The other day I went to run on the treadmill at a local gym. I packed my shorts, shoes and other stuff and headed off. When I got there I noticed that I picked up 2 left shoes. I have 2 pairs of running shoes that look similar and I must have picked them up. I was already in my shorts, so I thought I’ll just put my left shoe on my right foot and see how that works. Ouch! It doesn’t work. Shoes are not interchangeable. Each is uniquely fitted for each foot.
This reminds me of a sermon I heard in Columbus, Ohio a while back. Tony Evans, pastor of Oak cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, spoke at a Pastor’s Conference. What a sermon! He was very encouraging to about 600-700 pastors. There’s no way I can remember all he said, but let me share a few things that impacted me:
1. Let God use you like He made you. This is the sub-title of a new book by Dr. Evans, Destiny. I started reading the book and it’s fantastic. Each of us is a unique creation of God and He has a plan to use us in His world. When He created you, He chose every piece about you and planned for you to use it to fulfill your destiny. God often uses the weaker and less likely peole in this world to accomplish the greatest things. That way He gets the glory and He knows you will depend onHim to do it. Tony said, “Your destiny is the customized life calling God has ordained and equipped you to accomplish in order to bring Him the greatest glory and achieve the maximum expansion of His kingdom.”
2. The church is God’s officials on the ‘field of life.’Tony used a football game to illustrate life. During a football game there are three groups on the field – 2 opposing teams and the officials. We are the officials who are trying to establish order in a conflicting world. We represent the ‘Commissioner’ and possess all the power of the governing entity. Though officials are out-numbered, out-muscled, and not always popular, we have a book (Bible) that we must use to officiate the game. When an official shows favoritism toward one team, he ceases to be effective.
3. Jesus and Politics. So many things divide Christians. Race & Politics are two that currently keep Christians apart. But Tony reminded us that Jesus doesn’t ride a donkey or an elephant. In fact, Jesus is the ultimate independant – He always votes for Himself. Too many Christians have deeper ties to political parties than they do to Christ Himself.
4. Current American Problems. Tony made a comment at a Q&A about the problems in America. The problems of our culture are due to pulling away from God. (How can we get mad at a God, who we’ve kicked out of our schools & government, when He doesn’t intervene when we have problems in our schools & government?) When you aren’t for God you’re against Him. If God is your problem, God is your only solution. So God has let us live in a world without His protection. Our job is to bring God back into the situation.
5. My Favorite Tony Evans quote. “Live your life in such a way that when you get up in the morning, the devil and your enemies say, “Oh crap! He’s awake!”