Monday, May 6, 2013

Back Home and Surrounded

Now is the time to be stubborn...

I had the privilege of speaking at the Jenness Park Father/Son Retreat this past weekend. Here's an email I sent to the guys who attended. FYI - One of the themes was the stubbornness of Faith which prompts us to obey the voice of God even when the evidence tells us that defeat is inevitable.

You're home. Well … probably not. You’re at work, or at school, or driving … or wherever you are you're not at Jenness Park. Life has begun again. The parenthetical rest has come to an end and the challenges of real life surround you.

The exciting intentions you had yesterday might suddenly seem far less exciting and far less realistic as you survey the hills around you and see the genuinely formidable armies of your life pressing in on every side.

But this is not the first time a man of God has been surrounded by enemies. This is not the first time God has required us to step out in that stubborn faith.

So step. It starts with one. Just one step. Worry about that first one first. Jesus said something similar “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Mathew 6:34

So what are you going to do? What’s the plan?

If you are a young man reading this are you going to keep trying to fight on your own? Are you tired of failing? Tired of being out-flanked by the enemy because your back is unprotected?  Are you ready to start running instead of getting shot up every time you try to take a stand?

Then stop trying to fight on your own. Go to your father, and with your faith placed NOT in your dad, but firmly and stubbornly in the promises of your Heavenly Father let him know what you’ve been struggling with. Fighting with someone alongside you is so much better than the loneliness of pride.

No father around? I know that story. It was mine. Thank God that you have at least one man who loves you enough to have brought you this weekend. He’s obviously already got your back. Now let him know what’s really going on so he knows your weak points and can really begin to provide the protection that each of us needs.

If you are a father reading this than you and I both know the load of reasons why change is seeming more impossible as each minute passes. Life is busy. The phone call that just came in and gave you
one more thing to do and to worry about is just another evidence being tossed up in front of you by the enemy to play on your doubts, and this subterfuge is so compelling because it’s true. You are busy. You have a lot on your mind and on your plate.

You look at your past and you see the years of bad habits, and the debris of failure strewn along the path that you have already wandered. This and so much more all call out for you to give up on the commitments you made this past weekend.

Now is the time to be stubborn. Sure, acknowledge the size of the enemy standing before you. He’s huge! But don’t stop there. Respond to the enormity of the enemy with an equally enormous cry of stubborn faithfulness that echoes that of David as he ran heedlessly toward the impossible … and the impossible came crashing down …

“Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.” 1 Samuel 17:45-47

Who’s bigger? What you do over the next few days, the battle plans you choose to draw up or choose not to draw up, will reveal who you fear and who you love the most.

Choose to trust in the foolishness of the cross and the God who is no longer hanging there.

I consider it a humbling privilege that you allowed me to speak to you this past weekend. But the conversation does not have to end there and I hope it doesn’t.

Do you need prayer? Do you have questions? Do you have a story of success to share? I hope to hear from you.

In Christ,

David Gregg

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