By Ed Young
June 26, 2015
Camouflage is everywhere – from the war room to the boardroom. It’s a fashion statement that is made daily by millions. But is there more to this design that just fabric and color?
In this message by Pastor Ed Young, he unpacks the true power of CAMO in all of our lives. He helps us discover that the ultimate garment is designed for us by God to be worn and displayed in a way that transforms everything!
Welcome to Allaso Ranch! I’m standing right here in the middle of this absolutely amazing camp. Every time I walk out here I’m like, this is crazy! And I thank you, Fellowship Church, for your generosity in making this happen. I remember several years ago when Lisa and I were praying about what we were gonna do financially to make this camp a reality. I remember when so many of you were praying about what to do, and look at this camp. It’s absolutely amazing! There is nothing like it. I think about the tens of thousands of lives who come through here each and every year, and I think about what God has done. It is great. Let’s give God an Allaso Ranch amazing, amazing round of applause. If you’ve not been to Allaso you need to come up here and check it out. And if your kids aren’t going to Allaso you need to sign them up, because I’m telling you spots are filling up even for next year. So I’m looking forward to seeing what God’s gonna do.
You know, last weekend, I don’t know if you were here for the Dad Dynasty weekend. We had the Duck Dynasty folks in, Willie and Korie Robertson. They were so, so great. Really enjoyed meeting them and talking to them. Well, I began a series called Camo, that’s right camouflage, Camo Couture. Part 1 was last week. If you missed it go online and you can watch it. Part 2, I thought about well, I can do it at Grapevine, I can do this message in Miami, in Fort Worth, but I said no, no, no. The best place is at Allaso Ranch. Because I’m up here speaking to our junior high students, and I want you to join me as I do Part 2 from Allaso Ranch as we talk about Camo Couture. You might be going, what’s that? You’ll see in a second. Come on inside. It’s gonna be great.
Yeah! Awesome! Allaso, Allaso, Allaso, Allaso, Allaso, Allaso, Allaso, Allaso, Allaso, Allaso, Allaso, Allaso, Allaso, Allaso! Wow, you guys sound great! You guys sound great. Please be seated.
I want to welcome all of our different locations, whether you’re in Dallas or Fort Worth, or whether you find yourself in Miami, yeah! London, or Allaso Ranch! Yeah! OK, all right. Thank you guys so very much. Man, this is such an amazing group.
Well, I want to talk to you today about something I talked to you a little bit about this past weekend. How many people were at Fellowship Church this past weekend? OK, a lot of you! OK if you weren’t that’s cool, because I’m gonna give you just a little bit about what I talked about.
People love camouflage. I talked about camouflage. Camouflage is like, it! From the raceway to the runway, from the hick to the hip-hop, people like camo. How many people in here have some camo? You got some camo? Yeah, everybody does, everybody dose. It’s a fashion statement now. Everybody loves camouflage. Well, I’m talking right now at Allaso Ranch about Camo Couture. Do you know what couture means? Couture? Anybody? I didn’t know what it means. Well, I’ll answer it. Couture is a garment that someone sews, the best material, the best fabric, from the beginning to the end. Well, I have a camo jacket that I made. I made this. I made this camo jacket. OK, I bought this jacket at the Gap for $39, but then I took it to the HNL (that’s a ‘hole ‘notha level). I got some magic marker, got some fabric paint, and I painted camouflage on it so I designed it. It is, like, mine. How do you like this? It looks pretty good, doesn’t it?
OK, now last time here’s what I said. I said when someone becomes a Christian what happens is the Bible says that we’re clothed in Christ. We’re clothed in Christ. Specifically the Scripture says in Galatians chapter 3, verses 26 and 27 it says, “So in Christ Jesus you’re all children of God through faith.” We have to make a faith decision. “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself (say it with me, have what?) clothed yourself with Christ.”
The first people who ever wore camouflage were Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve, back in the Garden, the Bible says that they had a perfect environment. They were totally free except, here’s what God said, “Hey, don’t mess around with the fruit on the tree in the middle of the Garden.” That’s the ultimate freedom, they had it. They saw themselves the way God saw them, nothing more, nothing less. Well the Bible says they decided to do what they wanted to do, that the evil one, the enemy, came in, tempted them. They rebelled against God, they turned their back on God, and the moment – BOOM! – they rebelled against God, they realized they were naked. So, they took some leaves and they tried to sew the leaves together to cover their nakedness. First camouflage. It’s in the Bible, Genesis chapter 1, Genesis chapter 2. They tried to cover up their sin.
