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Doug Gehman (Staying Faithful) Thann Bennett (Giving Glory)

Janet Mefferd Today / Janet Mefferd
The Truth Network Radio
July 29, 2021 4:00 am

Doug Gehman (Staying Faithful) Thann Bennett (Giving Glory)

Janet Mefferd Today / Janet Mefferd

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July 29, 2021 4:00 am

The Bible says, "We count them blessed who endure." But how can we keep persevering in following Jesus when we feel like giving up? I'll talk it over with Doug Gehman, president of Globe International and author of the book, "Before You Quit." . Plus: How can we better proclaim the mighty deeds that the Lord has done? I'll discuss it with Thann Bennett, director of government affairs for the American Center for Law and Justice and author of "My Fame, His Fame." That's next time on Friday's JANET MEFFERD TODAY.

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This Janet Mefford today podcast is brought to you in part by Bible league international. We want to send 1500 Bibles to Africa through Bible leaves open the floodgates Bibles for Africa campaign five dollars cents one Bible call now 800 yes word 800 yes word is our confidence is in Christ alone, the word of God says that I sort of set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. James 511 also talks about endurance when it says.

Indeed, we count them blessed who endure while again and again. Scripture tells us to press on his we follow Jesus Christ. Even though the Christian life can bring with it a lot of trials and tribulations and sufferings.

And that's because as Romans eight recounts the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. But why is it so important to endure and how can we keep going when we feel like getting up very practical questions that were going to talk about today with Doug Gaiman. He is the president of global international omission sending agency based in Pensacola Florida and he is author of the book will be talking about called before you quits every day endurance, moral courage and the quest for purpose. Doug, it's great to have you with us today. How are you dread it, great, great directory to close the regrettable place in order to talking to you how wonderful.

I'm so glad the phone connection is great and I'm sure you're doing some great work down there curious about the subject of perseverance. This I think is such an important thing to talk about and I'm wondering why you think the power of perseverance is such an important subject for Christians, especially will take complete credit for writing the book publishers actually after talking with me about writing something for them. After we talked about my own story, they should. You really need to write a book about perseverance. So, I guess, in their view. I have life for a message based on my life about perseverance, but I can tell you that I discovered the Christian leader is a global person who served overseas for many years with no lead of mission organization that nothing worthwhile that we do in response to our obedience to Jesus is ever going to be producing fruit and be worthwhile without going through this time in the season of refining and patient labor that will later produce fruit rights. I think you're right about just as a quick quick quick fix yes exactly what curious for you to tell people a little bit about your background because you have been involved in ministry around the world. How have you dealt with the issue of perseverance, while you know every every person who goes into ministry. We have expectations we feel a quick halt where answering a call from God.

We hope we are tend to be very idealistic. I was a young man I wanted to change the world for Jesus. It was so grateful for what he did for me and I wanted this pre-choose good news around the world. You have an expectation of how that's going to turn out terms of fruit in terms of lives changed and typically are tech their expectations are not quite in line with what we experience, and so we have then are faced with what amounts to a crises am I going to deal with this disappointment or migrant to deal with this challenge. This delay or this persecution. Or maybe it's indifference to do with better micro equipment just get discouraged or microporous through maybe make some adjustments find God's pathway to fruitfulness. That was my story. I I grew up underneath other leaders in turn under them, and then took those experiences and build my own sense of expectation which were of course – at the beginning it didn't produce much fruit.

I was hoping for but then I made a determination to stick it out get some help. What Dr. schoolboy did some learning try some different things and eventually came into purple place and so I learned that is a fevers, who faced with through faith and patience inherit the promise yes yes that's great to you when you mention your idealism.

