Doh! I really blew an opportunity. It happened as I was going into Wal-Mart and I passed a man in the lobby who was waiting for his wife to come out. He made a comment to me so I stopped for the conversation. He began with how the heat was bothering him, but the conversation rapidly turned into a review of his medical problems. His problems were personal, serious, and he was sharing them with a stranger.
Why the Homerism? I realized hours later God had put an opportunity in front of me to serve Him, but I let my day, my needs, and my moment overshadow what God wanted. What I missed was the opportunity to intercede for someone who needed prayer.
Often we miss these simple opportunities to serve God because we are wrapped up in ourselves. Paul wrote “Be prepared in season and out of season…” (2 Tim 4:2). I wasn’t prepared and now the moment is gone like a vapor never to rise again, and I missed it.
As we study through Genesis we have been learning God’s many names. In chapter one verse one, it was Elohim – The Strong One. Then it was YHWH [I Am He Who Is] (1:15) – God’s Covenant God. This was followed by El Elyon (14:19) – God Most High, El Shaddai (17:1) – God Almighty, and El Olam (21:33) – the everlasting God.
Does this mean God was growing as God? No, that’s progress theology; a complete misunderstanding of God. God does not change, but we do. We change so frequently that the Bible compares us to a blade of grass being blown by the wind.
Metaphorically as we unroll the scroll, Moses reveals the complexity of God through his names to us. It as if he was saying, “This is the God I’m talking about,” or “Now know God this way.” It seems like the one who is to be growing is the God seeker.
Most of us know God as just God; seems a bit flat after reading those other names. Perhaps this is why so many Christian lack a pulse. We have told God, “I will go this far in understanding you, and I will go no farther.”
God transacts his business at unusual places and times. This week for me it was with a local coach. I met the coach as he was preparing the field for the next day’s football drills. He was noticeably frustrated about things: The local athletic program, Anthem parents, and the entitlement attitude of his young players. His frustration had brought him to the breaking point; he had quit his job, put his house on the market and was leaving Anthem. He said, “I’ve had it with Anthem.
We walked the field setting it up for Saturday’s drills. I just listened for I rarely have answers for such problems, but I have experience being up against it. When the field was set up we stood on the edge of the field and prayed. Two men who didn’t know each other very well but who had one thing in common: Christ. He prayed for the athletes and I for him. Sometimes that is all we can do when we find someone going through it; stand by them and pray.
It was early evening and time to take Willie, my dog, for his last walk for the day. As I entered the park, two young men wearing white shirts and thin black ties pulled up along side me on their bicycles and began a conversation; I obliged them. Seems they bit off a little more then they could swallow for I gave them a lot chew on. We shook hands as they left for who they serve is the enemy not them.
In the last three Sunday’s we have seen how Abraham interceded for the lost. We learned Abraham was the only one standing between God and a person being judged. As the two young men rode off I had the opportunity to put intercession into practice. I prayed, “Lord form the mind and the heart of Jesus Christ in these two young men with the seeds you planted in them tonight.”
Practicing intercession is a big step in the Christian walk. Those who practice it will probably never know the impact it will have for God’s kingdom, but then we are not suppose to know those things; we are just suppose to be obedient.
We compared Abraham and Lot last week; two very human people whom we can learn a lot from. We can learn what is God pleasing, how people fail, spiritual foolishness, moments of success, moments of failures, and insights.
Abraham and Lot were two quite different people. Abraham was a friend to God, probably because he was sensitive and noble in his service. Lot was quite worldly, weak in character, and a complete failure.
When it was Abraham’s time to serve the Lord he gave his best, included others, and stood by to give more. When it was Lot time to serve he tried to hasten his guest on, bartered with sin, hesitated to obey, and settled for a little sin.
Lot turned everything in his life into a compromise. Abraham turned everything in his life into victory.
How do you compare?