Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. -1 Thessalonians 5:11
True confession - we chase a few squirrels in our foxhole. We always have good intentions, but sometimes we get off track. You might say we're allowing space for the Holy Spirit to direct the conversation. Or you might just say we're easily distracted. At any rate, I went into foxhole time this week intending to focus on the last of Stan's three questions, having touched on the first two the previous week. You may recall those questions were as follows:
What will I need to change to stay connected (physically, emotionally, spiritually) in my foxhole?
Who do I rely on to stay connected in my foxhole?
How do I seek God's will for me within my foxhole?
Then it happened - SQUIRREL! As we gathered around the table, one brother said he wanted to lay a good word on us and took us to Jeremiah 33, a chapter filled with restoration hope and messianic promise.
This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—YHWH is his name: "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." -Jeremiah 33:2-3
That prompted another brother to recall something he heard on the radio (J. Vernon McGee) about finding a psalm that's "just your size". Someone mentioned Psalm 37, which addresses the issue of God's sovereignty when it looks like the bad guys are winning. He shared an episode from his life when this chapter had been his North Star even while everything in him wanted to shout, "NOT FAIR!"
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. -Psalm 37:5-6
We began to swap stories about other scriptures that meant something special to us and why. We explored the encouragement and instruction available in the Word of God, which remains remarkably relevant through all generations. One man shared a practice he had begun of collecting and cataloging "promise scriptures" ("When I feel __________, I need to remember that God says __________.") Someone had a theological question, so we looked at it through the lens of scripture. It was then that it occurred to me that we were actually answering the third question!
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. -1 John 4:16-17
We closed out considering the kindness God shows us every day. Yes, we live in a fallen world, where life can be hard and we painfully have to admit that we are often part of the problem. But we also live with hope and freedom and redemption and purpose and beauty and a ferocious style of love. Because of the gospel. And that's what we remind ourselves of in our foxhole, even when we go off chasing squirrels!
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. -Hebrew 10:24-25
Hey, this is a month with five Fridays, so what you do with your foxhole time next week is up to you. We'll be back at the Lodge on September 7, but in the meantime, live large, live loud, live for King and Kingdom!