well i would like to start off and say that i will NOT be blogging about camp. yes, that has been the whole highlight of my summer and i do want to share what the Lord has taught me, but right now i only have time for a short-er post which is in light of revival this past week...
revival at church was phenomenal. the theme was "Come Near." God was speaking and moving hearts. it was so incredible to see. our revival speaker was truly one amazing man of God and i was so blessed with him sharing his and the Lord's heart with me and my church family. and i would like to share with you the main thing the Lord laid on my heart pre/during/post revival.
since the summer has come to a close, i have processed a lot of things from the summer. one being the things that i am passionate about. and i cant believe that i am about to say this, but speaking in front of others has become one of my passions. never in a million years would i find myself saying that. this is only due to the fact that i hate being in front of people. i may look comfortable, but on the inside i am not. my heart is for discipleship and for small group. this is because i love pouring into people on a small scale basis. but since camp, or rather since i have become a camp pastor, God has really been laying on my heart the desire of preaching the gospel from the stage. now here is your disclaimer: I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS RIGHT NOW SO YOU WILL HAVE TO STAY TUNED FOR MORE INFO AS TIME GOES ON.
fast forwarding to this past week. i got some time to sit down and discuss this in short with the revival speaker. his first reaction was, "Go to New Orleans Seminary". my first reaction in my head was, "Why does it have to be New Orleans?" clearly that is where he went, and thats where he is going to encourage people to go, but that wasnt really an issue. the next thing that he said really got me thinking and i agreed with him 100%. he told me that things like seminary school allow you to do something that we call "sharpening your sword. When we sharpen our swords, God will provide the battle." that is a beautiful statement. it goes right into being obedient to the Lord's calling in our lives. in Matthew 28 we see this call to "GO" in what bible readers call the Great Commission. it says, "Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." [Matthew 28:18-20] now this passage of scripture has so many implications that we could dive into, but the one i want to point out, which is the most obvious one because we have been talking about it, is the word "GO". notice that it is a command. not a suggestion. and its implications are weighty. the word in the Greek actually means to continue on in the journey. which journey is that? the one that the Lord has laid out for you. how can we know that? only if we have a relationship with him and seek after His will for our lives. part of that "good, pleasing, and perfect will of God" [Romans 12:1-2] is GOing as this passage suggests. but what this word ALSO means is "to imitate one, or to follow his ways". now that has some pretty big implications in itself as well. John 8:29 says, "The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him." as a believer my whole goal is to be like Christ, and if everything Christ did was to please God then i must respond in that same way. i MUST do all things to please Him--and if that is GOing then i must do so.
now on to the thought that came after revival service on wednesday. this situation that i was placed in was not one that i enjoyed at all, but it really got my heart thinking. during invitation on wednesday night the revival pastor looked at me and motioned for me to come down to the alter. not once, but twice. and i was not ok with that. the implications were that i needed to make a decision. now for me and anyone else who knows about invitation time, one--you never want to manipulate the invitation time, and two--any decision that i make for the Lord i would have discerned for myself. im not saying that the pastor knew better than i did, im just saying that i would have been able to discern that for myself, and i was not being led to make a decision in the way that the pastor wanted me to. but it got me thinking. specifically about where i am at and what im doing with my life. that night before i laid my pretty little head down to sleep i really opened up to the Lord and asked Him desperately to speak to me. needless to say, He did. that very next morning i read a beautiful passage in 1 Samuel 18. it is as follows:
After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt. Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well. When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres. As they danced, they sang:
“Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands.”
and David his tens of thousands.”
Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom? ” And from that time on Saul kept a closeeye on David. The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand 11 and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice. Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had departed from Saul. So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led the troops in their campaigns. In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him. When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him. But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns. Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter Merab. I will give her to you in marriage; only serve me bravely and fight the battles of the Lord.” For Saul said to himself, “I will not raise a hand against him. Let the Philistines do that!” But David said to Saul, “Who am I, and what is my family or my clan in Israel, that I should become the king’s son-in-law? ” So when the time came for Merab, Saul’s daughter, to be given to David, she was given in marriage to Adriel of Meholah. Now Saul’s daughter Michal was in love with David, and when they told Saul about it, he was pleased. “I will give her to him,” he thought, “so that she may be a snare to him and so that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” So Saul said to David, “Now you have a second opportunity to become my son-in-law.” Then Saul ordered his attendants: “Speak to David privately and say, ‘Look, the king likes you, and his attendants all love you; now become his son-in-law.’” They repeated these words to David. But David said, “Do you think it is a small matter to become the king’s son-in-law? I’m only a poor man and little known.” When Saul’s servants told him what David had said, Saul replied, “Say to David, ‘The king wants no other price for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies.’” Saul’s plan was to have David fall by the hands of the Philistines. When the attendants told David these things, he was pleased to become the king’s son-in-law. So before the allotted time elapsed, David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king so that David might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage." 1 Samuel 18:1-27
...ok, i know that was long, but there is a purpose behind it. now after i read this passage i didnt know what to think. but then it came to me. Saul wanted something for David that David didnt want. Saul tried to manipulate David's situation. he tried to make it what he wanted it to be. David didnt like that. it came down to the fact that David discerned marrying Saul's eldest daughter was not what was needed. instead he waited patiently for the thing that he did desire, Saul's other daughter. and when it was time, David sought after her. now for me the Lord revealed to me that what God has for me is best. what others want for us may be good, but it may not be what God wants for us. my sunday school teacher put it this way, "sometimes the hardest decision isnt between a good one and a bad one. it's usually between a good one and God's best." and to know God's best i must pursue Him. and thats what i am doing and will continue to do. God overrules all. His plan trumps all. and thats where i find my comfort.