Pastor Josiah announced the missions director who is George Elias, his dad. George spoke of his love for home and world missions and is excited to expand our opportunities to share our LORD with others.
We have been in the Beloved series-strike that-season. It is a foundational, multi-faceted
concept. Today Pastor Josiah shared another aspect of Beloved-that is Ripples. Previously,
David “stashed” his parents in the enemy territory of Moab to protect them from his deranged father in law, Saul, who was determined to kill David. Ironically his parents were safer in Moab at the time than in Judah.
“One day the prophet Gad told David,’Leave the stronghold and return to Judah.’ So David went to the forest of Hereth.” I Samuel 22:5 David obeyed Gad, left Moab, and went to a forest in Judah. Pastor Josiah’s point was “Never cut yourself off from the voice of the LORD.” In other words, we need to stay in His Word and the church where the Word is preached.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper
than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division
of the soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a
discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
As we read the Word, the Word reads us, can change us, and directs us. Joel Munoz spoke
about having a secret place with the LORD. It is a place where you have one-on-one time with your LORD and Savior. Reading His Word, which is a book of intimacy, helps you know the Author and can allow the Holy Spirit to convict you of attitudes and actions that are not Christ like. The point is we want to be more Christ like and that requires transformation so that more of Jesus is in us and less of us.
However, some people enjoy their sin more than correction from the LORD through His Word. Some desire the lifestyle of compromise and walking on the treadmill of mediocrity. For example, we may pray for our children, but do we try to change or want to be a better mother or father? For Saul, when he was sitting under the tamarisk tree, he learned that David had arrived in Judah. Saul was “holding his spear….” He did not and could not let go of his unhealthy comforts like his spear, which he had hurled at David and his son Jonathon. Was the spear his security blanket? He was clinging to an object instead of the LORD and grew crazier with jealousy. “We can’t take God by the hand if we have our poisons in our hands,” said Pastor Josiah. “King Saul could never cling to Beloved Identity because his hands were too full of his spear.” But our LORD does not want us to settle, for He wants us to have the abundant life that He can give us as stated in John 10:10.
In comes the villain, Doeg who reported that David was seen with the priest, Ahimelech. Saul
sent for Ahimelech and his family. When they arrived Saul cursed, screamed and questioned
Ahimelech about conspiring against him. Saul was so enraged that he ordered his men to kill
the LORD’s priests. However, even Saul’s soldiers knew this order was a bad idea, and they
refused. 1 Samuel 22:9-17 (NLT)
King Saul then ordered Doeg (whose name means fearful) to kill the priests, and he slaughtered
eighty five priests who were still in their priestly garments.
“Then he went to Nob, the town of the priests, and killed
the priests’ families-men and women, children and babies
-and all the cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats.”
1 Samuel 22:19 (NLT)
What an outrageous massacre it was of all the innocent victims who were related to Ahimelech. Pastor Josiah stated,”Our actions never affect only ourselves.” Our attitudes, actions and words impact all those in our sphere of influence. Even if we do not speak your thoughts, our actions show them. He also asked, “So what fruit from your branches are hanging down? What do those you influence eat from your tree?” What powerful questions to consider. What attitudes and actions do others notice and imitate or reject? “Either nothing you do matters, or everything matters.”
“We must be aware of the ripple effect and use the truth for maximum Kingdom impact.”
For Pastor Josiah, he feels that he is riding the waves of his dad’s impact and his mom’s (who is in heaven) influence. For the priest Ahimelech, the only survivor of the massacre was Abiathar, and he “fled to David.” 1 Samuel 22:20 (NLT) Abiathar, whose name means “My father is great,” would be the new high priest.
David amazingly refused to dishonor his father Jesse who discounted David when Samuel
asked to see his sons. David was left in the field tending sheep since he was the youngest and did not seem like a logical candidate for Israel’s king. David also continued to honor King Saul who he felt was God’s chosen one and a father figure. Several times David had the opportunity to kill Saul but did not. He rested in his Beloved Identity.
We need to also realize we are Beloved and trust what that means. If fear tries to “take you out,” run to Jesus. Embrace your Beloved Identity. “The opposite of fear is love.” From 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…”
The Paramount Point is “Imagine the ripple effects coming from your Beloved sonship and
what they’ll accomplish in the earth.” What you do speaks and matters. Keeping that fact in
mind can affect our thoughts, words and actions.
To conclude the service, Pastor Josiah called up the elders who prayed for our church. Ed
Jarrell prayed that we would know how long, how wide and how deep the LORD’s love was for us. Richard Dinnen prayed for the LORD to do His will in our church. And Bill Lorenz prayed for us to remember we are His Beloved and that we need to go to the secret places to be with the LORD who will direct our lives. May we also pray for our elders and board members as they seek the LORD and His will for FC and for us individually.
Realizing we are His Beloved helps us to be salt and light in this troubled world.