Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Rocks Speak

July 17, 2012

"He replied, 'If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!'" Luke 19:40

While in Africa I had the pleasure of speaking at local churches on Sunday mornings (did I mention that ONE church service runs three and a half to four hours?!?). The first Sunday I prepared two different messages. Having realized in my own life the importance of building our foundation
of faith on God's Word rather than on hearsay, I based one message on
the passage found in Matthew 7:24-27.

"Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.
the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat
against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.
But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash."

As Saturday night drew to a close I remained unsure of which message God intended for me to deliver the next morning. I prayed over and over for wisdom and discretion. Desperate for direction I decided to ask God for a sign.

In all honesty, I'm not sure it pleases God when we ask Him for signs. In Judges 6 Gideon asked God twice for a sign to affirm that he should attack the Midianites. But I also observe in the next chapter of Judges that God seemed to require an increased amount of faith on behalf of Gideon when God decreased Gideon's army from over 30,000 to just 300. God prefers for us to follow Him by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

I'm uncertain of what motivated me to ask God for a sign. Call it weak faith, call it jet-lag but the night before I spoke I asked God to show me a brick. Just one tiny brick. I decided that if I arrived to the church and saw a brick--or anything that even remotely resembled a brick--then I would deliver the message based on the passage in Matthew 7 (do you follow my logic . . . bricks as in building our foundations on the Rock?). No brick meant I would deliver the message I had originally prepared.

Are you sitting down?

Because as we arrived at the church the next day, this is what I saw.

Do you see them? Not just one brick. A whole pile of bricks. Right there, at the bottom right corner of this picture.

The photo is an original; no photo-shop here. Just an image of our powerful God who loves to interact with His children.

In Luke 19 Jesus told the Pharisees that if His followers hadn't shouted praises to Him, the rocks would have rejoiced in their place. To the casual observer, it's just a pile of bricks in my photo. But to me the rocks speak volumes of God's love, presence, awareness and very desire to communicate with me.

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