Darcy Reimer
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The message this last Sunday didn't get recorded so I thought I would post a few of the quotes as a Blog, just in case you wanted to talk about a few ideas/themes in your Simple Churches.

I will also add the quote from Richard Rohr "Wild man to Wise Man: Reflections on Male Spirituality". I think Richard Rohr is one of the most profound writers as it concerns Male Spirituality, and healing of the masculine soul. Very insightful and profound. Most of the time. Although I love most of his stuff, I do not agree with it all; so eat the chicken but spit out the bones. I encourage you to read this book with a group of discerning friends who have a cultivated ear for Jesus' voice.

Anyways, here are a few quotes from this last Sunday. And, yes, as you read my thoughts you can practice the same discipline - eat the chicken but spit out the bones! 

“Sword”

October 9th, 2011

2 Samuel 2:1-5:25

Many of you were attracted to the River because of the "Chill" factor. Many of you came from :intense" spiritual environments, where there was a lot of pressure to perform. Where you listened to this subtle lie that it was all about you. Work harder, do better. Quite a heavy burden. So to be given the permission to just "Chill" was healthy. We need to be reminded to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). That it's not about what you do that determines who you are, but who you are that determines what you do.

But there comes a time to not chill, don't you think? Some things in life and in our world call us to step up. Join God in what He is doing.

Pete Greig of "Red Moon Rising" has this saying. "Work as if it all depends on us and pray as if it all depends on God."

But it's tempting to just chill isn't it?

I think David experienced this same temptation.

Saul and the prince, Saul’s son Jonathan have died. The earthly kingdom of Israel is split into two – Judah and Israel.

Judah has long ago anointed David as their king.

This is the story of God, and how God enabled David to lay ahold of his full anointing, his complete Calling as king, not only over Judah but over Israel as well.

He could have settled couldn’t he? Been content with kingship over Judah. Especially after living a hard 20 years prior. He would have been tired.

“Hey chill. I’m tired. I’ve worked hard. Let someone else be king over Israel.”

But he doesn’t settle. He doesn’t chill. He’s been anointed as king over Judah and Israel.

Let’s look at what we can learn as it concerns you and I laying ahold of our full anointing, our complete Calling as Holy Spirit filled children of God. As a kingdom of priests.

Read 2 Sam2:1-7; 5:19-20

First thing we see is David’s desire to follow God’s voice. To not move ahead unless he had God’s clear direction.

He, the king of Israel consulted the One true Good King, before he did anything.

“Lord, should I move back to one of the towns of Judah?” “Yes”, the Lord replied.

“Which town should I go to?” “Hebron”, the Lord replied.

“Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?

”The Lord said to David, “Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you.”

At least when it came to battle and where to position himself as king, David consulted Yahweh.

We can’t see this kind of consistent consulting throughout David’s life, concerning marriage anyways, but we know David’s heart was after God.

Before He did anything he did some listening prayer. Lord, what now?

I’ve heard it said that Oswald Chambers, the man who wrote the daily devotional “My Utmost for His Highest” had this simple practice throughout his life.

At every step he simply asked God what was next. He would get the next word, then move ahead in obedience. He never knew 2-5 years down the road for he believed that if he knew that far ahead he would no longer live in utter dependence upon the Lord.

It was all about the daily walk.

Lord, what now? Then, determined to obey, he simply lived out what he heard.

David seemed to have this kind of practice.

To him he didn’t care if it was a sign of weakness; long before Paul penned the words that “God’s grace is made perfect in our weakness”, David knew this to be reality.

Psalm 20:7 says,  “Some trust in horses, some trust in chariots, but I trust in the name of the Lord.”

I can’t God but you can.

Before David did anything he listened for God’s voice. Not simply do the right thing like you memorize a manual; he consulted the person of the Holy Spirit.

There is a difference.

This is who we desire to be isn’t it? Not people of the Book, but people of the Holy Spirit.

A people who simply listen and obey. It is what it means to follow Jesus.

Reflects what I just blogged. I read this article by Roger Thoman.