Of course I can relate to this. I have that's her personality as well. That perseverance is more difficult for Christians who tend to be very idealistic, very gung ho very much saying what you reflected just thereupon, the idea that I want change the world for the Lord. I want to change the world for Jesus intent, reality sets in sometimes and you recognize hey wait a minute, this is it is achievable or as easy as I thought it was going to be is that kind of personality more often discourage more often prone to saying I'm just gonna give up really hard to say because all of us are ideal are tested by God. I but I think I actually think the opposite is true. I think idealistic people when our ideals are really centered in the purposes of God's glory.

His consummate purposes that even disappointments though they are difficult in their their hard lately. The effect of the affect us in a very personal way. I think idealistic people actually have a better chance of getting through because when you when you read the people of the Bible or champion, Abraham, Joseph, Noah, Moses, all of them fall something that was beyond themselves baseball they were looking for city group says they were looking for something that didn't yet exist far off they hope for a better country of all these things about future expectations and that ideal is what drove them and also enable them and empower them to persevere through a lot of uncertainties and difficulties, and the fact is, none of them serve God perfectly. They made mistakes they they had, you know their own human faults, but it was actually their ideals or their God centered ideals, but kept them in, kept them on the path that's really that's been my experience yeah that's really good. It ties in with the quote that I took from your book because I thought it was so excellent. You have so many in this book that are excellent, but you have a quoting here that says the most powerful force for the advancement of the gospel is God's determined people and mow the most powerful force behind them is the glory of God. That seems to tie in with what you just said that those Christians who are the most gung ho and and determined. I will follow you, Jesus. I will honor you.

I will obey you to the best my ability that even when things become difficult and it's hard to persevere. God's determined people will continue on by the grace of God.

Yes, you know what I discovered in some of our deepest sufferings and we had some very personal things.

I related my book some losses that were very personal and what I discovered in those times of suffering to that I had a glimpse of it, even at the early stages might, for example, my brother took his own life when I was 2927. We were in Thailand and I remember flying back on the airplane just in shock as we came home to grievant do the funeral and I remember this Scripture in Isaiah chapter 53 where Isaiah talks about the Messiah of the suffering servant whose vision of the Messiah and he said he is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. As I sat there in that airplane grieving and thinking.

Now I know what that means.

I never knew what that meant before to be a person of sorrows and acquainted with grief. I had the sense that now I know I understand a little bit what God must experience when he sees the world turning their back on him when they see what it cost Jesus in his incarnation to come and suffer for us to suffer beside us as the Emmanuelle and I later as we got through the grief I really came to understand that as tragic as my brothers death was, you know how you deal with that even theologically of what I saw was God's goodness. The Romans, page God's working things together for good. I saw that he gave our family a gift. He helped us know him as God, suffering servant that we also learn something of him through our difficulties and as we persevere through them. We actually become more effective witnesses for Jesus wow why I'm so sorry for your loss. It's just heartbreaking to hear about that but I understand what you're talking about that in the sanctification process.

Often times it's the extreme suffering that we go through that helps us to learn more deeply about our Savior and matches gives us more strength.

It's kind of a paradox in a way but that really seems to be hit with the way it works out in the Christian life. Yeah, I mean we are geared in the West because what I say of the book of great good, which is the prosperity and the safety and the sense of systems that work with this a good thing were very grateful for it and we want to see it retained in the future in our nation. But what what has robbed us of his familiarity with suffering volatile at work and hold it there just for a moment that Damon is with us. His book is called before you, Quinton will come right back to the discussion. After this free content. This is Janet Mefford were partnering with Bible league international to send God's word to 1500 Bible is believers in Africa. In many parts of countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Mozambique as many as 9/10 Christians are denied God's word because of corrupt governments majority religions remoteness and poverty.

