Thursday, December 25, 2014


Even though I have been in ministry for many years, there are still some passages that I have not really “seen” and “comprehended”. God sometimes assigns someone else to introduce me to them. One such passage I read of in Mark Batterson’s book, “In a pit with a lion on a snowy day”.
The man’s name was Benaiah, who had the honor of being David’s personal body-guard. 2 Samuel 23 describes him as being “the son of a valiant man, . . . who had done many acts, including the slaughter of two lionlike men, and slaying a lion in a pit on a snowy day. He challenged a “good” Egyptian, (apparently one who trusted more in his spear than the Lord), overpowered him with a staff, then killed him with his own spear.
Mark Batterson quotes Antoinede Saint-Exupéry before the first chapter, “You are responsible forever for what you have tamed.”
This seems to imply that if we have been given special abilities to be “of value” for our own sakes, it means we are then responsible to God to learn and discover God’s ways to conquer future giants for His glory! (Proverbs 30:22) This is especially true if we have accepted the provision of God’s love for salvation. (1 John 1:9)
Unfortunately this is impossible if we do not comprehend and follow after God’s own heart, who gave His own son on our behalf. The “heart” is the key to life, but if we do not comprehend “God’s heart”, we can easily miss vital lessons.
Unfortunately I speak best from my own experience in things like this. I was reminded of it when I picked up my diary, written in South Africa in the early 1970’s, where we pastored a church in Brakpan, Gauteng, South Africa.
More interested in the vehicle, than in wisdom at that time in my life, I decided to offer to take my wife and boys from Brakpan to the “The Bunny Park” in Benoni for a picnic, giving them a chance to see and pet the animals. I was wearing a brand new pair of cheap shoes that I had bought on a “blue-light” special for $1.77 before leaving the U.S.
Since I was getting used to the car, plus not being familiar with the spongy feel of the shoes, I ran the new vehicle into a tree! There was much more damage to my prideful heart than to the vehicle, so I had to swallow my pride, and acknowledge that I had to live with it! We drove it for nearly four years like that.
Jesus described this kind of problem as “straining at a gnat, while swallowing a camel!” By implication I personalized Proverbs 23:5 like this, “Will you set your eyes upon that which is really nothing? Apparent wealth tends to sprout wings that will enable it to fly as an eagle toward heaven.” Apparently this is the reason Jesus did not involve himself in legal cases. See Luke 12:15.
All power comes from God. A crisis with our own power, or ability to cope, gives us the opportunity to call upon God, through the provision of His great love! But, he may expect more honor from us than using a cheap pair of shoes to brag about it! No, cheap shoes weren’t the problem, but rather a cheap attitude towards a trust!

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