Into the Depths: Partial Possession

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Partial Possession

Typically speaking, I am not one to rehash a sermon, unless it be to find all the points that I found inaccurate, against my personal beliefs or just plain ignorant about it. However, I actually liked what the dude had to say today. It may not change my life today, but perhaps it might be a catalyst for change down the road.

The title for today's message is 'Partial Possession.' Please turn your Bibles with me to our text, Joshua 17. (cute how I really sound like a preacher, isn't it.)

As is customary in the Baptist church of the 21st century, there were three main points.

1) The Israelites enlisted what they should have eliminated.

2) They avoided what they should have attacked.

3) They wasted what they should have utilized.
(Why do they find the use of alliteration absolutely imperative?)

Ok, number one is not that great to me because he hadn't really grabbed my attention yet. :) You have to spark my interest before I actually start listening. However, I pretty much get it, using things that we should have gotten rid of, yada yada.

Number two is where I started getting involved in active listening. Doesn't sound that great, avoided what they should have attacked, but think about that, without even knowing the story (unless of course you have the old testament memorized) you can still pull importance from that statement. But, since not everyone has it memorized, I'll give you a little of what is going on. This is where the Promised Land is being divided among the tribes of Israel. The tribe of Manasseh eventually begins belly aching that they do not have enough room. Well, the reason they don't have enough room is because they were commanded to drive the Cannaanites out of their land and they were too darn chicken. (Later when they were stronger, they could have gotten rid of the enemy but instead used them for forced labor, but that goes with point one, not sure why we went backwards, but, details.)

So the point to point two was the chicken part. The preacher talked about a little thing called the 'grasshopper mentality.' For this tribe, said mentality began way back in Egypt when they were slaves, and the tape never stopped playing. You know the tape, the one that says, I am not strong enough, I am not big enough, I am just a slave, I am unworthy. The tape that leaves us curled up in a ball in the corner, feeling like an outsider in our own skin. I am sure it is becoming evident why I liked this point. Israel, much like a lot of us, never overcame this tape. This is where the standard preacher would say, that is why it is so important that you renew your mind, then he would move on. Luckily, not the standard preacher this time. Instead, he told of his own grasshopper tape. I still wasn't fully convinced of the authenticity here, because he just as easily could have said, this is what I struggled with until I renewed my mind, but now I am a holy, perfect preacher. Instead he was vulnerable and real and said that everyday he struggles. If he lets his guard down, even a little, the enemy steps in and the tape starts playing the old reminder. He said you have to press the erase button on the old tape, the lies, and press record on the new, the Truth. Not once, but everyday, sometimes all day everyday. I loved his honesty. I could even hear the old tape struggling to break through as he spoke. It was evident that it was a real and genuine struggle for him to overcome. Another thing he said, that he might be having buyers remorse about having shared that come this afternoon. But then he stopped and said, no, I won't, because victory is in the confession. It is the secret that destroys. I loved that, too.

Last but not least, they wasted what they should have utilized. The tribe of Manasseh had all this land, they refused to utilize it. They were told to drive out the Canaanites, they didn't. They were told to clear out the trees, they didn't. How often in life (of course I am speaking mostly of myself) do we look out on what is our life and realize that most of our space, our room for 'blessing' is still overrun with our enemies, the enemy, however you want to look at it. You know, you could get all spiritual, I don't do that. What I choose to see in this is that all of the bad in my life, that I can't see past, overruns my life. It is all I have room for. I don't know how to get rid of all that bad yet, but I know there has to be a way, and I think seeing it for what it is, well at least that is a step. Maybe not even a step, maybe just a quarter turn. But, it's something.

Ok, that was a ton of rambling, but I liked the message which very seldom happens, so I needed to at least run through it again for some processing. Maybe you like it too, maybe it means nothing to you, doesn't matter much. The fact that I liked church today, the fact that I saw authenticity in a preacher, those are huge for me.

As for the song, I have never heard of her, but I am egotistical and all, so since her name was Stephanie, I listened. I think it is just a darn pretty song.


Blogger LiteratureLover said...

That is awesome artwork and a beautiful song. As far as the sermon, it sounds wonderful. (Although, I HATE three point alliterations as well.) That pastor's heart seems truly genuine. I loved what he said about the erase button on the lies and the record button on the truth. That's a cool way to explain "renewing your mind". I'm so glad you were able to enjoy church this time.

August 14, 2006 9:05 AM  
Blogger LiteratureLover said...

P.S. Thanks for your comment. That was sweet. :)

August 14, 2006 9:05 AM  
Blogger Bttrfly1976 said...

y.w. :) it was quite true, I was very glad to see the new post this morning and you had me contemplating all day!

August 15, 2006 12:12 AM  

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