They've never been able to read first Peter 57 cast your cares on him for he cares for you reading that promise of God means everything to you and me, and now it will mean so much to these Bible is Christians in Africa. When you respond. Here's Pastor John in Mozambique one okay fund cost was doing not to remember it was one by Douglas stocking from excellent ice and fission and this is not so when we went to Joe, he said.I logged you five dollars sends one Bible $100 since $2500 sends 100 and your gift of any size will help us meet our goal of sending 1500 Bibles to Africa. Call 800 yes word 800 Y ES WORD or there's an open the floodgates Bibles for Africa banner to The need is great if you will remember the other picture really was trying to from the Bible with a study I was on the weather was Bible but we don't know what was the… It had a Bible from Regulus was also so that is a good middle Bibles send God's word to a Bible is believer in Africa today for only five dollars.

Call 800 Y ES WORD you're listening to today. Max a bit happy with nothing so good to be talking with my guest a game and he's president of global international omission sending agency in Florida is book is called before you quit every day endurance, moral courage and the quest for purpose.before we went to the break we were talking a little bit about some of the sufferings that you have experienced, and how that has affected how you persevere for the Lord. Does that seem to be in your experience that kind of suffering.

To be more inclined to keep the Christian persevering is that part would you say of the sanctification process that God often uses in our lives to keep us going. I mean it sounds strange but is that part of the process. Do you think now I actually is. I think we have to we have to become familiar with difficulty, you know the Isaiah 53 acquainted with grief. We part of our growth is becoming acquainted with what it means to suffer really, really interesting verse in Colossians. Paul's writing this, of course, from prison, but unjustly place their doctor want to believe it's verse 24. He says I thank God for my sufferings on your behalf because I am. I am fulfilling what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for you. You can think about that.

What was what could possibly be lacking in the sufferings of Christ, well, you know that's hard to say. His work was complete. It was finished.

Everything was done that needed to be done except for one thing and that is not everyone has yet heard or seen what Jesus has done and so what I think Paul was basically saying is that my suffering is a Christian in my doing it with patience and grace is a testimony for what Jesus did for me by his sufferings and taking it patiently and with grace. So we are a living example to others by enduring suffering in a Christlike way and that's what I've learned about difficulty if we can if we can suffer in a Christlike way. When God asked us to not lose our faith or not behave in a way that's not honoring to Jesus in some way that becomes one about one of our most compelling messages. I couldn't believe it.

Christians are at our best. We go through difficulty because we have something transcendent to the world just does not have holes that no one else knows about. Yeah, you're totally right about that. You know, I really appreciate that you distinguish, also between these three kinds of perseverance you talk about every day endurance.

You talk about aspirations for greatness. You talk about moral courage which you say can be very different. Or they can be interrelated.

Can you speak a little bit about the importance of these three forms of perseverance that are all things that come up in the course of our lives sure. So every day. Endurance is the everyday stuff we deal with and how we and how we respond to it. It's broken down automobile automobiles delayed flights aligned at the supermarket.

Traffic jams it. It just irritates us, especially in our somewhat title culture of the West where we expect things to go well for us because of our technological and other advances. So when they don't. It's hard for us but how we as Christians respond in those types of little provocations is a little bit of a litmus test about our ability to handle greater levels of difficulty and that's how that relates to other kinds of difficulty. So the second one is aspirations for greatness. That's where we voluntarily enter into something difficult.

It could be something as personal as trying to lose weight or run a marathon. We just suffer and attain a personal goal, or it could be something very Christ driven where he gives us an assignment and we just have to doggedly go after it for the glory of God. But it's a voluntary thing and in some ways we can choose not to. The third kind is moral courage where difficulty is thrust upon us, we are faced with a loss or something out of our control, and in some ways that's the most noble because now the outcome is uncertain, and even the purpose why do we have to suffer through this is in question. We may ask why am I why don't have to deal with this why this grief and how we embrace that type of pain and how we lean on Jesus and allow him to shape us even through unwanted difficulty is a great test of our faith's that's right. And those are all really interesting the way that you break those down what you say makes people persevere.

For example, to that last category that you mention moral courage because as you say it's one thing to join Weight Watchers.

It's another thing when you have a loved one commits suicide or somebody die or some tragedy occur. What about that issue. What makes somebody persevere despite a situation that may be completely knowing something you could never have handled if you'd known it was coming in advance.

