Sunday Night Reflections
I have to say that God is really showing up in our services. We have had one of the best stretches of services that I remember having in our history. And I don’t mean we’ve had flawless services. I touched on that last week. What I mean is that there is a tangible sense of the presence of God.
Moment of confession – We’ve had services since we began where it was totally in our own power. Our plans, our skills, our abilities, our knowledge, and our strength. That may sound bad, but I’m convinced that there are more churches than not where this is true. But God will NOT let HIS Word ever go out without impact. Isaiah 55:11-12 tells us that just as the rain will always accomplish a purpose, so too will His Word. Even if we’re delivering it in our own strength, which we (I) have done. In Philippians 1:15-18, the Apostle Paul said that even when the gospel is preached with impure motives, he rejoiced because God’s Word is still being heard. That’s the power of God’s Word.
That being said, having experienced services that were done in our own power, and experiencing services soaked in the power of God, I’ll take the latter. And we’ve been blessed to sense God’s presence in powerful ways this year.
In The Fire
Our current series, In The Fire, concentrates on the experience of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel chapter three. If you’re going to Go B.I.G. in 2008, you can count on having a fiery furnace moment….and then some. Jesus was put to the test IMMEDIATELY after being baptized and beginning his public ministry. You will NEVER realize the “something more” you are looking for without fighting for it.
The awesome thing about the faith of these three heroes of faith are that there were OK with whatever outcome awaited them. Whether it was deliverance from the fire, or perishing in the flames. Because either way, they were honoring the King of Kings. There was no room for compromise with these guys…no playing it safe. For them, it was all or nothing for their God. And look at the impact.
Playing safe is a sure way to a life of boredom and emptiness. At The Grove, I would rather we fail while achieving great things for God, than succeed at accomplishing nothing. That means we have to be OK with failing. That doesn’t sound acceptable in the church environment. But that’s because too many churches have put God in a box and we have crippled ourselves and cut ourselves off from experiencing the overwhelming greatness of God.
We want 2008 to be more than we ever imagined. And we have a God that wants to deliver. But it will take our whole-hearted commitment and a willingness to fight fire with faith.
Each Sunday, our men gather in a huddle to be personally challenged before heading out to live out their faith in their home and in the workplace. This week, we passed out matches. An unlit match delivers neither light nor heat. But when struck, it reveals both. For a match to deliver either, it has to be struck or ignited by other matches. If you’re not taking any blows, then you’re not putting yourself out there for Christ. And if you’re not being challenged and inspired by others, you are limiting your potential and your reach.
Our men will be carrying matches this week to remind them of these simple truths. Grab one yourself and let it be your own reminder this week.