Find a doctor. And he was laying right next to me in a pool of blood. I didn't know it. He'd been hit I think in the femoral artery right here by a piece of shrapnel, he was bleeding out. The medics came running over and put me on a stretcher, put him on a stretcher, took us into a little tent where an Air Force unit had a medical tent set up and they went to work on us. They laid me right next to him. I reached over and took his hand. And I just squeezed his hand and I said, "Rob, hold on, man, you're going to make it, hold on brother." And then I began to pray and I said, "God, don't let him die." And then finally he gave me a very, very feeble squeeze. And he turned his head with big dilated eyes. And he looked right into my eyes, and he said, "Tell Barbara I love her."
Barbara was his wife. Then his eyes rolled back, the lids closed. And I said, "No, God, no, God, no God, spare him." The nurse reached down and took my hand and said, "Sir, he's gone. Let him go." She tried to pull our hands apart. I wouldn't let him go. I wouldn't let him go. You keep praying. If you've been praying for somebody, you keep praying. You keep praying. No matter if they tell you, like they told me, "He's dead. Let him go. Let him go." And they try to pull you apart. You keep praying, because in 2014, that doctor was chosen as the number one doctor in the Shenandoah Valley. He's alive. He runs medical stations at truck stops on Interstate 81. He's alive because Jesus is alive.
Now I'm going to ask you as I step off this stage to bow your heads. And I want you to pray this prayer with me out loud, every single one of you, and pray it with a passion. And if you'll pray this prayer, and this is the first time you've prayed this prayer, the Bible tells us that your sins are as far as the east is from the west, you're redeemed. Pray this prayer with me out loud, all of you.
Audience: Heavenly father.
Jerry Boykin: Forgive me.
Audience: Forgive me.
Jerry Boykin: I'm a sinner.
Audience: I'm a sinner.
Jerry Boykin: Save me, Lord.
Audience: Save me Lord.
Jerry Boykin: Wash away...
Audience: Wash away...
Jerry Boykin: All my sins.
Audience: All my sins.
Jerry Boykin: Thank you Lord...
Audience: Thank you Lord...
Jerry Boykin: For being the Lord of my life.
Audience: For being the Lord of my life.
Jerry Boykin: For being my Redeemer.
Audience: For being my Redeemer.
Jerry Boykin: Now I'll serve you Lord.
Audience: Now I'll serve you Lord.
Jerry Boykin: I'll walk with you Lord.
Audience: I'll walk with you Lord.
Jerry Boykin: On this new path.
Audience: On this new path.
Jerry Boykin: In Jesus' name.
Audience: In Jesus' name.
Jerry Boykin: Amen. Now listen to me. If you prayed that prayer for the first time you let somebody on this staff know it, so that they can counsel you, work with you, and help you along your way to live in the life that Jesus Christ wants you to live. Because your sins are as far as the east is from the west. That's what the Bible says. It's been a privilege being with you, men. God bless you, and God bless America.
Roger Marsh: An important challenge for every believer to be warriors for Jesus in this morally failing society. You've been listening to a stirring message from retired Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin here on Family Talk. Visit DrJamesDobson.org to learn more about Lieutenant General Boykin, and his work with the Family Research Council. Also, there you'll find additional information on the Men's Ignite Conference where this speech was given. Find all this by going to DrJamesDobson.org, and then clicking onto the broadcast page. Tomorrow on Family Talk, Dr. Tim Clinton will interview Matt Hammitt, former lead singer for the band Sanctus Real. Matt shares how touring and constantly being on the road began to erode his family life. You won't want to miss his testimony on the next edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk. I'm Roger Marsh. Thanks for listening.
Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.