Yeah, the, the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said something. It's ironic that he said it because he was an atheist.

She was very anti-Christian. She said he who has a why to live can bear almost any how. Ironically, it's odd, but in this point, he and Jesus would agree. I think that's I heard a preacher say that one time I felt when it is so true because Jesus basically says the same thing and that is God gives us a purpose for living, and we pursue him with art, with all the passion and all the contention that we have and we are willing to suffer for his honor and glory because we love him so much he gives us the why, gives us the reason and so that I think is really behind every Christian's ability to endure is that idea that we see something in the heavenly's that's maybe not with the naked eye bit with leather heart of faith we see something that is transcendent that we are willing to pursue and hold onto no matter what might happen very good.

What would you say for example Doug when you're talking about what you learned over the course of your maturity in Christ and how we all learn a lot of lessons over the years. The longer that we walk with the Lord.

But for the new Christian of the young Christian, there may still be that lack of experience that will bring that person to the place where the first big trial that comes along. He will or she will be tempted to give up and I know you know that that's a common thing with a lot of Christians probably all of us at some point I just out here. I just I can't deal with this anymore. Give that person encouragement in Christ when you just feel like giving up.

You just don't think I can't stand I can't keep going. Lord, I'm just out of strength. I have nothing left. First thing I think we all need to embrace you every every difficulty is really an opportunity for us to take a hard look at what we really believe in what we really want anything worthwhile is worth suffering for and fighting for and waiting for and so young people today who are in some ways being told we can have things instantly and I don't want to just pigeonhole young people that was true when I was 18 to but you know, this idea that difficulty actually gives us a chance to see what I really believe and how much do I want to hang onto something that I want in the fight in the work for it. I think that's the second thing that's important in that in that journey is to know how to engage yourself in the interim. What are you doing this Between aspiration for something and its fulfillment. There is are things you can do I list five actually what I call self-care and difficulty. The first is to read and learn.

So Bible reading and engaging with good Christian books are you going back to school and getting some education so you can expand your understanding and that gives you perspective on your experience. I called up the cognitive and then worship is the intuitive leaning on Jesus in your heart even know that the very idea of things. It passes all understanding.

As Paul says, and then the third is be creative and try something distract a little bit and be creative and do some things that are healthy for you. I know when we went to difficulty. We had to make a decision between I had to make a decision between engaging unhappy, unhealthy habits and getting into addictive behaviors or expressing myself in some positive, creative way that I could no express. Even my lament in a way that was constructive in Christ honoring the final two are diversions taking a stab at getting a rash doing something different. Adjusting your life and the final one is just a faithful living.

I remember my grandmother when I was a kid went out to their farm love to get up and work in the barn but I hated getting up at five in the morning so the cows and sheep shake me awake and should say look cows don't care how you feel they need to be melt. Get up and out of and there is something for all of us to remember that were glad the police are doing their jobs in middle the night you were safe even if maybe you have a head cold and they had a fight with her spouse before they left for work were still glad they're faithfully doing their job. All of us have things we need to be faithful with because a lot of other people are depending on us. That's a really good perspective. Is there anybody in particular, whose perseverance inspires you. Somebody from church history somebody from the word of God. You mentioned Noah for example, there been a lot of missionaries. Obviously, who faced incredible trials and persevered for the Lord would there be one person, among others, that you would say this Christian is the one I keep going back to you. There's one in my book. I use it as examples as a man that really inspired me when I was young I called WC and he was an evangelist that had to labor for three years of disappointments with me working as an intern watching his determination, so that's a very relevant contemporary example. It happened in the last 30, 40 years that's in my book.

It's worth reading.

It's a great introduction to the book other ones from history like William Carey who was now can called the father of modern missions keep one of the famous things he said was, I can plot he faced a lot of difficulty as he tried to try to change the paradigm of his day, which was sort of the theological underpinnings of his upbringing in in England and said, should we go to the nations, and some of the folks would know God will take care that all is only the help and Carrie had this example of just plotting forward with his this idea and eventually for such amazing fruit, but here we are today.

