Let me just say that Andy Stanley’s ability to communicate, Mark Driscoll’s contextualization, Erwin McManus’ creativity, Francis Chan’s wonder , Craig Groeschel’s authenticity, Matt Chandler’s holy sarcasm, NT Wright’s scholarship, Piper’s scriptural sufficiency, and Rob Bell’s “mystique,” would make one heck of a pastor.
I have no idea why I just said that, probably alluding to Facebook discussion I had earlier today.
The first talk from Catalyst 2010 was by Andy Stanley and once again, God used his message to communicate to me very effectively. He made the follow question/statement:
Who would trade their entire future, their entire legacy, their entire life for a bowl of stew? I would; you would, if it were the right bowl.
The passage he used was from Genesis 25:29-34 where Esau sells his birthright to Jacob in exchange for some lentil stew.
He went on to talk about our appetites and how we make really bad decisions as leaders, as people, because we are looking for the elusive fulfillment for our appetites. He warned the crowd and he warns us that some of those appetites won’t be fulfilled to later and others won’t ever be fulfilled in anything but God himself. When our appetites tell us, “now,” we need to reframe them so that we see them with the proper perspective.
Else, we will trade what is precious, irreplaceable to us…for a bowl of stew.
That got me thinking, what is precious to me, that I would trade, for a bowl of soup; if I listen to my brain’s lies and my heart’s deception?
Pastor Tim taught on the subject of “Minding Your Mind,” on Sunday evening and what he had to say about the brain’s lies and the heart’s deception seemed echo back at me as I listened to Andy’s session. I wrote in my journal the following lines,
We do not have the ability [on our own] to discern our thoughts; we have a traitor in our midst [ie within us].The enemy is let in [our minds] by this fiendish, Benedict Arnold who is bent on ruining the image of Christ in our hearts.
Pastor Tim and Andy Stanley are both correct; they are echoing the thoughts of God in the Scriptures: we cannot trust ourselves; we cannot be ruled by our appetites, our desires.
So, what would be my “bowl of soup?”
I think there would be several, but the one’s that stick out are:
– The “right” woman. I have been known to throw away quite a bit for the possibility of happiness and love. If put in the right way, in the right situation, in the wrong mindset, aside from the grace of God, I would make the trade.
– The “right” job. I have never been one for making lots of money or having lots of stuff, but I love my freedom and that requires money. If someone were to offer me the right position, with the right terms, even it was not God’s will…I would make the trade.
– The “right” opportunity. There are dreams and aspirations that I have (a lot from God and some from the flesh); if the right means, right people, and the right situation were to develop, even though I was clearly not ready, I would make the trade.
There is a reason Jesus asked the question,
“Why would a man gain the whole world and yet lose his own soul?”
He had seen it happen way too many times; perhaps this puzzles God as much as it puzzles us. I am not saying he does not understand it or that he cannot explain it; but that we would choose something or someone other than all he is and all he has for us…perhaps is unfathomable.
What is it in your life that is precious to you, that you would give up for the right bowl of stew? What is inside that bowl?