Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Standing in Prayer / Standing in Honor - A Letter from Pastor Todd

Dear PoC Influencers,

Some time ago, I had an opportunity to attend an event with several other people where I was asked to teach on various principles of discipleship. While at the event, I witnessed the mistreatment of one of the participants. I didn’t know the back story. I didn’t know the full circumstance. I didn’t know either side. All I knew was what I witnessed - that the treatment of this fellow believer was so over-the-top, so public, and so calculated that it was clear to me that it had been planned for some time. It also seemed desperate and misguided. It broke my heart. And, because of my very limited view and contact with the individuals, there was little I could do. So, I prayed. And, as I prayed, I consistently felt a missional impulse from the Lord to simply watch and pray, wait, and keep my eye on this fellow believer.

As I watched this believer from a distance, I was more and more impressed by her ability to show grace under fire. While I waited for God to present me with an opportunity to “remember” her, I was able to see in her some very impressive things that I would not have seen if I had not obeyed the Lord’s direction to simply “keep an eye out”. Often, if we are too quick to react, we miss the chance to collect much-needed evidence that only comes as we simply “let things play out”. I came to appreciate how she handled herself, even in the face of confusing opposition that just didn’t make sense. I began to pray that God would bless her and her family. Even though we did not live close to each other, the Lord listened to the prayers we were both praying, independently of each other. A few months later, the opportunity I was waiting for presented itself, and I was able to “remember” her and use my limited position and influence to help promote her so that others could see God use her in a powerful and unquestionable way.

Last week we looked at a rather unsatisfying story in the Bible – the destruction of Sodom and
Gomorrah. It was a hard lesson to preach: we must intercede . . . even if the situation seems hopeless.
Well, this week, as we look to Daniel chapter 2-3, the story is a little more hopeful. It just feels right, and the listener/learner is able to enjoy a powerful moment as God delivers the three Hebrew children out of the furnace. High-5’s all around. It’s simply an amazing story of God’s faithfulness.

As we look to the beginning of the story at Daniel 2: 48-49, we see Daniel, from a position of influence, “remembering” his friends, promoting his friends, and then watching as his 3 friends show world-changing steadfast and brave faith that is obvious to all as they are challenged to take a stand for God. Remember that the three Hebrew Children: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had already
been standing together in prayer with Daniel for some time. All of this bold praying led to Daniel’s
“promotion” first as Daniel interpreted a dream for Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon who then gave Daniel a high position within his government. And, that’s when Daniel remembered His friends and asked the King to give his friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, jobs as administrators. God gave them influence and authority as they remembered each other. And they understood that all authority is meant to be used to serve and lead people to draw closer to God. Once promoted, Daniel jumped at the opportunity to enlarge His team of God-fearing influencers who had a heart for the city. Who better to have on your team then those who have been standing with you in prayer?

Let me ask you, what would happen if, like Daniel, we determined that those who have helped with
prayer shall, out of our gratefulness, share in our honor? Like Daniel, we might also find that those
who stand with us in prayer are more ready than any other to serve and influence with us. One of the
best ways to be caught red-handed in the middle of God’s plans is to ask the Lord how to leverage the
influence He has given us in the community so that we can remember and promote the people of God
who earnestly seek Him and run hard after Him to the point that an entire city begins to take notice.
Look what happened after God miraculously protected and delivered Daniel’s three friends from the
flames. Daniel 3: 27 reads, “All the princes, governors, lieutenant governors, and other officials of the king gathered to look at the three men . . .” Amazing!

PoC, God wants your life to influence your city. Who is standing with you in prayer? Who has shown
themselves to be faithful and a God-lover? Ask God to show you how you can join Him in His mission by allowing others to share in your honor.

I can’t wait to see you Sunday. The PoCKidz will be with us, so it’s gonna rock . . . hard!!

Remember your Red-Handed Challenge to do at least one random act of kindness this week. Keep
joining God. Don’t be afraid to get caught right in the middle of His plans.

Remembering You Always in Prayer,

Pastor Todd

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