And here’s what I discovered. Isn’t this true? Think about this. What I try to cover, God uncovers. But what I uncover, God covers. Let me say that again. <rewind sound effect> What I cover, God uncovers. What I uncover, God covers. Now I’ll come back to that in a second. So we have this problem. We’ve all messed up, we’ve all sinned. The word sin, when you hear the word sin, it simply means missing the mark. It’s an archery term. You get an arrow <arrow whistling sound effect>, it misses the target. That is sin. The original word is hamartia. We’ve sinned. So what we try to do it, like human beings, we try to cover up ourselves but it doesn’t work. Our cover-ups are shams. It doesn’t work. We can’t do our own camo.
Well, here’s what God did, and this is great stuff. God, even though we were naked, even though we rebelled against him, God sent Jesus to live perfectly. He lived a perfect life. He took on human flesh. He lived perfectly, died sacrificially, rose bodily, and now God says, “All right. I have a camouflage outfit. It’s couture, designed by me, designed by my son, his nail-pierced hands, from beginning to end. The best fabric possible. It’s your choice, though. You make a faith decision. You either put it on or not. And that’s how you become a follower of Christ. All the other world religions are about sewing. Oh, if I can sew this and sew that and work this way and work that way, maybe I can appease God. Well, at the end of the day none of us are good enough because good isn’t good enough. Say it with me. Good isn’t good enough, but God is God enough. But God is God enough. Say it again. Good isn’t good enough but God is God enough. Right! God is good enough.
So God, again, is offering you and me Jesus. And the Bible says in Galatians, I just read it to you, Galatians chapter 3, that when we put him on, what happens? Boom! We have Camo Couture. Yeah! OK, cool. I’m a believer, I’m a Christian. I’m a follower of Christ. Many of you have made that decision. Maybe you’re watching, you’re down in Miami. Maybe you’re watching and you’re somewhere else. You’re in Fort Worth, you’re in Dallas, whatever. You’re like, OK, yeah. I’ve got that deal done. I’ve put on the jacket, I’m clothed in Christ. So see, now, when God sees me he sees Jesus. Because I’m clothed in Jesus. I’m wearing Jesus. I mean, that’s like the ultimate! You talk about couture? That’s like, I mean, this thing is made for me by Jesus! Whoa! OK! I’m a believer, I’m going to Heaven. I’m forgiven. Excellent! Yeah, you can clap! That’s good, that’s awesome.
But here’s what I want to talk about. I only have 12 minutes to do it. Here’s what I want to talk about. What now? Oh yeah, I’m going to Heaven. Uh-huh, I am. So are many of you. And I have this Camo Couture on but what now? I mean, what am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to just do this and that, whatever I feel like doing? Am I supposed to say, well I can just travel here and do that? No, no, no. Now is when the fun starts. Because now I wear, I get dressed in Jesus, every day. I discover what he has for my life.
Let me explain it to you this way. I had the opportunity to play basketball in college at Florida State University. I spent most of my career sitting on the bench. I was not a superstar but I did play for Florida State. You can look me up. I really wanted to – I’ll just be totally transparent – I really wanted to sign autographs when I played college basketball. All the star players on the team, oh people would be, “Can I have your autograph? Can I have your autograph? Can I have your autograph? I’d just be, like, standing there. I was like, man, I wish people would ask me for my autograph. Well, when we would travel out of town away from Florida to these faraway places to play these other schools, the people there who would go to these arenas, the fans in other areas, if we were in Minnesota, if we were over in Louisiana, maybe we were up in like St. Louis, Missouri, the people didn’t know I was a bench warmer. So when I would go to those arenas they would walk up to me before the game and be like, “Hey man! Can I have your autograph?” and I loved, wow, signing autographs! And here’s what I would do when I would sign an autograph. I would sign “Ed Young, #12, (I’d always say, “#12 in your program, #1 in your heart”) – thank you – and then I would write this, Romans 12:1-2. Those are my favorite Scripture verses! And guess what? Romans 12, verses 1 and 2, Romans 12:1-2, tell us what to do! They tell us how to wear Jesus. They tell us how to wear the Camo Couture, made by the nail-pierced hands of Jesus.
