Church Blog

Engaging with God from a Cave

April 30 2012 at 12:39 pm 6 Comments

Joshua Harris preached the third and final message of the “Never Give Up” series yesterday. He read from 1 Samuel 21:10-22:4 and Psalm 57, which look at one of the lowest moments in David’s life, when he hid in the cave of Adullam. His message title was “David: Praising God in a Cave.”

Joshua encouraged those of us who are new to David’s story to learn more by reading, starting in 1 Samuel 16. He also recommended a book that’s available in the church bookstore: David: Man of Prayer, Man of War. See Joshua’s post on joshharris.com about why the book is so significant to him.

Sermon audio and an outline are available in the Resource Library.


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Amazing series Josh!

I misplaced my trust factor - I found it again…

...in Jesus

By Jeff Truesdale on 04/30/2012

This was a very encouraging sermon. I need to be reminded that God’s plan and our life in a fallen world includes caves.  To know that God does unique things through cave experiences is a precious thing.

Related to this, is the fact that the Bible is a narrative — a series of stories that role into one story – with David is a key player. The more I understand the drama of the Bible through unique characters like David, the more I understand God’s work of redemption in the lives of my family, my friends, my Care Group to be all about stitching our stories into His grand story. 

We all have cave experiences, and through them we can participate in a drama that ends with final justice executed and nonetheless full mercy winning out in history, with all tears wiped away, new life granted us in resurrection bodies, and life eternal in a new heavens and new earth perfectly suited to what we are becoming through our cave experiences even right now.

That may not take the pain of our cave experiences away, but to put God’s goodness before minds in the cave is to be reminded of a certain and hopeful future. I need these kinds of reminders these days. Thank you.

By Mark Fedeli on 04/30/2012

Dear Josh,
This whole series was so encouraging. I really felt you were preaching from a deeply honest place of personal pain and loss…not that you were drawing attention to yourself at all, but anyone who has witnessed the events of the past year can probably hear behind your words and just imagine the personal toll these events have surely taken on you.  (My heart breaks for you as I process the fact that some of your long standing friendships - ones you surely thought would last a lifetime - may have been deeply affected and may not ever be the same, on this side of Heaven.)  You definitely know about the cave, friend.  You have rightly insisted that we do not try to minimize or gloss over suffering (our own, or that of others) but that in the midst of very real anguish, we recognize that the glorious Gospel is much bigger.  I especially appreciated your drawing our focus to “God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.”  Knowing that God is fulfilling His purpose for each of us as we walk through burdens and difficulties is such a necessary and encouraging reminder. 
God bless you. We continue to bear you on our hearts in prayer.
PS - Glad you were able to stop on the sidewalk between services to talk with us and pray for our dear friends Lori & Mwenda and their precious baby Anna.  That was deeply meaningful to them and to us.  Thanks for your care.

By Kelly McMillen on 04/30/2012

Loved this quote: “If your overriding hope and zeal is for the glory of God, then you can lose everything and see your greatest desire fulfilled.”

By Angelita Lotinsky on 05/02/2012

Josh,

Someone wrote his friend after the civil war saying, “We’ve experienced more life in four years than most do in a lifetime,”  The events that have unfolded since July have been beyond the scope of anything any of us could ever have imagined in 2004.
I was deeply thankful that you allowed the Holy Spirit to break in on your plan for us to go through Matthew to stop and face what we’re still in by seeing those times in the lives of Paul, Elijah, and David when they came to the end of their strength and were on the brink of despair. Paul didn’t want the Corinthians to be unaware of the hardship his team had been through saying, “we despaired even of life.”

It was so good for us to see our story in context of God’s dealings with other men and how He works what looks like impending disaster for glorious good. It was also good to be encouraged to process through imagination how extremely discouraging their trials were instead of just jumping to the end and glossing over the reality of their pain.

I’ve listened to your messages many times since the first one, “A Father’s Discipline” (God is in it and He’s in it for our good”) and then on “The Priority Of Love” (“maybe what got us in this mess is a lack of love.”) The one constant I’ve seen in how God has
led you in seeking to guide us is to continually say to us in different ways that there is something much bigger than this trial : THE GLORIOUS PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST who is THE GOSPEL.

In all this I hear His voice as does Jeff Truesdale (in less words) saying, “Come unto Me all who are weary and I will give you rest.” You have faithfully pointed us to the One Who has sustained you. My soul is at rest. I look forward to us learning more about Jesus in Matthew. So grateful there is a Man who is the GOD-MAN. To place our hope on anyone or anything else is to misplace our hope. May we return to our first love with more love than ever before. May this be the highest good that comes out of this fiery trial and we love others (especially those who see things differently than we do.)

Thank you for being a faithful servant of Jesus Christ

By Paul Kellen on 05/03/2012

Josh,

Though you have faithfully pointed us over and over again throughout your messages to the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Person of Jesus Christ, we needed these three weeks in which you hit the pause button on our journey through this trial together to see how great men of God came to places of great hardship in order that they “would not rely on themselves, but on God who raises the dead.”

I believe, as Jeff mentions above, that God is using this dark cave to make the Life and Light of Jesus shine brighter for us and return us to our first love with deeper affections. May fresh love for Him lead to true love for each other which is the mark of true disciples. “Jesus plus nothing equals everything” and ” If Jesus isn’t in it, I don’t want it.”

Thanks for doing what shepherds should do - point us to the Chief Shepherd!

Paul Kellen

By Paul Kellen on 05/03/2012
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