Jun 18, 2003

Danny spoke at Alpha and Omega, our college and career service, tonight. It was incredible. It just so happened that there was a scaffold in the Teachy Chapel from some new lights being installed or something, so earlier in the day Danny asked them to leave it there for tonight (he used it as an object lesson). His example was that God was up at the top of the scaffold and our goal is to get up there with God. (He made clear that no example is perfect, so if there's something "wrong" with this one, he already warned us that it would not be perfect.) His point was that we can't get up to the top without first going "to our knees," in other words, through prayer. It's not our strength that gets us up to God, but us letting God take control. So, yes, Danny climed up about 15 feet in the air to "where God was" and made the point that when we get on one of our "mountain tops" with God, we will automatically fall if we look "down" at all the other people, thinking to ourselves, "look how high I am compared to all of them," because we've taken our eyes off Christ (like Peter) and we get proud. So, yes, he jumped down to the ground, symbolizing his "fall away from God." The next part is the incredible part, though, that we often overlook. He said, "No matter how many times you fall, God's grace lets you climb back up." Think about that! When somebody fails us, we pitch a fit and vow never to trust them again, so-on and so-forth. Yet we ourselves are sinners who also fail. The sinless God of the universe, however, calls us back to Him every time we fall. He never says, "Okay, that's it. You've had plenty of chances. No more climbing back up for you." Instead, He cheers us on and encourages us. "Yes, the climb back up can be hard and tiring," Danny said. "You might even make a lot of racket and feel embarrassed when people look at you" (the scaffold was noisy, so the analogy fit perfectly). He talked about how non-Christians will often be the first to point the finger when a Christian fails, which can make it hard for us to want to get back up and try again, yet by faith in God's grace we can climb back up once again. That's about all for the object lesson, but that led into a bunch of other incredible stuff. Danny touched on the concept of being consumed by God. We're told to love God with all of our hearts, souls, minds, and our strength. Danny said, "God, how can I do that if I'm also supposed to love my wife and kids and the people around me?" He explained that when we are consumed with God all else falls into place. I instantly thought of "seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." It means that if God is our first priority, He makes it possible for us to fulfill all the things He has in store for us. Oh, I never mentioned what scripture Danny spoke on. It was Genesis 39:1-3. It talks about how Joseph was taken into Egypt and bought by Potiphar (vs. 1), God was with Joseph (vs. 2), and Joseph's master (who basically had no idea about Jesus and the one true God) could see God in Joseph (vs. 3)! The scripture worked in with the object lesson in that when you're truely close to God ("on top of the scaffold") everyone can see that-- even the pagan world who has no prior concept of God. I'm not sure how he crammed so many topics into one night, but Danny also mentioned stepping out of your comfort zone. He said that when we're out of our comfort zone is when God can use us the most. He didn't say a whole lot about that, but it was something I definitely needed to hear. I get so comfortable in my daily routine, with my typical group of people, sitting in my usual spot at church, doing what I'm used to doing, etc. I think that's something God's been trying to show me lately, but it took tonight's message to make me realize it. Something I could not be reminded of enough is that the world does not revolve around me! God's plans and purposes are far more important than my own, so the right thing for me to do would be to surrender daily to that concept and let God have His way instead of me having mine. I'm gonna quit now, but I could go on forever. I'll probably think of more to say tomorrow on this same topic.

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