He said that “We don’t need evangelists, just Jesus-people who live and act in a way that brings about change, that lifts the hopeless, that cares for the tired, that releases the oppressed and that simply says—‘this is Jesus at work.’  “Follow Him!”

Does that resonate with you? I have to say it does for me.

The only way to be a people whose lives reflect Christ is to simply be people who listen and obey.

What are you hearing from Jesus lately? Any themes?

What themes are you hearing?

The thing about listening well to Jesus is that we are not then, in our own flesh trying to make things happen. A whole bunch of effort, and busyness, with little to no effect.

David listened and obeyed.

What began to happen amidst David’s listening and obeying.

Life started to get messy and confusing.

Read 2 Sam. 2:8-17

Israel and Judah begin to fight. Those still loyal to Saul refuse to give up their kingship to David. The impose their own leader, under Saul’s lineage to be their king.

So there is loss of life. Bloodshed. Fighting with one another. Disunity. There’s this split where there shouldn’t be a split.

We must read this within it’s context. This passage doesn’t give nations the right or permission to war with one another.

We must read passages like this through the grid of the Beatitudes. Jesus’ words to love your enemies. Turn the other cheek. The meek will inherit the earth.

If OT passages like this don’t fit through the grid of the Beatitudes, then we can chalk it up to context.

So how do we treat these passages?

I think they give us clues into the spiritual realm.

We no longer fight physical battles to see a physical kingdom established, we fight a spiritual battle to establish a spiritual kingdom here on earth.

“God’s kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.”

This kingdom is here now but not yet fully come.

This Now & Not Yet  - there is more to experience in this life, but ultimately it will come to absolute fruition at the end of time.

In Christ we have the hope of a renewed heaven and earth; the fullness of that is coming. But we can experience God’s kingdom in the here and now.

Now, and not yet.

We are called to press in. Like David lay claim to our full anointing. Our complete Calling.

But what if life get’s messy? What if we pursue God but continually hit obstacles.

Pretty easy to get distracted too. See hypocrisy and give up. Lose heart.

I grew up in a home environment where there was a fair bit of in-fighting. When I made a decision to follow Jesus, and became a member of God’s family, I thought it was going to be perfect.

When I see disunity or fighting among churches, I can lose heart. Disillusioned.

David could have used that excuse.

He’s pursuing his kingship. His full anointing, and things get messy.

But it isn’t just the messiness that can distract us. Cause us to chill. It can also be our successes.

I’ve experienced some pretty significant healing work in my life. Forgiveness. Inner healing. And it was hard work. Not something I forced or made happen on my own, but it was hard. Painful.

So we can subtly back off. Been there done that. Time to take a rest.

Someone once said that success doesn’t breed more success. It can but so often doesn’t.

Success often breeds complacency.

Watching the Lions last night.

A lot of running backs can have 2-3 first down runs in a first half, and then relax the rest of the game.

Easy to back off after a taste of success.

Actually failure does the opposite. Failure, as long as we keep getting back up again, has a greater chance of breeding further growth and success.

Swords make really good weapons, but are terrible to sit on. They’re not made to lean on. Sit on. Cozy up with.

In my heart there are still kingdoms yet to be conquered in order for God’s kingdom to be fully established. Territory yet to be won. God’s kingdom has come – I see glimpses of it; but I also know there’s more to claim hold of.

Particularly in attitudes. Old ways of thinking. Self centered thinking. Trust issues.

What still is yet to be conquered in your own life?

Bitterness is often the last and hardest to get rid of. It can often be the very thing that Satan uses to derail us.

There’s this passage in the middle where Abner shouts to Joab, “Must we always be killing each other? Don’t you realize that bitterness is the only result? When will you call off your men from chasing their Israelite brothers?”

As a result Joab called off his troops from chasing Israel.

We need more Abners calling out to those caught up in senseless feuding to reconcile. Lay down their weapons. People who are ministers of reconciliation.

Bitterness, being easily hurt. Even gossip. It is all rooted in pride. And is a sign that God is not king. The need to be liked. Approved of. The center of attention. Loved. Appreciated.

