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God's timing...

22 May, 2003 5:19 PM

Sometimes God chooses the most inopportune moments to confront you with where you need to grow.

Last Sunday I was in the middle of preaching. I was standing up in front of 200 or so people and was getting really worked up about Matthew 10. I was talking about how Jesus calls us to 'give up our lives', to 'take up our cross' and to 'travel light'. The call is a radical one, its life changing, you can't even attempt to do it without making significant sacrifice or lifestyle alternations from the 'patterns of this world'. I was getting pretty passionate about this.

I was particularly focusing upon how our culture often encourages us to accumulate and to consume and yet how this in these passages seems almost diametrically opposed to the call of Jesus.

I was getting worked up and I glanced down to my Palm Pilot where my notes were and I realised that whilst I strongly believed what I was saying I also represented what I was calling people to move away from. I was...no...I am up there with the best of consumers and accumulators. I drove to that church in my one year old car, had prepared the sermon on my cool little laptop and would go home after to my fully equipped house.

I stopped mid sentence as the reality of it hit me. I'm not sure what the congregation thought of me but after a few seconds I had to look up and admit to them that whilst I was passionate about what I was saying that I really wondered if I had any idea of what Jesus call really meant in practice.

On one level I can honestly say that I genuinely would give anything to respond to the call of Jesus...but also at exactly the same time I realise I have not really even begun to grapple with it.



If that means you'd like to unload your Palm real cheap...I think I know a buyer...:)

Luke » 22 May, 2003 11:22 PM

Ow ow ow... this post of yours really relates to what Kevin said in his blog. I think it's probably something most of us struggle with - the wanting (and accumulation) of things. It definitely is something I struggle with.

irene » 22 May, 2003 11:29 PM

God has blessed me financially over the past few years, but the blessings only came after conviction to rid myself of debt (which God has) and after I started giving my blessings away. I do without a lot of "stuff" but I have never once done without a need.

I've learned some lessons on humility from the kids that share my house. Little Tiffany doesn't have a doll house for her dolls, she's constructed one from an old cardboard box.

Justin the boy happily plays with a stick as any good sword fighter would do as his friend whizzes up and down the street in his go-cart.

These kids rarely complain that they don't have what their friends have and to Justin, one of the best things he likes to do is have a "framily" night. We all sit together as friends and family, or framily, and watch a movie or read from a book. I gave up my way of life which was very material, and God blesses me everyday for it. He even lets me keep some of my "stuff"!

Susan L. Prince » 23 May, 2003 2:28 AM

so, if i follow this - you were preaching, and then convicted, and then you were probably able to really preach effectively, from your lack rather than your own fullness... and you were possibly the only one who got it. not a bad thing at all, actually. great story.

rick » 24 May, 2003 2:44 AM

I think it really comes down to when we allow the toys/gadgets/"stuff" of culture and technology to become stumbling blocks to our relationship with Christ. A Palm Pilot, in and of itself, isn't a bad thing. You were using it for His purposes when it was a sermon tool. But if you spent more time investing in your Palm and Laptop than in your relationship with Christ...there's the stumble.

One that I sturggle with all the time, I might add.

Blake » 24 May, 2003 11:33 PM

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