400 years later and were still quoting some of the things that he did to me to. I love him and and there are some wonderful examples of other people that you mention your bug bites. What an encouragement this is because we all have need of perseverance were all headed toward heaven were all excited to get there but in the interim we have a lot of work to do and it's important not to give up and you can read about in the book before you quit everyday endurance moral courage and the quest for purpose by my guest. A game is so good to have you with us.keep up the good work. It was wonderful to talk to you. Thank you Janet my privilege to be with you today.

God bless God bless you too.thanks again, this Janet met for today podcast is brought to you in part by Bible league international.

We want to send 1500 Bibles to Africa through Bible leaves open the floodgates Bibles for Africa campaign. Five dollars sends one Bible call now 800 yes word 800 yes word you're listening to Janet River today and here's Joe, thank you for being with us. I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself up for me. Galatians 220 shows us clearly the kind of mindset that we should have as Christians not I but Christ, I now consider myself dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus is Romans six says so my life is not my own anymore. Now what contrast this is to the message of the world which says we must be loved and we must be successful in all costs and that the famous are the important people while who's more famous than the Lord and how can we better proclaim the mighty deeds that he has done sorting to talk about this today with Dan Bennett director of government affairs for the American Center for Law and Justice and author of my theme, his pain, aiming your life and influence toward the glory of God. It's great to have you with us. How are you today Janet I'm doing well thank you so much for having me back.

Great to talk to you again were in a culture as you mentioned in your book that really is kind of obsessed with fame and success.

You see that what you make of that is a Christian that the direction that our culture pushes us in to be famous and to be important all the time.

You know Janet, I think there's a fairly universal desire in all of us for our lives to count for something that are bigger than ourselves but unfortunately you're right in our culture that largely plays out in a way where people are obsessed with 15 minutes of fame notes rooted in personal notoriety or attention and you know we had quite Christ followers know that we should resist that temptation.

And yet, I think there is still this desire born at a soul level for our lives to count for something bigger than ourselves and to be honest with you I think that scripture pretty clearly tells us why we have that desire. This is to be surprising to some people but I think Scripture told us it's because we were literally created for fame. Now II need of follow quickly on saying that it we have perverted the fame for which we were created with that self absorbed. One that we see all around us and that fame will destroy us, but I don't think it negates the truth that we were hardwired to be vessels for the fame and the power of the Almighty God, you know you can you can think of several examples.

It's it's what was promised to Abraham when God said he would make him a great nation and it's what he meant when he told Joshua his fame would spread throughout the land and then in the pinnacle story that I used in this book. That's what he meant when he asked the prophet Habakkuk to proclaim his fame during the time of calamity. So I think Janet that this is an incredibly exciting proposition for those of us who follow Jesus because the creator of the universe, designed us to possess his fame and his power. But you're right, it's a tricky one. In our culture because the only way that working to be able to take on that fame is if we first unlearn the one that's all around us that the only way Janet there were to walk in the fullness of God's plan for life will I agree with you there, and I'm glad that you're focusing on Habakkuk actually love that book very very much.