Gossip is often rooted in the need to be in the know. Hey look at me and how connected I am. How spiritual I am. How needed I am.

“I” is at the centre.

Same with Bitterness. Often hurt comes when we are not loved, or valued by someone. We hear that someone has done something against us. How dare they do that to me!

Our feelings of bitterness uncover this desire to be noticed and appreciated. And we suddenly realize that it is more important to us about how others feel about us than how God feels about us.

Paul says in Galatians 1:10

“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”

It’s easy to look to people for approval. Especially if we didn’t grow up in a home where we failed to experience a good man’s or a good woman’s approval, understanding, and affirmation.

I’ve been reading Richard Rohr’s “Wild Man to Wise Man: Reflections of Male Spirituality.”

Rohr says, “Much of the human race experiences an immense father hunger. It is felt by women but even more so by men. He goes on to say that “It seems that the same sex parent has a unique importance in a child’s life, and his or her absence leaves a huge, aching hole inside that is never really filled.’

We didn’t get it where we were designed to get it, so we forever search for it from teachers, coaches, ministers and scout leaders and older men or whoever will offer it to us.

We become good team players, good little boys and girls who will do anything for teacher or the pastor or the coach, as long as it is met with approval.

These are the kind of people who thrive on being in a spiritual community where the leader tells them what to do; and they do it well. Because it gives them what they want. Approval.

But the beautiful hope is that this father hunger can lead us to the only place we can get it. Yahweh. God the Father.

Richard Rohr says. “But the absent one can also create a holy desire and a holy longing. Father hunger can work both ways. Some men for some reason, it must surely be grace, fill that hole with visions and images and ideals of a thousand other men that they meet along the way. Many of the greatest, kindest and most effective men I have ever met were driven to their life’s task by an aching father hunger that they often did not recognize themselves. It led them to be good students to mentors, help other boys, befriend other men, and nurture themselves because they had not been nurtured. But most especially they sometimes learn to seek, to desire and to trust that God is that loving and compassionate Daddy they always wanted.”

For some of you the territory yet to be conquered is your mother wound or father wound that still drives you to isolate from others, project your pain onto others, and strive for approval.

Only God can fill this hole.

The only way we can ever hope to reflect Jesus is to invite Him into our brokenness, give him permission to mess with any part of us.

Not just know it in our heads, but actually do the hard work – listening, confessing, being open to others and open to Him.

God’s voice will always lead to life, abundant life in Jesus. It may not be easy work, but it will be life-giving work.

Maybe it’s time to take up the sword once again.

And no longer let the messiness to distract or dismay you.

Read 2 Samuel 3:1; 5:1-5

David was king of Judah but not yet king of Israel.

But in all of this mess, David became stronger and stronger and Saul’s kingdom gradually became weaker.

To the point where scripture says that after 7 %uFFFD years David was anointed as king over Israel.

After 7 %uFFFD years David experienced the fruition of his anointing. He came into the Calling he had received some 27 some odd years ago when Samuel first anointed him.

That’s spiritual stamina isn’t it?

What made David hang on so long? He knew his purpose. What he was created for. He was anointed as king. He heard from God, this is who you are.

Have you heard from God who you are? What you are called to? What special work are you anointed for?

It’s not just the full-time pastor that is anointed for something kingdom. Don’t use that as a scapegoat. That’s a cop-out. An excuse to sit on your sword.

What are you anointed to accomplish in God’s kingdom? What’s your role on the team?

Your sword can be a lot of things.

The gifts God has given you – a lot of resistance around your gifts – but when you use them, and allow God to empower them, mighty things happen. You using your gifts send ripples through the spiritual realm. Walls come down.

Recently did a wedding in Pemberton for a bunch of mt. bikers. I love that sub culture. I have been praying for them for over 12 years.

As I performed this wedding ceremony, speaking of Jesus, liquid agape flowing through our veins we can love the way we have been designed to love.

A bunch of hard core riders, most with a beer in their hand, some with a joint, a couple doing hash. And here I am, planted and ordained by God to be there. Speaking and modeling God’s love to them.

