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Monthly Archives: March 2009

I know when you read that title you thought to yourself “here goes another sensational title.” Really no one sees God today. Alright truth moment from the outset – I didn’t see God face to face like Moses. But after what God did this weekend I feel like I’ve experienced His presence just like those people we read about in the Bible.

This weekend we had our conference youth congress in Omaha, Nebraska. Now it’s always stressful doing things for God and bigger stress when you do big things for God. This weekend felt like one of those times when a lot of things were coming out of place.

On Friday morning I prayed and I heard God tell me to go do something. I don’t use that term alot – God told me to- but this time He did. This time I followed what God said and God worked things out in a miraculous way.

Now here’s where I saw God even more. I saw God in the lives of youth who were so fired up about service that they went out in 30 – 40 degree weather to serve others. Some were yelled at and chased away and still kept going. That’s God right there.

I saw God in youth sitting in worship for over 3 hours (no joke) but not moving and still raising holy hands and screaming for Jesus. That’s God right there.

I saw God in the drama that was portrayed on stage where Christ was shown as the ultimate servant by His sacrifice on the cross. I’m going to admit to you (don’t tell anyone) that I shed some tears looking at it. That move on my heart to break it for Him. That’s God right there.

I saw God in the youth who have committed to walking with Christ, going public at school about Him and serving selflessly for Him in an age where they are told it should be all about them. That’s going counter-cultural. And that’s God right there.

I saw God and boy what a difference seeing Him makes. I’m going to keep looking for Him.

It is probably one of the most popular Biblical stories, the narrative of David and Goliath. This one has all the makings of an epic adventure movie.  There is an oversized villain (Goliath) who possesses superior weapons. Behind him are the required supporters (the Philistines) who you suspect really don’t know how to fight but certainly act like it. Then there is a cowardly group (the Israelites) that looks around like the man who has lost his shadow for a way out of the conflict.
Finally into the story steps the hero (David) who is unassuming, inexperienced and seemingly ill prepared for the conflict. Could he be more ill equipped – he’s delivering bread and cheese to his brothers. All logic says that he should lose but because you have watched so many of these movies, you have a feeling he will come out on top.  This would make a good movie (and even better Bible reading. Check it out in 1 Samuel 17).
What I think we may have missed in this story because of the high drama, are the lessons for youth in God’s army today.  There are a couple things I would like you to explore with me about this story and how it applies to us.

Knowledge is not always power
We have been taught that the more we know, the more powerful we are.  While I believe that whole-heartedly when it comes to academics (so go ahead and stay in school), I think for spiritual battles, there is such a thing as knowing too much.
In David’s story, when he hears the threats of the giant Goliath, he is wide-eyed and eager to fight.  But his oldest brother, Eliab, who is more experienced, discourages him. When David’s willingness is reported to the king, he also discourages the young man telling him in effect that he really does not understand the science of war.
Because David did not have the baggage of knowledge that says bringing down a giant is impossible, he is able to put his trust in God and dare to do the impossible.  If he had known better he may have attempted less.
I believe that young people, are blessed with a daring spirit to attempt new and seemingly dangerous things for God. Things that older Christians may be uncomfortable with or be tempted to even utter those famous words,  “we’ve never done it that way before.”
So giants do not faze youth; in fact they excite them.  They excite them to try new approaches that we have not even heard about to take the giant down.

Follow the leader
The part of this story (and soon to be blockbuster movie) that excites me the most is the ending.  Not the part where David releases a stone from his sling shot and knocks Goliath unconscious, although that part is cool.  No it’s what happens right after.
The Bible says that the Israelite army, David’s people, who before were “dismayed and terrified,” becomes animated and active. They pick up their swords and wipe the fear off their faces and chase the Philistines down and beat them down (in a good way).
What it shows is that when youth step out and do bold and dangerous things for God, it gets the rest of the church excited to do the same. When youth are fearless and see a need and decide to fill it, adults get excited and do the same. When youth get passionate about the many people who live around them, and around their church who do not know Jesus and use any means necessary to reach them, the senior members do the same.
So I wonder are you one of those David’s that God is looking for to partner with Him to attempt things that have seemed impossible. If you are, the adults have been waiting for you to lead them.