My loving wife says I have a problem with authority. I don't think I do. I've told her, jokingly, that as long as I have the authority, there are no problems. Maybe she's right. When I was a kid I listened to what mom and dad told me to do out of respect, and maybe sometimes, not just a little fear.
If Daddy told me to pack in firewood, I packed in firewood. If Mom told me to take out the trash, I took out the trash. If either of them told me to pick up my room, I picked up my room. As I got a little older, maybe I did begin developing some authority issues, who knows. But still, when someone in authority over me said to do something, I did it. Still do.
This morning, I was reading from 1 Kings 20, and King Ahab is under threat of attack by King Ben-Hadad of Aram. Ben-Hadad's army is gathered and preparing for war. God, perhaps sensing Ahab' fear, sent him a messenger and that messenger said this:
"This is what the Lord says, 'Do you see this vast army? I will give it into your hand today and you will know that I am the Lord.'"
"But who will do this?" asked Ahab.
The prophet replied, "This is what the Lord says, 'The young officers of the provincial commanders will do it.'"
"And who will start the battle?" he asked.
The prophet answered, "You will."
Here is what I love about this story, Ahab didn't wait. God said, "Go," and Ahab began making plans. He called together the young officers of his provincial commanders, and started gathering his army. It wasn't big as far as armies go, only 7232 fighting men who were setting up to go against unknown thousands.
Here's the thing. We like to think that God doesn't call us to do concrete things anymore, unlike Ahab...but God does. God is still calling us to work and war. Not physical war, but spiritual war. God is calling us to take our place leading God's army, or engaging in battle alongside them. But what do we do when the task seems too great, or the army we're facing seems so much better equipped? We go anyhow.
I've been dropping hints for several weeks about something I have been called to do, not felt called to do, but called to do. I laid the initial plan out to one of my committees last night and they gave me the green light to begin Phase One. As I look around, though, at all the possibilities of failure, all of the potential obstacles, all of the conversations that will have to take place, and the fear that stepping out strikes in some hearts, I keep asking God, "Who will do this?" hoping that God's answer will be, "The young officers of the provincial commanders." What I keep hearing as I ask God who will start this battle is, "You will." Dang it.
So today, phase one of FaithRiver begins. I enter into this new adventure with great fear and trembling, but because of the One who has ultimate authority over me, I cannot say "No." I will, in the next few days or weeks, begin gathering the troops. God has already told me that it's going to work, I don't know how yet, or even exactly what it's going to look like. But now, when I ask God who will start this adventure, I'm not just hearing, "You will." God is saying, "We will." And that makes it alright.
If you're ready for the adventure of a lifetime, shoot me a text 270-748-9619. I'm stepping out in front because that is where God has told me to stand, and I know that is one authority figure that I will not argue with anymore.