Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Raider Fans, Geeks,and God's Word

I guess if I could explain my learning style in a word, it would be chagrin. Chagrin is a state of satirical embarrassment brought on by humiliation made by your own misdoings.
Story of my life.

If I had a nickle every time I made an embarrassing mistake or said something stupid or did something that made me face-palm afterwards, I could probably afford my own house. And boat. And pet panda.

Fortunately for me, I've gotten better at concealing my embarrassment.

The other day, I was sitting at the dining table with Pastor Bradley and Pastor John (or PB&J) and we were discussing Pastor John's difficult upcoming sermon on 1 Samuel Chapter 25.

For a few months now, PJ has been preaching on the life of David in depth. Every chapter is loaded with all these rad Christ-type allusions and tidbits of New Covenant foreshadowing. It's enough to get a bible geek all flushed!

I always thought I knew David's life pretty well, but as I've been reading along, I'm realizing, much to my chagrin, that there is so much that I never even heard about!

So PB&J are talking about this chapter and going in to depth about the significance of Nabal being from the bloodline of Caleb, and the political situation within Judah at the time, and I feel so lost! I look up the passage on my iPhone, and start skimming through it. I've never heard this story. All of a sudden, I start to panic. I'm sitting here with two of my fellow colleagues whom I look up to, and I have no knowledge of this brain teaser that they are working through!

I kick myself in the rear and study up. I need to know this stuff! This isn't just my job, it's my life! It's more than just a historical account of a historically significant king; it's the tangible Word of the creator of the universe given to us for the purpose of teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. These are the flawless thoughts and stories conducted and inspired by the God of all things. I need to know them! Not just because I work for a church, but because I am His creation, and my whole existence is for His glory.

Ya some of you may be thinking that I am maybe blowing this out of proportion, and maybe I am. Not knowing a single story out of the extensive tale of David's life is not the end of the world maybe, but as a whole, how well do we know the Word?

Let me try to unpack this.

Oakland Raiders fans amaze me. Not in a good way. They amaze me in the same way a fly trying to get out of a window amazes me. The sad persistence and dedication displayed amazes me. I watch the poor sucker try again and again, but every time he runs in to that invisible wall, unbreachable by something of his caliber.

I'm no better though. I love the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Oakland Raider fans are some of the most passionate fans in the world. They don't just like the team. They live for the team. They watch every game, know every player, past and present, they know all the stats, all the plays, the score of the three super bowls they ever won in NFL history, the most recent being thirty years ago, they know the coaches, the water boys, the cheer leaders, the managers, the owners, everything. Being a Raider fan isn't just something you do; it's something you are. 

Star Wars fans aren't your typical fans either. They don't just like it; it's part of who they in their everyday life. They know the line of Sith Lords starting at the time of Exar Kun and Marka Ragnos, they can recite the Jedi code to you and tell you the six main components required for the function of a lightsaber, they know how TIE engines work, and how the Mandalorians almost took over the galaxy three times. Their passion is the inspiration for their knowledge.

Another great example is the Walking Dead. I've followed this show since Episode 1: Days Gone Bye. The fans are everywhere! They know every character, every side story, every epic zombie kill, every plot twist, and are glued to their seats every Sunday in anticipation to see what Rick does this week. Golly gee wilickers! I love that show.

I could tell you what county Rick Grimes was a Sheriff's Deputy in before the zombie apocalypse, I could tell you what a luxum crystal does when faceted inside a lightsaber, but--

How does the Abrahamic Covenant affect us as followers of Christ today?

What can we learn from 1 Samuel 25 about God's sovereignty?

Maybe it's just me, but I feel like a chump.

I've been feeling this conviction to get even more in to God's Word!

Being a Follower of Christ isn't just something we do; it's something we ARE. We have been transformed and brought to life by Christ who is the Word of God. Walking Dead, Star Wars, football; it's all insignificant and goofy in reference to eternity. Everything we need to live our life can be found inside the bible. Why don't we spend more time with our noses buried in our bibles? Why don't we commit more time learning what God has to say to us? Our entire life should built upon Christ, the foundation, the cornerstone. Everything we would ever want to know about Jesus Christ, our savior and king, can be found inside our bible.

I don't want you guys to read me wrong. I'm not trying to create guilt or shame. In no way am I saying that Star Wars or the Walking Dead or the Raiders are evil or anything like that. I'm still going to enjoy The Walking Dead, I'll always have a place in my heart for Star Wars. I am saying that as Followers of Christ, the Word of God should be our greatest passion and the foundation of our very purpose. I struggle with this a lot. These are questions that I ask myself.

As human beings, we are created to bring glory to God, to magnify His greatness, to reflect His holiness for all to see. Everything we need to build a Christ-centered life is inside our bibles. I want to be a passionate, knowledgeable fan of the bible, knowing all the stats and all the facts, all the players and victories, all the things that God wants for my life.

In God's word, we can discern His will for us, we can learn more about the character and heart of God. The more we learn about God's heart and character, the closer we grow to Him, and the closer we grow to God, the more reasons we have to love Him. As our knowledge of God expands, our love for God grows deeper and more mature.

Christ is not a fashion, fleeting away-- Norma Jean

I am committing to know more about my bible than I do Star Wars, I want to feel closer to John the Baptist than I do Darryl Dixon. I want the Word of God to saturate my entire being and the glory of God to permeate through my heart. The only way I can do that is by spending time in the bible, studying it, memorizing it, meditating on it. I want my relationship with my creator to hold top priority in my life. This my public declaration! Hold me accountable!

Nate T B