Summary: In this message I share some lessons that God taught me on a 12 day period of alone time with him.
Lessons From My Journey
QUESTION - When you hear the word journey what do you think about? What images come into your mind? Homer’s Odyssey? Christopher Columbus? Lewis & Clark? Captain Kirk & the Enterprise? The 1980’s rock band (“when the lights go down in the city” “anytime you want it that’s the way you need it” “the wheel in the sky keeps on turning I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow” “so now I come to you with open arms.”).
Dictionary.com defines the word journey
1. The act of traveling from one place to another; a trip.
2. a process or course likened to traveling; a passage: the journey of life.
Today – I want to share with you some lessons from my journey.
On September 15th – I woke up about 3 am (showered and packed my car) and then wrote the following journal entry;
3:41 am – “Lord I am about to leave on this 12 day journey. I really don’t know what to expect – protect me from the evil one let me hear your voice. I know I need to change in many different ways…”
AND – then I was off and running… Now, I choose to leave at this time for a couple of reasons, one to save money by not staying in a hotel Saturday night and a second reason was because to wake up in the middle of the night – and head out while everyone was sleeping was like going out to battle. AND in a very real way that is exactly what I was doing…
SO – my journey began Sept 15th at 3:41 am and it ended about 9 am on September 26th. During that time I traveled over 2,600 miles. I worshipped at Southland Christian Church in Lexington Kentucky on the 15th with about 3,000 people in their 11:30 service. Then I spent 5 days at Oakwood Inn in Syracuse Indiana on Lake Wawasee. I left Lake Wawasee September at 6 am to drive to Stl to meet with Ben Merold for lunch at 1 pm. I worshipped at Harvester Christian Church all weekend; Saturday night – Sunday morning and Sunday night. I left Stl at 6 am Monday morning to drive to Chicago to attend a couple of workshops at Willow Creek Community Church. I left Chicago at about 5:15 pm on Wednesday night – and arrived back home 9 o’clock in the morning Thursday. While in Indiana I drove to South Bend and did a QT in the Basilica at the University of Notre Dame and while driving to Chicago I stopped in Springfield Ill, to visit the home of Abraham Lincoln.
Well, that’s kind of the outward stuff that I did on this journey… AND really this outward stuff only served to put me in some places where God was able do His inside work… which is His favorite kind of work – cleaning up the inside so the outside becomes better…
AND – it’s some of that inside stuff – some of the lessons I learned that I want to share with you today… NOW – I’ve divided these lessons into ‘minor’ and ‘major’ lessons. AND just like with the major and minor prophets in the OT – these lessons are called major and minor not because some are more important then others BUT because I will spend more time on some of the lessons…
[oh yeah – let me say this these are lessons that I learned, many of which I am working hard to put in my life…]
Let’s start with a few minor lessons from journey…
I feel the need to pray again…. PRAYER
Minor Lessons From My Journey
Praise Is NOT Meant To Be A Spectator Sport
As most of you know – I had the opportunity to worship at two very large Christian Churches. Southland in Lexington runs about 8,500 on the weekends (it was cool getting in a Christian Church traffic jam) and Harvester in Stl, about 2,200.
They are awesome churches they are doing incredible things for Christ. But as I sat in Southland – during worship – something didn’t feel right. The singers on stage were good, they had all kinds of instruments, the presentation on the screens were crisp and clear… THEN – as I looked around I noticed that most of the people standing with me were not really singing… It was like they were at a concert watching the professionals on stage… AND - it was the same at Harvester in Saint Louis.
NOW – these churches are doing awesome things for Christ. They preach the truth of the gospel, they are saving hundreds each year, changing lives, reaching out into their communities… BUT – they are missing something important during the praise time… That’s why it was so good to be back at Central… YOU SEE – a good praise service is not so much about what happens up here on stage but what happens – out there…