Are you HIDING in the baggage or RUNNING toward the battle?
As I wrapped up my final days as Senior Pastor at Venture Christian Church, and began to focus my thinking on the tremendous needs in America and around the world, God spoke to me with unusual clarity in my daily Bible reading.
I was studying 1 Samuel chapters 8-10. Israel had made the fatal mistake of rejecting God as their king and asking for a human king to “lead them into battle and to protect them.” Saul was God‘s choice and fit the general prototype for a great king. He was good looking, a head taller than anyone else, and he began with a very humble spirit.
Saul reigned for 40 years, yet from the beginning to the end of his life he was dominated by his own baggage, rooted in FEAR. He was FEARFUL of becoming the king and felt inadequate. He was FEARFUL of Goliath the giant and was passive for 40 days until a shepherd boy stepped out in FAITH to fight a battle Saul should have led. He FEARED disappointing people, so he disobeyed God, lost his kingship, and became paranoid about his position, prestige, and power.
By contrast David was an unlikely king. He was the tenth of 10 sons of the smallest tribe (Benjamin) and assigned to the lowly job of shepherding. While he was under the stars protecting sheep, he became an accomplished musician and perfected his slingshot skills. In obscurity, he developed a strong FAITH and became a worshiper of the Most High God.
When the giant Goliath slandered the name of God, King Saul and the armies of Israel stood by, paralyzed by FEAR. The ridiculing of God’s character, value and reputation incensed David. In FAITH, David ran to the battle.
An unlikely hero, David’s entire life was characterized by FAITH. Yes, he made significant mistakes in his life yet when faced with uncertainty, crisis, and a moral imperative—
David RAN to the battle!
As I considered this passage and pondered the cultural and moral decline in America and the theological and moral compromise in much of the church today, the Lord spoke powerfully and clearly to me.
“Chip, you can either hide in your baggage like Saul, or run to the battle like David.”
In this Coffee Break, I want to share with you what it looks like for me and Living on the Edge to “run to the battle!” But before I do, I would like to ask you, what are the “giants” you’re facing? What challenges in your life, your family, your church, your community, or our culture need someone to take a strong stand and “run to the battle?”
It’s so easy to hide in our baggage convincing ourselves that we are inadequate, and that God could never really use us to do anything significant. It’s equally easy to be in positions of great influence with tremendous resources (like Saul) and become passive, paralyzed by FEAR, sitting on the sidelines as we daily hear of the “giants” consuming families, the church, and our culture.
I can recall more than a few times that God has called me to take a stand and “run to the battle.” In the summer of 1999 God spoke to me in the most personal and vivid manner ever. Living on the Edge was only two years old, I was working on my first book, and we were on six or seven radio stations. It was the most powerful and mystical experience I’ve ever had with the Lord Jesus.
”Chip, I want you to be a CATALYST to transform how America thinks about God, how pastors think about preaching, how churches think about their community, and how everyday believers live out their faith at home and at work. Did I go too fast? Write that down!”
It seemed impossible to fulfill. Yet with the encouragement of some very godly people, that calling has been the rudder of my life and the criteria for every major ministry decision – including my recent transition to be 100% focused on Living on the Edge.
As you listen to this Coffee Break, I hope you will give glory to God and stand in awe of what Jesus has done over the last 20 years since He gave me that directive. With fifteen books, 1 million weekly listeners, and over 300,000 small groups launched in America, God has built a platform for us to “run to the battle“– and prepared us for such a time as this.
Never before has there been such a need for Christians to live like Christians. For believers to take their stand on the TRUTH of Scripture and deliver it with light, not heat, with love, not hate. For us to demonstrate by actions, not words.
As you will hear in this Coffee Break, God has opened doors to partner with churches all across America and encourage pastors. He has provided the resources, the distribution, and the relationships to help people THINK differently about God, to LIVE differently with God, and to make a DIFFERENCE for God.
- Please listen carefully to this Coffee Break.
- Please pray sincerely about the opportunities in front of us.
- Please choose to take a step of FAITH and stand with us!
I for one do not want to be on the sidelines paralyzed by FEAR observing a culture, a church and a nation disintegrating in the soil of relative truth and pseudo-Christianity.
So my question for you is very simple; will you join me?
Will you stand with me and the calling of God upon Living on the Edge — to be a catalytic discipleship movement of God equipping Christians to live out their faith to transform families, churches, communities and culture for the common good and the glory of God?
Thank you for your partnership,
CEO and Teaching Pastor
Living on the Edge