Where has God called you? What does the fulfillment of your anointing look like?

You aren’t performing wedding ceremonies for a group of mt. bikers but God has placed you in unique places within this community.

I know a developer in town who told me his favorite passage of scripture is Exodus 4 where God calls Moses to rescue his people out of Egypt.

Like God asking Moses what was in his hand he felt God ask him what was in his hand. He said, “I am a developer”. Like Moses laying down his shepherd staff, he too laid down his gift as a developer. In laying it down, as God empowered Moses’ shepherd staff, he believes God empowered or anointed his calling as a developer.

This is his calling. Be a developer that is all about building God’s kingdom.

What has God called you to, in this community or in this church?

God’s given you a staff, a sword – a special gift, abilities, passion and life experience. That combination is dynamite in God’s hands.

But using a sword gets messy. As soon as you discover what that is, and you make a decision to be who God called you to be, you will experience some challenges.

Your own brokenness will come to the surface as we talked about, but so will other people’s brokenness.

This is where we need the Holy Spirit. What to get involved in and what not to. Some is a distraction. A smokescreen. Some you will be called to deal with.

If you get involved in stuff God doesn’t want you to be involved with, you are in danger of becoming burnt out.

David could have allowed that to happen as well.

After all the hardship. Dysfunction. He could have said to himself. I’m done. I don’t need this.

People killing each other. Murder happening. Unjust things where David claimed his innocence. Stuff was happening he was not privy to, or part of. But he was called to deal with it.

That could have taken it’s toll on David. Distracted him. But it didn’t. He pressed into all that God had for him.

I know most of you were first attracted to the River because it’s laid back nature.

Hey chill man. Relax. I get that. We believe that many of us were called to take a back seat in order to heal.

Many of you have come from spiritual climates where there was little to no listening, just a whole lot of obligation. Duty. Work hard. Do what you’re told.

Especially takes a toll on the spiritual fabric of our lives when we’re fed a bill of goods that the leadership speak the voice of God. That they have God’s ear – they listen and the church obeys. That is spiritual abuse and control.

Like toxic waste in soil, it takes time to remove toxic soil from our spiritual lives. No hope in growing anything life giving in soil that is saturated with toxic waste.

But God has cleaned and purified the soil of your hearts. Or a significant work has been done. Still underway but it is now time.

Coming to the River you have come to realize that you have God’s love. It’s not about working hard, doing better, to gain God’s approval or love. You have it already as His child.

It’s not what you do that determines who you are; it’s who you are that determines what you do.

The key thing here is that we are all called to something.

Philippians 2:12-13 says, “Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.”

David didn’t let his successes deter him. He kept pressing into all God had for Him.

I don’t know. I think it’s time.

He’s called us more than to simply chill out. There’s gotta be something more.

The kingdom advances when we press in, listen and obey. Whatever he might be saying.

Close with a song – one of my kid’s favorites.

Faster and Louder by Peter Furler.

Listen to the lyrics. Then I’ll close in prayer.

chill out

you've earned a break

time to start another page

artists of a certain age

writing ballads

eating salads

there must be something more

who we getting mellow for?

shake me if i start to snore

is this why we fought a war?

so long

my soul longs

fast songs

joyful, joyful

i wanna make some noise

wanna cause a stir

faster and louder

chill out

turn up your nose

mellow tracks will decompose

cut ‘em slow

candles lit

if you're hoarse

whisper it

‘stead of singing sedatives

cut ‘em like a set o' shivs

sharp and pointed to the soul

this is why we rock and roll

so long

my soul longs

fast songs

joyful, joyful

i wanna make some noise

wanna cause a stir

faster and louder

we know

what we know

we won't

take it slowly

if you've been mellowed out

i know the cure

faster and louder

slower and softer it goes

only your lazyboy knows

it sneaks up behind you like sin

the devil, he just wants you chillin'

so long

my soul longs

fast songs

joyful, joyful

i wanna make some noise

wanna cause a stir

faster and louder

we know

what we know

we won't

take it slowly

kids, let me hear you scream

if you concur …