Monday, May 11, 2009
The Great Banquet
This past weekend I attended the Great Banquet. You may recall I attended my first banquet last November and was totally blown away, touched by God, healed of hurts, and gleeful with the Holy Spirit. This Great Banquet I had a role other than simple participant or "guest". I was a table leader.
My responsibilities included encouraging discussion after each talk, being available to the "guests" for prayer, and being mindful of their needs, etc. Whereas my first weekend the emphasis or focus was on God and me, this past weekend it was God and those around me. But, as the cliche' goes, God works in mysterious ways...He wonders to behold, and He had His way with me.
During our final worship service Jack was teaching and I could, almost literally, feel a presence on my shoulders, whispering in my ear: criticisms, harsh words, and negativity. It had plagued me all weekend but Sunday night I could recognize and name it. I also could say, "get away" because I had had enough of it. And just as I had felt that presence on my shoulders, once I said, "GO!", I felt that it was gone. Immediately my mind was filled with prayers for Jack - prayers for his teaching, prayers for those receiving his teaching, prayers for those who had been with me that weekend. I was not focused on criticizing and tearing apart but because the Holy Spirit was directing my thoughts, I was focused on others.
It is an easy thing to see the worst in people, to find those little chinks, or better yet, the splinters. It takes effort and will to seek the best, to hold them up and use God's eyes. I have for far too long been lazy. I am thankful that God does not let me stay in that lazy state. He shakes me up and reveals those chinks I have and gives me the will the give them up. Whether it's the sin of overeating, criticizing, greed, depending on financial security instead of His provision, If I let Him He will be about His work of purifying me, making me holy, making me to be who I am called to be in Him. He doesn't let me go. He doesn't let me wallow. He reveals sin and gives me the will to ask Him to deal with it. That's a good Father. It's called discipline. It's called love.