Monday, July 21, 2008

Breaking clay pots

"God doesn't get much glory when powerful people do possible things. Powerless people attempting impossible, ridiculous things displays God's incredible Glory."
From my notes of Paster Paul Fleming's sermon. It may have been a quote, but I didn't get the source.

So did you hear about the MLB All Star Home Run Derby last weekend? This guy, Josh Hamilton, one time first round draft pick, golden boy.... overwhelmed with the affects of fame and fell into the traps of severe addictions,

in a desperate moment came to know Jesus and changed his whole life. He now speaks openly of how God's love can change everything, even the worst of desperate situations. Then, he smashed the Home Run Derby record and slams 28 Home runs in the first round, as well as hitting a 518 foot home run, also a record.

... and now, he gives God all the glory for his success.

So the sermon on Sunday, a part of the Forgotten People Series, was about Gideon.

We often think that if someone's story made it to the Bible, they had to have been a spectacularly holy person. Really though, it is often not the case. Most noteworthy Bible stories tell of hapless and hopeless individuals who are miraculously affected by God's mighty powers... much like Gideon, and not all that different than Josh Hamilton.

Maybe we don't want to consider the possibility that God can use "me" in major ways or that God would care about minute details of our simple lives.

Lesson to learn #1 - Living a life that God honors in faith does not require perfection. Doubting does not necessarily mean that you have no faith. Doubt is natural, and faith naturally comes with its own dose of doubt.

Lesson to learn #2 - Faith does not require power.... it actually has NOTHING to do with our own power.

so now we realize that we don't have what it takes....

1 - Get used to reliance
2- Go into the battle
3 - Give God the glory

(Breaking clay pots reference - if you are unfamiliar with the story of Gideon in Judges 6 - basically God tells Gideon to go to battle against this huge army with a VERY small crew of inexperienced soldiers (ratio over 400:1). They move in on the enemy, in the middle of the night. They are armed with candles and clay pots. They simultaneously break their clay pots, startling the enemy army out of their sleep. There is mass chaos and confusion, most of the enemy is killed with out the Israelites involvement. It took an enormous amount of faith for Gideon to lead this tiny, weak army to battled this massive enemy, not knowing what would happen, but still trusting God's calling. )
*******************end of sermon notes***************

So it's good to do hard things... this will continue to be a mantra I practice, but I think I will view it differently now. Rarely does God move our hearts to do things that are simple and mundane, those rarely require faith. But obedience to the call of the Lord to do those hard things... brings incredible victory.

A friend recently removed herself from an unhealthy social environment, as God was leading her to do it. The world wants us to accept their standards, we long for God's standards.

I think that these old testament figures (Gideon, Ruth, Job) have very poignant stories that we can learn from. They came from a time where there was no order, everyone did what they thought was right... so few even knew God, or followed Him...oh how familiar that is to us.

I think God expects us to sometimes question his plans, but he still wants us to follow his leadings. He is so patient with us. He lets us doubt. He continues to call.

Do I have what it takes to answer that call?

No, and I never will.

But He is big enough, He is strong enough, He provides the clay pots.

1 comment:

  1. It amazes me how sooooooo much time has gone by since creation, and how God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and how He knew what we would all do... Sin ... and how he still has grace and patience for us all.

    It's so simple. Follow God.
    But then again, we continue to fail time after time after time. Literally, from the first people on earth to the last people on earth.

    And even still, God will use us, some of us in major ways, others in small ways, to do awesome things. We don't have to have power, just faith. He will do the rest.

    It sounds like it was a good sermon. Sorry to have missed it (reuion). Thanks for the notes.


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