We are starting week 3 of 12. It’s much like it was back in the 90’s when I staffed DTS before only I am 37 instead of 25. I guess that makes a huge difference. Every weekday there is lecture mixed with all sorts of other things. There is about 5 free minutes in every day. I am glad to be here and have purpose though. There’s no shortage of that. I have recently had times in life where it’s like, “..why am I here? what am I doing? Is this about making money? About getting by? Is it about trying to be happy?” Right here and right now, I know exactly what I am doing. I think we all want to have purpose or at least get satisfaction out of our lives. I think the man in the most awful place is the guy who is trying to do the right thing with no satisfaction in doing it…running from sin but not really running to God. Stuck in the middle…lukewarm…hell.
Last week we had a guy teaching named Dalton Lifesey. He is from a 24 hour a day prayer house up on the north island. His charge was to be totally sold out to the Lord. We have all heard that a million times, but I apparently needed to hear it again. His charge came from 1 Samuel 16-31-the life of David. David’s life is chronicled there and lots of David’s Psalms were written during that period. Dalton gave us background about specific Psalms and where David was at when he wrote them. It can be a life-changing thing to pray in this way. For example, you might take a psalm or a section of one and pray it back to God. When I do that, the Word becomes part of me and I “own” it. It’s one thing when I read the Word. It’s another thing entirely when I read it every day and pray the same passage over and over to the Lord. It increases my ability to receive from him. For example, I have prayed Psalm 101:6 at different times asking God to surround me with the best of the best. I mean I go to different churches and countries and it’s hard to tell who’s who. God knows. “..he who’s walk is blameless will minister unto me.” That’s the prayer. It’s what I want. If I play tennis, I want to play with someone who is better than me so I improve (I actually do not play tennis). My spiritual walk it is the same. I ask God to hook me up with people who pray more than I do, who hunger for God more than I do, who are more committed than I am, and who are running harder after God and seeking Him more than I am. He may not do it in my time or in the way I think, but I have found that he will honor an earnest prayer…
Back to being sold out, we were challenged that the reason we do not receive the fullness of God is because we are unwilling to go that last 10%. It’s that one last thing I won’t give up or start doing. Not to be legalistic, but the one creature comfort I rely on instead of God. I want to be comfortable. God is not anti-pleasure. I just want it in other places than in Him. One house of cards after another, I set them up and trust in them rather than God. The challenge is to ask God to point out the things that hold me back and act in obedience. That’s it. I get nervous when I think about doing that because I wonder if God really is enough. Is he? Will I just be doing without and live in constant tension all the time? Things to think about and hopefully act on.
We are rolling along at a steady clip where the days are starting to take on a rhythm. I am more used to the routine. It a hectic schedule and if I want any time to myself to study the Word, I have to get up before dawn. It’s worth it though. We don’t know exactly where we are going on outreach yet. I was asked to write down my top 3 choices, so hopefully soon we will find out. Then again, I don’t need to know. I just want to know.
I am on worship as a work duty, which has been extra stretching, but that too has become a little easier over time. I try to have the attitude that God is preparing me for something even though I may not understand it today. I have 3 guys in my small group. They turn in journals every week, which I comment on and return. We have one on one time where we pray and talk over the issues in their lives. It’s a great thing to have accountability. It’s necessary. One of my other responsibilities is our Friday night outreach where our group goes into Christchurch to help get ready for the overseas outreach coming up later. We bring guitars and play together with some of the locals. We have caulk for coloring with the kids on the sidewalk and try to link up with other ministries who are working with the homeless. There is so much going on it’s hard to even write it all down.