"Listening for God"
This week during small group we talked about Isaac and Rebekah (Gen 24) Our discussions covered a lot of territory. One of the things we talked about was waiting on God. And that is what I wanted to bring up here. How many times have you pleaded with God in prayer? I for one am not a stranger when it comes to asking him for guidance or a blessing upon a decision. This is what is referred to as seeking the counsel of the Lord. Now, what happens after we cry out to the Lord, pour out our souls and request his help or guidance? What do we do? Just wait or try doing what we think is the right thing and hope God will defeat us if we are not going in the right direction?
Well Yes and No. We do need to wait on the Lord. Psalm 37:7-9 "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land." And I also think we need to listen for the Lord. The answer you are looking for my not be some grand spectacular thing. The answer may not be screaming at you........
Why do you believe in God? Who is this Jesus that you regard so highly? Why does any of this matter? Some of us are getting anxious just from thinking about all the questions someone might ask us about our faith. What do we say? How do we start? What if I have doubts and concern about the very things they are asking about.
Since childhood I have been taught that we must know enough to evangelize others. We couldn’t go out and proclaim the good news of Jesus if we weren’t prepared for every eventuality, every permutation of every possible question and outcome. How dare we be such bad stewards of the entrusted word of God. Soon I realized that I was depending on my knowledge and my ability to know enough. Eventually I found out that people were not impressed with my knowledge, and worse, they weren’t impressed with my ability either. All in all, I was found to be not that much of an impressive person.
So, what do we do when we realize it’s not about us? It’s a humbling experience to be brought so low when we have placed ourselves on such a high pedestal. I am reminded of so many Biblical stories of people that overestimated their importance and found themselves face to face with the dirt. Do you remember Moses, when told to go.......
Hacksaw Ridge is a war-drama film that depicts the true story of heroism displayed by Desmond Doss during the Okinawa Campaign during World War ll. Desmond Doss was a devout Christian whose personal belief would not allow him to carry a weapon. He joined the Army and faced ridicule from his peers and was bullied by his superiors. Their goal was to pressure him into voluntarily leaving thinking they could not trust a “conscientious objector” in battle. Doss believed his personal beliefs did not excuse him from serving his Country nor did it diminish his ability and desire to serve as an unarmed medic. I recommend this movie to anyone who has the ability to withstand the graphic depictions of war. This movie has a spiritual-inspirational message that left me reflective of the greater meaning of strength. Throughout his entire tour of duty, Desmond exhibited profound strength. How often is it that the powerful, well-liked, popular concept becomes the approved standard we adapt to?
There is a distinctive difference between strength and profound strength. The definition that initially comes to mind when we think of the word strength is primarily defined as an ability to exhibit physical power. It brings to mind a picture of a brawny man with large muscles lifting excessive amounts of weight.
Profound strength comes from within. I do not believe it is an innate characteristic. It is a learned concept that encompasses challenges. It is through difficulty that we either develop confidence in our ability to confront our inner beliefs or we yield to and accept the path of least resistance.
Samson had great physical strength. He reveled in his strength. This misplaced self-assurance ultimately led to his downfall.
In Daniel 3 we find 3 young men who possessed the same profound strength as Desmond Doss. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were Jews. King Nebuchadnezzar had defeated the king of Judah and brought young men of Jewish nobility into his court. King Nebuchadnezzar had his servants make a golden statue. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down and worship the statue.
As there were men who revealed Desmond Doss’ refusal to go against his beliefs; there were similar men who exposed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The consequence for disobeying was a fiery furnace.
Profound strength broadens our understanding of what “true strength” is intended to mean. Profound strength involves, a source of support, an emotional toughness, and a defensive ability to resist. It is an asset or quality with a degree of intensity that eventually can have a persuasive power to change those around you.
The common thread to be found in the lives of .......