Last night we studied 1 Samuel 13 and the first half of 14. We saw the beginning of the end for King Saul. Though he has 38 years left in his reign until his tragic suicide, chapter 13 shows how he began to decay. By the end of his life he will have gotten so far off course he is able to have a group of priests murdered without feeling guilty, be hellbent on murdering his son in law who has helped him out greatly and even turn to witchcraft. But he didn’t become that way over night. It was one small compromise after another that lead him way off course. It’s been put this way: “Sow a thought, reap an action, sow an action, reap a habit, sow a habit, reap a lifestyle, sow a lifestyle reap a character, sow a character and you’ll reap a destiny.” Early on Saul sowed little seeds of pride, arrogance, disobedience that would literally plague him for the rest of his life.
Then, when things got intense instead of trusting the Lord he resorted to the flesh and missed out on seeing God guide and provide. But God has told us to walk by faith and not by sight. I am so amazed looking back at my life and ministry at how this principle has been a blessing. We don’t have to strive and manipulate and connive to make ministry happen, through relying on the power of God’s Spirit and obeying His Word there is a sweet-spot of enjoying watching God move in and through us.
In contrast to his dad’s failures, in chapter 14 we saw that Jonathan, Saul’s son, knew what kind of a God he served. He stepped out in faith and along with his armor-bearer did what King Saul and the entire army knew they couldn’t, defeat the Philistines. We learned three lessons about how faith works:
1. Having faith isn’t always an exact science.
He said—it may be that the Lord will work for us, another translation says perhaps God will move. They recognized that they could step out and see God close the door and if that happened they would turn around and try another door.
2. Having faith doesn’t mean you don’t have to “do anything.”
Having faith doesn’t mean you just sit there and wait for ministry to come to you. They got up and ran and took out as many guys as they possibly could (20 in all) —then God sent an earthquake that decimated the Philistine army. God could have just sent the earthquake but first he let them fight 20 guys in half an acre to include them in the work.
3. Following someone else’s vision can still be an act of faith.
Jonathan’s armor bearer didn’t have the plan, but he followed it, got to be apart of it. Not everyone is called to come up with the idea’s some are called to support, but both are needed and both share in the fruit.
The world needs more people who will get up and go, trust God’s spirit and step out in faith! Don’t be afraid of failing, there’s nothing wrong with that. You can learn lessons from failure you can’t learn any other way. All things being said and done, we should live like Jonathan–not like his dad. Because in his case it’s a good thing the apple fell far from the tree.
Right now I am teaching from the book of Song of Solomon on Sunday and on Wednesday nights I am teaching from 1 Samuel. It is fun to be spending so much time in the Old Testament. I love the new testament also, because in it Jesus is brightly displayed, but we see Him in the Old also, only He is hinted at. It’s been put this way, the Old is in the New revealed, but the New is in the Old concealed. It’s really true, and through the veiled references, prophecies, types, and promises Jesus is really all over the pages of the Old Testament. Tonight I am teaching through 1 Samuel 13 and we will see Saul’s first mistake as king. Don’t miss it!
I had two very rad, young ladies in my office today, Alivia and Lenya. They are consultants, from a business called, Fresh Daughters inc. They arrived in the nick of time, they told me my fresh quota was slipping and that soon I would be stale. They gave me the injection I needed to continue on a road towards a fresher tomorrow. Hopefully they will be able to keep me hip when I get old and current when I am culturally out of touch. But seriously, I love these two girls! And the Lord really blessed our family this week. Little Lenya had a surgery scheduled for this morning. They were going to put a feeding tube directly into her stomach. But the surgeon decided she didn’t need it because she has gained enough weight and is eating on her own. Thanks so much to all of you who have kept her in prayer.
It was a very cool weekend of ministry but I am so glad to be home. Especially to be back with the family. Alivia has just learned to ride her new pink bike that her doting Grandpa bought her and we didn’t waste anytime going out for a ride straight from the airport. We have a tradition that when I travel without the family I bring back a present for the girls and it’s usually a little surfer tee shirt or a necklace. I was also so stoked to be once again experiencing the extraordinary, Montana summer days. My favorite time of day is the last hour before sunset, the light is golden, the air is delicious and walks are magnificent. Last night we caught (and released) a baby frog while cruising around. These are the kind of leisurely summer evenings you read about other people having! We did come to a family decision that we are not ready for fall to come and are prepared to boycott if necessary. The summer just flew by so fast! At least we don’t feel like we haven’t appreciated it, we have spent every moment possible outdoors. I have even been preparing my messages on the porch with an ever present cup of iced coffee. It has been epic! I am also so excited to teach tomorrow night at Fresh Life, we will be covering 1 Samuel 11-12. For those of you in Montana, yo may have noticed that the weather forecast for tomorrow evening is Thunder Storms, so we are not going to have the study outdoors as planned. We will be back in the Strand, and assuming the weather cooperates, we will have our August edition of “Service in the Park” next Wednesday, August 27th. With the barbecue starting at 5:30pm and the service at 7 as usual. If you are not in Montana, I’m sorry! You can watch the service online at Fresh Life Church dot com.
Saturday night ripped. The crowd was over capacity, 2,000 people were turned away, Fortunately they could listen online or on KWVE. All the bands did a great job. Kutless, Lincoln Brewster, Leeland, and POD. I really liked Lincoln Brewster’s sweet Van Halen guitar riffs.
Greg Delivered a rocking message on life after death from Luke 16 called an “Email from Eternity.” As I sat there listening to the message I thought about how Greg was preaching, Jonathan Laurie opened in prayer, and Topher Laurie designed all the stage elements and the look of the evening and so all three of the Laurie men collaborated together on this awesome night! Here are pictures of Greg and Jonathan right before the message and Greg preaching the gospel.
I had a blast hosting the outreach, and got to talk about Christopher a video about his life. (Which was very sad to watch, but beautiful for so many people to be able to see how special his life on earth was.) But I also know that his life is continuing–in fact he is more alive now than ever before! And those who have believed in Christ will get to see him again. By then he will have heaven dialed and be showing us all around.
At the invitation over 4,500 people filled the infield and outfield making commitments to Christ! I had alot of fun hosting and am so blessed that God has allowed me to be apart of this amazing ministry. You can watch a flash video (high quality) of the night here.
In this sweet pic one of the talented Harvest Photographers took, Jonathan Laurie and I are about to open up the Saturday Night Crusade. He did the opening prayer and it was awesome. It was his first time being in front of a stadium full of people (something like 45,000 people to be exact!) But you wouldn’t know it. He was smooth and sincere. His heart for the Lord is so sweet, for the last three weeks since his big brother went to heaven I can’t tell you how many times I have heard him say or pray that he hopes many people come to the Lord through hearing about Tophers life and story. I’m so proud of Jonathan’s maturity and passion, and stoked to be his friend.
This is Jon Micah the lead singer of Kutless. Very cool guy and someone who actually knows where Kalispell is! Kutless has played at lots of Harvest crusades And always puts on a great show with a great heart. During their finale Jon climbed about two stories up the stage trussing and sang from up there and then jumped down from about 12 feet up. If you think that’s wild you out to see their drummer–plays so hardcore it’s freakesh, but then most drummers are that way.
Service went great this morning, neat church, diverse body, 7 people came forward and made commitments to Christ! Seeing Chris and his wife Tatum was alot of fun. And it was really cool to explore their beautiful facility. I especially like how modern and simple everything is, so different from our 95 year old building! I love the strand and all but really dig simple and modern lines and design.