You can follow along. Check this verse out, Romans 12:1 and then I’ll read verse 2. You’ll love it, because God wants to autograph this on your life. Uh-huh. Yeah. “Therefore…” Any time you see ‘therefore’ in the Bible say, what’s it there for? “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy…” Now see, we don’t deserve this Camo Couture. We don’t deserve Jesus. It’s because of God’s mercy. It’s because of his grace. It’s because of his amazing love. “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice (what?!), holy and pleasing to God. This is your true and proper worship.”
First thing, presentation. Say presentation with me. Presentation. I offer myself. Jesus, I give my life to you. Envelop me. And he puts this Camo Couture, specially made for you and me, on us. So I’m presenting myself to God, a living sacrifice. God, I’m yours, tax, title, and license. The total package, God. You take me.
Now think about that. How smart is that to do that? Well, it’s brilliant because he is our Master, he is our Designer. So we give our lives to him. We present our lives. And the Bible says we do it because of God’s mercy. His mercy is his death, burial, and resurrection that Jesus did for you and me. And as we do that it’s an act of worship. So check this out. When I worship it’s not just in here, that’s worship. It’s not just reading God’s word or being taught Romans 12:1-2, that’s worship, it is. Everything I do, say, touch, and feel should be an act of worship. So if I’m talking it should be worship. If I’m walking it should be worship. If I’m playing basketball it should be worship. If I’m fishing it should be worship. If I’m shopping it should be worship. Everything I do I should be expressing my love to God, because after all, I am advertising this Camo Couture. So that’s the presentation.
Now the transformation takes place. The movie Transformers. Have you ever seen that movie, Transformers? Transformers, what happens? They move from robots to <vroom sound effect> vehicles. They’re transformed! Am I going too fast for you here? They’re transformed. Well the Bible says once we’re clothed in Christ, once we present our bodies, the totality of who we are to the Lord, our minds can be transformed. The Bible says this in verse 2, “Do not conform to the camo of the world (that’s what it literally means), don’t conform to the pattern of the world but be (let’s say it together) transformed!” Yes! The word transformation in the literal language is metamorphosis. That’s what it is. And we change and we’re changed from the inside, out. Not from the outside, in… the inside, out. Jesus does it. “So don’t conform to the pattern to the pattern of the world but be transformed by the renewing of your (what?) mind!” It’s about the mind, because our mind controls our body.
How many gymnasts do we have in the house. If you’re a gymnast, OK, yeah. If you’re a swimmer, or a diver. Whatever. Here’s what the coaches tell us. Wherever your head goes, your body will follow. So where my mind is, what I put into my mind, my body will follow. Jesus wants us to put great stuff into our mind because our bodies will follow.
So if we have the presentation down, if we have the transformation down, then we’ll be in the demonstration mode, the last thing in this verse. It says, “Don’t conform to the pattern (to the camo, the cheap camo of the world), be transformed by the renewing of your mind, and you’ll be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” His GPP. What is his GPP? His good, pleasing, and perfect will. You down with GPP? Yeah! You know me! That’s what God’s saying. You down with GPP? Yeah, you know me.
So I want to get into God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will. Well how do I do that? Camo! Camo! That’s how I do that! Camo. Gimme a C! Gimme an A! Gimme an M! Gimme an O! Camo! Camo. Let’s say it together. We’re courageously advancing the master’s objective. Courageous. Courageous.
I read the other day in Asia they have these bicycles that you can take and collapse them into the size of a briefcase. I’ll say it again. In Asia they have these bicycles and after you ride them you <folding sound effect> and put them away and carry them like a little briefcase. Could it be – let’s put it back up there, camo – could it be that courage is a collapsible commodity? Could it be in our world today as we look around that we see people, we see students, we see adults who just instead of being courageous they just collapse? They just collapse.
Here’s the cool thing about the Christian life. Jesus wants us to wear the camo but not just to put it on and sit there, he wants us to have some serious courage! I mean it takes courage just to become a Christian. Let’s give a crazy round of applause right now to a bunch of people. Let’s just give a crazy round of applause! Now why am I clapping? I’m clapping for all of you who’ve made the decision, who had the courage to commit your life to Jesus. Because you’ve gotta be courageous to say, you know what? I’m tired of the cover-ups. So when we uncover our sin, what happens? Jesus covers it. We are clothed in Christ. You get it? Are you feeling me? We’re clothed in it. So when I say, “Jesus, I uncover my guilt, my shame, my whatever.” BAM! He covers it. And it takes courage to do that.