This is a time when the Chaldeans were being used by God to punish Judah. Habakkuk was rather exasperated and I'm wondering if you can bring people up to speed a little bit who might've forgotten their lessons on the Habakkuk what that holy book is about, but talk a little bit about why the prophet Habakkuk is a really good profit to look at when were discussing the subject love that you love and Janet a lot of people don't really know the story, but I see so many parallels between Habakkuk and in the world we live in today and quite frankly I see parallels between his exacerbate exacerbation with the culture around him and his frustration with God's absence and maybe how I respond to Habakkuk went to God with his frustration and and Janet. He actually blames God for being absent. He blames God for his hand being state and he wonders why God is not intervening but a couple of things happen when Habakkuk does this that I think are very instructive to how we should live today number one God doesn't reprimand Habakkuk for bringing those frustrations to him quite quite the opposite. He welcomes it. He engages the dialogue he responds to Habakkuk on the terms that Habakkuk is asking about. He doesn't shy away from the fact that there might be judgment, calamity coming, but he welcomes that relationship and I think that's the first lesson is that God wants that honest relationship with us, but then most importantly for this book Janet when Habakkuk blamed God for everything that's happening in God. Why are you absent God says will I'm not absent. I have been here all along I've been waiting on Habakkuk is I've been waiting on the vessel that I created to carry my fame that you I've been waiting on you to be ready. Now are you ready will you step forward will you carry my fame and if you will. I'm more than ready to pour it out while there's so much there that we can talk about because you're right. When Habakkuk starts out his plea with the Lord.

He says how long the Lord will I call for help and you will not hearing you right he's very honest he's very open and he's very flummoxed. He says why are you silent when the wicked swallow up those more righteous than they and the Lord responds and it's interesting because one of the things that the Lord responds with is. He says the righteous will live by his faith but he says behold as for the proud one. His soul is not right within him. So it seems what he's telling Habakkuk is trust me. Is that not a big part part part would you say of the message to Habakkuk as well. The Lord is reassuring him. Trust me, you must trust me in this, absolutely. And I think we have to trust him in both the judgment that may fall and then also the promise of rescue that will be on the other side. Habakkuk 15 God says look at the nations and watch and be utterly amazed, for I am going to do something in your days, you would not believe, even if you were told in their work to sides of that promise. Janet, the first one was good to be some calamity, some judgment at the hands of the Babylonians and then the second is this promise of rescue. On the other side. The book actually closes with that very familiar refrain were God promises to place Habakkuk's behind feet on high places, but the pivot point in their Janet and and what brings Habakkuk to a place of believing in that promise of rescue even when he's not yet convinced of it is this beautiful declaration that God instructs Habakkuk to make it happens in Habakkuk 32, he says, Lord, I have heard of your fame. I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. And then here's the pivot point in Janet, this is what I think we need to say today. He asked God repeat them in our day in our time, make them known in wrath remember, remember, mercy, and I gotta tell you I think were on the edge of that moment.

I think we God's people. The church are recognizing that God is ready to do mighty things that were beyond our imagination, but is waiting on us. The ones that he desires relationship with to be willing to engage with him and those mighty things while that is a great versus dimensions `32 and it depends on the translation you're using.

I think you are quoting from the NIV, which uses the word fame and I'm also looking. I think this is that the Naz be that says the Lord, revive your work in the midst of the years your fame and your work. So you're right I think were absolutely at that pivot point where we are right now.

Not just because of the pandemic that were all sitting through and wondering about all the time, but also because of really in many respects this spiritual and moral collapse of the United States. Do you see a lot of parallels there between what was going on in Habakkuk. Stay with Judah and what's going on with us now. I really do and I think the times were going to Janet. I think can bring so much clarity. I'm not saying that they are no good times at all.

It certainly times of calamity, but I think one of the fringe benefits is that it gives us greater clarity about those things which are lasting and those things that we should be aiming our lives and influence toward and for me it really boils down to this point that it convinces me that the world does not need me. It needs him. But here's the exciting thing the world doesn't get him unless I am willing to step in and beat the connective tissue between him and the world.

That's the way he's designed it because he desires relationship with me, and there are two main connections that have to happen there. First of all, I have to be connected to my creator. I have to be hearing from him. I have to be communing with them and then I have to be connected to my culture. It's not a detachment. It's not a walking away. It's not being afraid to engage. It's also not just the condemning and writing all it's a connection so that my connection to the creator then makes a tangible impact as I connect to the culture. That's what Habakkuk was and he had to agree to obey before God poured out the promise and then told Habakkuk to make it plain right it on a tablet so that Harold could run with such an important point that you're making because it is the case that when you look at Genesis, God is speaking directly to Adam and Eve, he spoke directly to the prophets, but he allows us to be his ambassadors. That's what Scripture talks about that we are ambassadors for Jesus Christ.

