Friday, October 05, 2007

Crossing The Line of Faith

I'll be speaking at the Gateway Men's Breakfast this weekend. There should be around 100 men or so, and I'm really looking forward to it. I'll be taking them through the 9 stages of the Hero's Journey, using the life of David (1st & 2nd Samuel) as a guide and illustration for each stage. Here's an excerpt from the talk, just to give you a sample. Hope you enjoy it!

After you’ve accepted God’s call to adventure, he will eventually guide you to a threshold of decision about the adventure he’s calling you to live. This is a time in your journey when a line will be drawn—between the life you have known and the life you are called to—and you will be asked to take a courageous leap of faith. Once you cross this line, you know there is no turning back. Beyond this line, you are fully committed, and fully engaged. There is no undoing it once it is done. There is no Plan B. Your life is no longer about you; it is about God, and the great purpose he wants to accomplish through you.

David came to this threshold some years after his anointing—during a time when the people of Israel and the Philistines, were at war. In those days, to avoid massive bloodshed that neither side could afford, warring nations would often line up their armies on opposite sides of a valley, and send out a single champion from their ranks to represent their nation and fight the battle on their behalf. Whichever side’s champion won the battle, won the war. That’s just what the Israelites and Philistines decided to do. So they lined up their armies at opposing ends of a great valley, and the Philistines sent out their champion first. His name was Goliath, and he was a towering freak of nature. Over 9 feet tall and as wide as a truck, he yelled his challenge out to Israel to bring forth their champion to fight him. But no man in all of Israel’s army was willing to face him.

It’s into this situation that David comes, not as a soldier, but still as a shepherd. You see, his brothers had all been sent to join the war, but he, as the youngest, was held back to tend the family’s sheep. He came to the battle, not to fight, but to bring food for his brothers, so they could keep up their strength. If he had turned around and gone home after delivering the food, no one would have thought anything about it. But when he saw what was happening, that no man was willing to be the champion for Israel and face down this giant, he knew he had to take action. This was his threshold; his point of no return. Once he took this step, his life would never be the same. He could never go back to being “just a shepherd” ever again. His moment of full commitment was here.

Many of you know what happened next. He went to the king of Israel and offered to be the army’s champion, to face down and kill this 9-foot tall monster. Though reluctant at first, the king eventually accepted his offer. And David went out and faced Goliath. Goliath laughed when he saw him, but you know what David said? “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands..." (1Sa 17:45-46). And he killed him.

By this time in the journey, David knew who he was, and who he was called to be. But even more importantly, he knew who God was. And he knew it was time for him to cross the threshold and trust God with everything.That moment changed everything. David’s life as a shepherd ended that day…that very day he moved into the king’s palace. He could never return to obscurity again.

Where in your life are you standing on a precipice of decision—between the life you have known, and the life God is calling you to? What is holding you back from crossing over?

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