It takes courage to say, all right. I’m gonna hang out with the right they, you know? I’m gonna hang out with the right people are, and you just know who the right people are. It’s the Holy Spirit of God from the inside, out, saying, “Oh girl, she’s right. Come on, this dude is right! I mean it’s right!” And I think back to my life. I think back to when I was in junior high school, sitting where you are sitting right now, years ago. I’m so thankful to God that he gave me the right people in my life. And, I was able to recognize the people, only by God’s power, who had the Camo Couture on.
So it takes courage. And sometimes people are gonna throw this and that at you. Sometimes the haters are gonna come out. Sometimes people will say this and that about you. I’m telling you, courage is the deal.
Remember back in the Old Testament real quick, there was a guy named Joshua. Joshua led the children of Israel into the Promised Land. And right before they entered the Promised Land God said, “AAAAHHNN! Time out!” There’s a time out on the field. And here’s what God told Joshua, three times. This is the first three-peat. “Hey J-man! Be strong and courageous! Hey J-man, once again, be strong and courageous! One more time, be strong and courageous!” What was God trying to say? Be strong and courageous! What’s God saying to you and me? Be strong and courageous. We need to tap into God’s strength, his power, the power from the Word, the power from the right they, the power from the church. So he gives us the ability, doesn’t he, to be strong and courageous.
You wanna talk about courage, how about Jesus? The courage to live like he lived, to take the sins of the world on his shoulders, to die for our junk and to rise again. He did that. Talk about courage, man? That’s some serious courage! So we can tap into that kind of courage. Camo courage.
All right, thank you. Courageously, how about advance? How about advance? How about advance, advancing? We’re all advancing, aren’t we? We’re advancing. You know what Christianity is about? Christianity is not about defense, very little defense. De-fence! <boom-boom> De-fence! No, no, no. Christianity is about offense! <boom-boom> Offense! We’re advancing the ball downfield. What’s the point of football? The point of football is to advance the ball down the field. Yeah, there are some defensive strategies but by and large it’s about offense! Offense! Every day as we get dressed in Jesus, are we advancing the ball downfield?
I thought about it today. I said to myself, Ed, what did you do today to advance the ball downfield? And I thought, well I treated my wife, Lisa, I treated her like Jesus would want me to treat her. Not perfectly, but I did. I advanced it. Then I was at a gym and I met a couple of guys and they were talking and they were like,
“Man, aren’t you a pastor?” I go,
“Yeah.” And they were like,
“Yeah, Fellowship Church.” And they were like,
“Man, I need to come to Fellowship Church.” And I told them a little bit about the church. I’m advancing. And then I had another meeting with a guy who is not a follower of Christ and we began to talk about some things and he began to say some things and it happened just very naturally where I was able to extend an invitation to him and some of his family to attend Fellowship. So… many times I don’t advance it but today, man I advanced it.
And God, I prayed before I walked up here. I get more nervous talking to students than any other age group because you’re at the prime of your life, man! This is it! You don’t want to waste it! Now’s the time to give it all to Jesus. Right now is the time to walk in camo. Right now is the time to courageously advance the Master. Who is the Master? Jesus. The Master’s objective. Jesus is our Master, isn’t he? He knows what’s best.
So who do you think knows what’s best sexually? The designer. Who’s that? Jesus. Who do you think knows best financially? Oh, let me see, let me think. Jesus. Who knows best relationally? Who knows best psychologically? Who knows best academically? Jesus. Who knows best as far as the environment? Jesus. He made it all. So I courageously – it takes courage to do this now – I advance the Master’s objective. If we could see, if we could see right now, the plan that Jesus has for our lives up in Heaven. If we could go to Heaven right now and we could go, “Jesus, let me see the plan you have for my life. Let me see the objective.” We would be like … <laughter>… “you’ve gotta be kidding! Are you kidding me? Is that amazing? That’s my life? You have those kind of plans for me? What, those kind of friends? That kind of fun? That kind of holy tension? That kind of influence? That kind of power? <more laughter> This… I can’t…” That’s how we would react if we went to Heaven right now. So I’m just simply saying, what’s keeping you from the life? It’s not always easy. It’s not always perfect. I mess up all the time, so do you, but what’s keeping you from it?