We represent him.

We are his children by faith in Jesus Christ. We are the heirs of the promise that is to be ours. When all of this is over and we inherit eternal life. But you're raising a really important question fan and that is how should we live in light of what you just said Van Bennett is my guess my fame, his famous his book and will be right back you listening to Janet my for today.

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I think my favorite example of this in Scripture is Genesis 18 where God is telling Abraham that he is about willing ready to destroy Sodom for its wickedness. And I gotta tell you I think if I'm Abraham in that moment, I really like this idea because finally the power of my God is to show up in it and it's going to give that evil those evil actors what they deserve. Judgment is gonna rain down but Abraham doesn't do that. He goes back to God and pleads for mercy. He says God if I can find 50 righteous people in the city but will you save it and God says yes, but Abraham does is not satisfied with that. He goes back not once, not twice, not fruit he was back six times asking God for a greater grant of mercy and and what's instructive to me. Two things really. First of all I so desperately want to be someone who looks at this broken culture and doesn't instinctively call down God's judgment, but ask God how can I be a vessel of mercy and how can I draw others to your side through this and the second thing Janet is God doesn't walk away from those negotiations until Abraham walks away.

They settle on this number of finding 10 righteous people and if they can. The city will be saved, but God doesn't walk away until Abraham walked away.

They do the request for for 10 is the last number that Abraham gives to answer your question, I just think we need to be a people who are willing to engage our God and asking for a greater grant of his mercy. A greater grant of time to draw people to his side. Those are the kind of people that I think God has called us to bake while writing your picking up again on Habakkuk 32 which talks about in wrath remember mercy. That's exactly what you know he's praying for. Please, Lord, be merciful unto us and none of us have anything without God's mercy anyway. Something else you say Dan is, we try to be famous and that's kind of that. The theme of your book when we should long to be known. Can you speak to that issue a bit, absolutely. I think when we try to be famous when we take on this personal idea fame.

We are looking to be recognized by those around us were looking to be notorious when we were actually created to be known intimately by create our creator and then to amplify his fame, not our own.

That's the thing that we were made to take on and you know I think this so often becomes a competition among Jesus followers, and I think this is something that were being called out of and again I go back to the example of Moses. Moses and Joshua, there's this amazing story in Numbers 11 that I think maybe a lot of us have forgotten where God is pouring out his Spirit on the on elders in the camp and there are two elders that did not follow instructions completely. They stayed behind in the camp. Their names were Al dad and me dead. But God still poured out his spirit on them and they began to prophesy on behalf of the Lord and Joshua. This gets this jealousy on behalf of Moses and he runs out to Moses and he says Moses my Lord stop them and here's what Moses replies Janet and missed.

This actually makes me emotional anytime I talk about this Moses replied, are you jealous for my sake. I wish that all the Lord's people were prophets, but the will and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them, and I think that's the attitude that we gotta have it not for our own visibility. If not for our own notoriety. And if God chooses to pour his spirit out on another will, but my goodness, we are to stand behind them, and we are to support that message writes that this ties a little bit into what you talk about regarding leadership because you say that true leadership is about following the leader more than leading those who are following. How does that tie into what you're discussing here. Yeah, I mean I am privileged in my life to serve some of the most effective leaders I've ever known.

