Sunday night, I had the chance to go to a new church, Lifepoint Church, with Ben (Little post about his cool project soon) and Dani, a friend I’ve met through Ben who goes to OWU. It was a fun experience with some great music and (according to someone), some not so good jokes.
While we were there, the lead pastor Dean Fulks led us in a wonderful journey through the idea of convictions. I thought I would share some thoughts he shared, as well as some thoughts I thought were applicable, at least in my own life.
Pastor Fulks began in discussing Genesis 15. Here are some of the important parts(not that any part of the Bible isn’t important):
2 But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit [c] my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.” 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be…”
9 …So the LORD said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.”
10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the LORD said to him, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”
17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river [d] of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates- 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.” -NIV from Biblegateway.com
In this, Abraham learns the anatomy of doubt:
- Public Convictions
- What we want others to believe about what we believe
- i.e. King Herod directly after the birth of Jesus
- Private Convictions
- What we believe until it is challenged
- i.e. Peter “I will die with you”…then denies Jesus
- Core Convictions
- Those that are central to our lives, we live those out regardless of what others think
This is something that I have never really thought about.
I mean I’ve thought about my own personal convictions, but how many of those convictions fall under each category.
Why is it that I can be in the presence of someone who disagrees (often quite loudly) with something that I consider a vital part of my life, yet do nothing about that?
Why do I consider an aspect of my life important, until I’m faced in the moment with a decision and then choose the thing that will tear me down?
Why do I feel that I have to be a silent man, when I disagree with someones opinion?
Now, obviously I don’t want to be someone who is a big jerk whenever there is a personal disagreement, but is that item really that big of a conviction if I won’t even speak up?
Am I more worried about my reputation or my convictions (or apparent lack thereof)?
Guys, I’m just being serious here…
…I don’t know why I can’t be more vocal for my convictions.
…Do I even have any convictions?
…Is there anything (or anyone) that I would die for?
…Is there anything (or anyone) that I would go to prison for?
…Am I really willing to give up any possession or physical ability for anything (or anyone)?
…I need prayers.
…I need you, my friends, to pray for my convictions.
…I need you, my friends, to challenge me in my convictions.
With much love (and prayers),