At Cornerstone, we have been talking about overcoming fear. Our fears can paralyze us and prevent us from moving forward or following God. At youth last night, we talked about the story of Benaiah, from 2 Samuel 23:20-21. Benaiah chased a lion into a pit on a snowy day and killed it. While it is definitely one of the more obscure stories from the Old Testament, this story has captivated me and motivated me to not live a safe and comfortable life.
Mark Batterson, pastor of National Community Church in D.C., wrote a book called In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day. Guess what it was about? The entire book was based on the life of Benaiah. How he conquered his fears and became one of King David’s mighty men and David’s chief bodyguard. I read this book when I was facing a tough decision in my personal life. I felt God leading me into full-time ministry, but I still had doubts. This book, along with God continuing to speak to my heart, gave me the courage to quit my engineering job and jump head-first into pastoring a church. Since that time, I have seen God move in incredible ways, and I have no doubt that I made the right decision.
What if the life you really want, and the future God wants for you, is hiding right now in your biggest problem, your worst failure … your greatest fear?
Mark has shared several video and graphic resources for a sermon or teaching series on the book at the Chase the Lion website. Lifeway has even developed it into a great small group study. If you haven’t read this, then go get it. It is a great book. Mark’s second book, Wild Goose Chase is equally good. It’s about following the Holy Spirit.
Here’s a poster that I printed out and gave all of our youth last night. You can find more resources like this on the Chase the Lion website.
Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Consider the lilies. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshipping what’s right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze a new trail. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don’t try to be who you’re not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away. Chase the lion!