All right, I’m 54 years old now. Pretty old. And I cannot believe how much I’m blessed. I’ve been married for 33 years, four wonderful kids. Again, not perfect, but it’s awesome! I look at the opportunities, I look at Fellowship Church. I didn’t plan Fellowship Church. Someone asked me a couple of days ago. Hey did you plan…? Are you kidding me? I had no idea. But I’m gonna tell you this, students. I would not be, by God’s grace and mercy, where I am today. I would not be there. My marriage wouldn’t be there. My kids wouldn’t be there. I wouldn’t be standing up here, had I not walked with Jesus, had I not courageously advanced the Master’s objective when I was your age. Let me say it again. This is huge. I would not be where I am today, a long way from it, had I not made the decision at your age to walk in Camo Couture. To courageously – and I’ve not always been courageous. Don’t think, “Oh Ed’s always…” No I’m not always perfect, no way! Heck to the no! But as a kid I said I’m gonna courageously advance the Master’s objectives. And I went through tough times, I went through dark nights of the soul, I went through times where people rejected me, where I only had maybe one or two friends, not as many dates, whatever it is. But now I look back and I’m like, whoa! The fruit! The blessings! The freedom! The joy! It’s awesome! Make that decision today.
I can’t force it on you. Most of you, I believe will. Some of you, maybe you won’t, but I beg you to follow Jesus now! I’m more excited when a student follows Jesus than when someone in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s follows him. I mean it’s great when someone that age does, don’t get me wrong. But it’s like, man, you’ve burned through several decades. Follow the Lord now! If you saw his plan and directives you wouldn’t believe it.
Last thing I’ll tell you. I have a friend of mine who is far away from God. This guy’s a Hell-raiser. And I have friends, a number of friends who are not followers of Christ. But here’s the deal. I blend in, but I don’t bend. Are you feeling me? I blend with people like that but I don’t bend my relationship with the Lord. So I’m sitting down, I was out of town talking to this guy. This guy’s 45-46 years old, super wealthy guy. He married this lady who has billions of dollars. He’s talking to me and he’s like, you know… he calls me preacher man. He goes,
“Preacher man, I just live with the throttle to the firewall, man. I just go fast, I do what I want to do. I’m just like…”
And you know what? Think about what I opened up with earlier. That was Adam and Eve’s problem. They had ultimate freedom when they were doing what God wanted them to do. God just said, “Hey, don’t touch the fruit on the tree.” But then they thought, I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna have what they thought was true freedom. I’m gonna do everything that I want to do, even <crunching sound effect> eat the fruit of the tree. And once they did that, that’s when everything messed up for them. So true freedom – understand this and believe this – is living for Jesus.
Anyway, I’m talking to this guy and he’s just like, “Man, I just do what I want to do, and I do this and do that, spend this and spend that.” He goes, “Hey, I want to tell you about these racehorses I just bought.” So he’s showing me on his phone. He’s like, “Man, see this horse here?” And I’m sure these horses are millions of dollars. He goes, “I flew this horse over from Germany. I flew this horse in from this place and that place.” And I look at these horses, I’m looking at them and these horses are like, perfect! I mean, you can tell people are riding them. They’re trained. They’re jumping over this, jumping over that. And I’m thinking to myself, but I didn’t say this but I’m gonna say to him when God tells me to. Here this guy is totally wheels off. He’s doing what he wants to do. I mean, just chasing this girl, messing around with this, smoking this, doing that. You know all that stuff. And he’s saying, “Man, I just do what I wanna do. I just raise Hell. I have no restraints on my life!”
So he’s telling me he’s living like this but then on the other hand he’s showing me these horses he’s buying that are millions of dollars, that are the best-trained animals in the world. The reason they’re so awesome, the reason these horses are so amazing, is because you’ve got all that power and energy and testosterone focused! They’re truly free, the horses. This guy? He could die any day the way he lives his life.
Your life, I’m telling you, an amazing thoroughbred. Allow the Master to teach you. Allow the Master to train you. Clothe yourselves in camo and live it out and courageously advance the Master’s objective. OK? Let’s do it! That’s Camo, that’s Camo Couture!
[Ed closes in prayer.]