In one of the traits that I have so consistently seen in them is a refusal to keep their followers behind them. There has been a willingness to say. God gives different gifts to different people and part of my role is as a leader is to empower them and to embolden them to actually pass me in certain areas to to walk in the in the gifts that God has given them to a way that maybe they do pass me and then I think there probably a lot of a lot of people that don't walk in the grace I've been extra privilege to be surrounded by those who do, but ultimately Janet, it comes back to this, we weren't created to be leaders. Now we might be given leadership in some instances, but the commands in Scripture that we are given repeatedly and clearly and fervently at that. Are there were supposed to follow hard after him and to the extent that we do become leaders and people follow us were only to lead them in the right direction if aura were actually focused on the one that were supposed to be following well. It reminds me of what Paul said imitate me as I imitate Christ. He wasn't saying it's about me Paul you need to be part of my clan E saying if I am exhibiting the fruit of the spirit and if I'm representing Jesus Christ, according to his word, then you want to do what I'm doing because I'm only imitating Jesus, but again he's pointing people to Jesus at every turn, and he also said that not many of should be leaders or teachers because you take on additional responsibility. I would put it to you this way. I think God will give us as much as we can handle faithfully, but if we push ourselves to the front of the line in order to be seen and we take on more than he intended us to have that to come with additional responsibility, additional accountability without additional blessing because it's not the places that God is called the silk Janet, we need to be eager like Habakkuk was to step to our place on the line into the act and boldness and to carry out the task that God has given us, but we need to be very careful and I would say even hesitant and and asking of God, to make sure that were not pressing ahead of him because we don't want that accountability if it's not in an area that he's pushed us into writer needs to be that humility at all times about the eternal and focusing on the eternal. As we know that is our long-term goal is we want to be with Christ, we will be in eternity a lot longer than will be unearthed by a long shot but you say choosing the things that are eternal. Make us effective on earth, for the Lord's fame. How is that the case I just think it with our eyes from the circumstances, you know, I think if we are able to. Like you said in the moment. Think about those things that long after were gone are still going to matter in there in a matter in the eternal kingdom. I think it frees us from some of the burdens of a crowdpleasing that so naturally come in. I may look this is a hardbound as you're gonna get feedback based on actions in the moment that might tell you you're doing the right thing, but most of that feedback in the moment is based on how how how people react now how they feel right now and most of that is lost in eternity Janet the things that will last in eternal souls long after were gone. If we can think about those as were making decisions.

Even if the reaction in the moment like like you are talking about the culture being diversion from the reaction in the moment may not be a positive one. Those aren't the feedback mechanisms that were looking for were to remain steadfast anyway yeah that's right well I for example if you go up to the average non-Christian today and you want to talk about San Rafael or the final judgment. That's usually going to be what they want to talk about and and yet for all of us to know Jesus Christ.

If nobody had ever told us about send Helen judgment would we even be Christians, we gotta keep that eternal perspective in mind as we are his ambassadors. We need to focus on what the Lord says is important and that is that he is slow to me. He wants everyone to come to repentance.

And that's why he is not slow about his promises, but it seems sometimes to people that he's slow about coming back after waiting for Jesus to return and some people well you know you always said he's gonna come back. Where is he. Well, that's the heart of God that he wants all men to know that that's the heart of it all came in and when we better be willing to look peculiar and were told us that if we walk in this fully the culture is gonna look at a bit peculiar, but you know my aspiration, Janet, and hopefully the aspiration of those with interest is not to fit into this culture is to be a representative and ambassador of the Almighty God. Within this culture and if that means I look chillier if that means that I'm set apart that that's a sacrifice that I'm going to make and if you look at the story of Habakkuk is actually that that enabled him to carry the message of God to his people in a time of great need. All right.

And as we love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength which is the first and greatest commandment is Jesus said that's who we need to keep our eyes on. And that's the one whose glory is ultimately important. We don't have any glory apart from him at all and we should be all about Jesus Christ. I couldn't agree more with you in the name of the book is my fame.

His fame aiming your life and influence toward the glory of God. That's the goal of every Christian Dan Bennett with us. Thank you so much that it was great to have you back. Great to talk to you and God bless you and bless your grade will be with you all right you take care and thanks again for being with us. Thank you for joining us on Janet my for today. We appreciate you and will see you next time.

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