ManSchool kicked off this morning with an attack. After standing up in front of the Church and challenging men to join this movement, my power went out sometime after 4am. My phone startled me awake. My clock said 1:40. I was disoriented and yet lept out of bed. When you have a daughter off at college, 1:40am calls are alarming. It was Derrick informing me it was really 6:03 and I was late for ManSchool. Sometime between 4am and 5am, our power went out and the alarm clock reset 12:00. Chaos ensued. Flying down I-185, Amazing Grace came on Sirius and I breathed in for what seemed to be the first time of the morning. I slowed down. I trusted and turned the morning over to the Lord. I came in to discover 40 men waiting with Keith and Derrick sharing what was on their heart. God is good. So good. And there was grace for me.
My whole day was a train-wreck. Slammed busy and way behind at work. Fighting all day with an insurance company over a claim for my daughter who was in a wreck in November. A feeling of oppression on me all day long. Slow traffic in front of me. Long lines at Chick-Fil-A. I called my wife just because I needed to hear her voice and she was at lunch with a friend and couldn’t really talk (sweetly, she called me after her lunch was over). Oh and I am coming down with a cold and my brain has been in a fog all day. Ryan Walker texted me late today and said, “I’m just going to say that I think the Devil cut your power this morning because something great was about to happen at ManSchool”. Does life just randomly stink or are we opposed?
Is anything about Jesus safe? This what McManus asked this morning. What about Jesus is safe? We frequently hear, “the safest place to be is in the center of God’s will” — or — “Jesus always comes through for us”
Have you heard those before? Aren’t they comforting? Maybe…but they aren’t Biblical. Where did we get that? Why do we teach people that it is safe to be in God’s will?
Remember Aslan from Narnia? The children asked “Is he good?” and the beaver replied, “Oh he is good but he isn’t safe”. John was radically in the center of God’s will and he was beheaded. Paul was in prison, flogged, 40 lashes, stoned, shipwrecked and in constant danger.
Safe? Where did we get that it was safe to follow Jesus?
We got civilized along the way and we’ve taught people that God’s optimal desire is for us to live an insulated life, in a bubble where you risk nothing, sacrifice nothing and worry about nothing. And yet, Jesus died to free us from the fear of death. He came to liberate us so we’d die up front and then go really live. He wants to take us where only dead men can go.
So that’s it. I’ll stop there and simply ask – what are you risking? what are you sacrificing?
We’ll see you next Wednesday at 6am and we’ll take this a step further and I’ll be triple sure that my alarm goes off!