Advent 2021

Witness: Sunday, January 2, 2022

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Witness: Don Argus

Scripture: Exodus 33:12-17

Weekly Theme:  Announce 

For about twenty-five years before moving to The Villages, Lynn and I served in a small beach community church called Sandbridge Community Chapel. I served in many positions at that church, and at one point, I was in charge of Men’s Ministries. I taught a few Men’s Bible Studies during that time, but one, in particular, was one in which God directly affected me. 

I had chosen to use John Eldridge’s book “Wild at Heart.” The premise of the book centered around getting validation from God. And one of the assignments in the book asked each man to go off by themselves with a Bible and a notebook and be alone with God for as long as it takes to hear from him. It was a powerful exercise meant to enforce the importance of Man’s relationship with God.

I should also explain that I was in a spiritual place where I questioned my effectiveness in my ministry. I did not think I was being very effective with the Men in the church, and although I prayed about it, God seemed to be silent.

So, I had asked the men to do this assignment over the weekend. Upon returning home, I heard God say to me – “You need to do this.” My reaction was, of course, “what do you mean, God – I am the teacher.” Then I felt God prompting me to go to the beach with a beach chair and the Bible and notebook.

At this point, I need to tell you, although we lived in a beach community, I am not very fond of the beach, to put it mildly. I am still not. Way too much sand and wind. I would visit the beach when we had visitors, but I did not stay long.

So, I took my beach chair, Bible, and notebook and walked to the beach. Upon arrival, the atmosphere was just as I expected – about a 15 – 20 MPH wind and hot. But – I set my chair down, sat in it, and opened my Bible. The pages on my Bible would not stay in one place, and I kept trying to find my favorite Psalm, to no avail. Suddenly the wind stopped, and the pages stopped turning, and I looked down to these verses in Exodus Chapter 33:

12 Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name , and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways , so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”

14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you, and I know you by name.”

Then the wind started up again – just as strong as before. It was as if God was saying – Ok – you can go home now. 

Discussion/ Reflection Questions:

  1. Was there a time in your life you were not sure you were being effective for God?
  2. Have you ever experienced that “Direct Communication”?
  3. How hard is it to rely on God for validation instead of others?

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