>The Shaking of the Leaves

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Scripture:

1 Chronicles 14:14-17 NLT ..14.. And once again David asked God what to do. “Do not attack them straight on,” God replied. “Instead, circle around behind them and attack them near the balsam trees. ..15.. When you hear a sound like marching feet in the tops of the balsam trees, attack! That will be the signal that God is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistines.” ..16.. So David did what God commanded, and he struck down the Philistine army all the way from Gibeon to Gezer. ..17.. So David’s fame spread everywhere, and the LORD caused all the nations to fear David.

1 Chronicles 15:2 NLT Then he issued these instructions: “When we transport the Ark of God this time, no one except the Levites may carry it. The LORD has chosen them to carry the Ark of the LORD and to minister before him forever.”

1 Chronicles 15:13-15 NLT ..13.. Because you Levites did not carry the Ark the first time, the anger of the LORD our God burst out against us. We failed to ask God how to move it in the proper way.” ..14.. So the priests and the Levites purified themselves in order to bring the Ark of the LORD, the God of Israel, to Jerusalem. ..15.. Then the Levites carried the Ark of God on their shoulders with its carrying poles, just as the LORD had instructed Moses.

Psalms 132:9 NLT Your priests will be agents of salvation; may your loyal servants sing for joy.

Psalms 132:14-18 NLT “This is my home where I will live forever,” he said. “I will live here, for this is the place I desired. ..15.. I will make this city prosperous and satisfy its poor with food. ..16.. I will make its priests the agents of salvation; its godly people will sing for joy. ..17.. Here I will increase the power of David; my anointed one will be a light for my people. ..18.. I will clothe his enemies with shame, but he will be a glorious king.”

Matthew 18:6 NLT But if anyone causes one of these little ones who trusts in me to lose faith, it would be better for that person to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around the neck.

Observations:

I cannot read this text without thinking about that time in Kansas City when I attended the Beacon Light Church service. Pastor Waters, Phyllis Jamierson, and my call to youth ministry.

I remember specifically when the pastor told this story. He looked out and, referring to David, said, “You can’t do it! You don’t have the strength, the experience, the talent, or the ability to do this.” (I, of course, thought of myself being a youth leader) He went on, “You can’t do this. You’re not qualified…. Without God. It is only with God and Him through you that you can do this.”

Tears welled up in my eyes and I began to realize that God did want me to be a youth leader. But only under His strength.

The same is true today. I cannot raise up Common Ground. I don’t have the strength, the talent, the ability, and the courage to take Common Ground where it needs to go. It is only through Christ and the Holy Spirit that Common Ground can be saved.

It is only when David did what God commanded that he was successful. That has to be my creed!

Not willing to repeat his earlier mistake, David commanded that the Ark be carried properly this time. Last time it cost the life of one of his men – he wasn’t willing to do it that way again.

David was not willing to do anything that would hamper the glory of the Lord. I can’t either. I cannot be complacent to any plans that would detract from the growth and vision of Common Ground. I have to remain faithful to this work. I will not cooperate with any plan to distract from what we are doing and who we are reaching!

However, I will be a good employee and I will do whatever it takes to move us forward. If they add a church to my district, I’ll cooperate – but only minimally. I’ll move forward. I’ll give resources to where they are most needed, appreciated, and used. For instance, if they give me Pueblo – I’ll work with them – but not 50/50. Only as they are willing to grow.

But I will not submit a plan to the Conference that makes me complacent in their poor leadership.

  1. I must be strong for the vision of Common Ground.

  2. I must not rebel – but I can’t cooperate.

Cooperating with the conference on a bad plan would be against the principles of Matthew 18:6. It would be better for me to have a large millstone tied around my neck.


Application(s):

Going back to what He has been telling me all along:

  1. Submit myself to full spiritual connection and growth. My job/task/work/calling is to be totally spiritually connected. To hear God’s voice and to walk with Him. When I hear His voice, I can lead the people.

  2. To spend 80% of my time doing what only I can do: Preach, lead, recruit new leaders and train and mobilize them.

  3. Put my family before my work.

  4. When I work: work with all my might. The Baskin-Robbins, Cornell Construction kind of worker!


Prayer:

Father God – I surrender. Take me to this place of absolute surrender to you. Teach me, guide me, lift me, and walk with me! More importantly, let me walk with you. Let me be your friend. I know you are my friend – but teach me how to be YOUR friend!!

Lord, I am committed to Common Ground. Please lift them up and lead them into Your promised land. Lead US into that promised land. We will be faithful! We cannot be complacent to bad leadership from the ExCom – protect us Lord.

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