Today again the day started at 7:30 AM. Breakfast was good (I found the boxed cereal and enjoyed it). After breakfast, I took some time to relax and enjoy the day. As I sat and watched other people eat, I saw so many people leave behind large quantities of food on their plates. I never usually complain about things (mostly because people would never take the time to listen to me), but I have to mention that I was really depressed. So many people do not have a lot of food to eat. We are so wasteful here in the U.S. I am only saying this because it says in the packet of information we were given at the beginning of the week, to not waste food. I guess they missed that page in their packet.
The speaker began his talk today after a few ‘old school’ praise songs. As he stood up, I wondered if he would make it to the pulpit. He did make it. His topic was, “Spear Throwers.” I thought his topic was a bit odd as I sat there in my green stadium seat. Cause we all throw spears. In any case, he opened up to the book of Samuel, the eighteenth chapter.
Saul and David: Friends of Foes? That is what I would have called this topic. I am not the speaker though and had to submit to his arranged topic. In any case, he began to share a little bit about Saul. We learn that Saul in fact was anointed by God to be the King. He was also given a prophetic gift by God and was impressive in appearance. As I heard the characteristics about Saul, my mind wondered, as it usually does, to try and find a ‘real-life example.’ I thought perhaps we could liken Saul to Benny Hinn (maybe a little younger though). After considering it for a moment, I realized my error and continued to listen.
One thing that considered important about this whole ordeal was found in a small statement Dr. Lutzer said. “Saul saw the kingdom as his and not God’s.” He had a problem letting go. I know many pastors who are in this position. It is unfortunate when this occurs. Many people end up hurt and lost, sometimes even leaving the church because of a pastor or leader who takes it upon him to stay in a ministry when in fact, he should leave. Saul, concerning the Kingdom, was no different. The ministry one works in is God’s and not men. I think we all need to understand that no matter what our current ministry is or position within the church.
People who look at their position as their own and not God’s end up being obsessed with them. Again, I understand this quite well. I know a pastor who will not allow anyone to have any form of leadership within his group because it is “his ministry that the pastor of the church passed to him.” Well… I would say more but I think I would end up being in trouble if I did. So it goes.
These types of people end up using their kindness to kill others (mentally, emotionally, and yes, sometimes even physically). People truly do not matter though because they write and live by their own rules rather than the rules, which have been written and stamped by God, Himself. This is a sad, sad story. But, once again, this is something that happens more often than we probably would like to admit within the body of Christ.
As I sit and reflect on David, dealing with all of this (almost being killed by Saul two times by a spear – hence the title of Dr. Lutzer’s talk), I found myself looking at how David responded to his opposition. It astounded me that David never tried to take the Kingdom by force. He remained patient and willing to wait on God for the Kingdom. That to me is quite impressive. David spent ten years serving Saul before he became king. That boggles my mind. Dr. Lutzer said, “The ten years David spent serving Saul ended up being a blessing. Through those long ten years, God used Saul to make David a greater king.” I like that. It is as though if David did not spend those ten years serving Saul, perhaps David would have ended up being like him. That must have been a very difficult time for David though. I am not sure if I could handle that myself.
And so, Dr. Lutzer brought the application to the message, which I think is worthwhile in sharing. The first thing he said was, “Try to doge the spear.” We need to remain alert in our circumstances. If we are not awake, we might end up with a spear in our side. We need to not always take things personally and oftentimes put physical distance between others and ourselves in order to dodge the spears that are thrown our way. Secondly, Dr. Lutzer said, “Do not become a spear thrower.” The old “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” comes to mind as I think about that. It would be so easy, after dodging a spear, to try and throw it back at the one who threw it at us. We should take a different approach. Though it might be difficult, we must trust in God that He will continue to keep us out of harm’s way. Even when it seems as though the spears never stop. Finally, Dr. Lutzer said, “Learn the lessons God wants to teach us through others.” Through our brokenness and our growth in Him, God wants to teach us more about ourselves. This is very important.
In this, we must remember that the work God does in us while we wait is more important then the thing we are waiting to do. As I think about the calling God has on my life, I come back to this point over and over. I ponder it and wonder if I am trying to rush God in my desire and yearning to serve Him in the capacity He has called me to serve. I am learning though. He is teaching me. I am truly blessed in all of this.
I have to be honest and say that after Sunday, I though perhaps this week would be pointless for me. I thought perhaps I had made a mistake in choosing to come to this particular week of camp here in NY. I am beginning to realize though that God, in His great knowledge, picked this week for me to be here. I need to continually ask God, “What are You doing through me here?” And, “What should I take away from this place?” I honestly believe that is something we need to ask of God more often than we usually do. I know He will answer my questions. Somehow He always seems to answer them when I really need to know the answers. So, for today at least, I have something to sleep on.
After a great lunch, my dad, sister, and myself went canoeing on the lake. We spent two long hours paddling through God’s creation and enjoying the animals and scenery as we ventured to new and unknown territory for us. It was beautiful. You know, I do not say this a lot but I think I will start saying it more often: For those who do not believe in Jesus or believe that there is a Creator of all that is in the earth and the heavens: You would have believed if you went on this canoe trip with us today. God’s creation was very real and personal. And, though I was tired when I was done, I was glad I went. Unfortunately I did not take my camera to capture this site so I guess you will just have to take my word for it.
As I look at the computer, I am realizing it is 12:46 AM and breakfast is once again at 7:30. For, for tonight, I will say goodnight. God bless my friends.