My Name Is Indigo Montoya

…you killed my father. Prepare to die.  indigo

I love that movie (“Princess Bride” that is) and I’m not that big of a movie buff. My kids just watched it for the first time, it’s so fun to experience things from their perspective again…it’s kinda like my son saying “Hey Dad, have you ever heard of this cool “new” band called Journey?!”  🙂

In the movie, Indigo says that line over and over, and over and over some more!

In 1 Kings 18, Elijah is used by God mightily in the “God Contest” of Jehovah vs. Baal.  Needless to say…Jehovah wins.  We all know the story of the 2 altars, the prophets of Baal calling on the name of Baal to come rain down fire…calling…no answer…”I’m sorry, the God you have dialed, is not in service…”

…(How funny is Elijah BTW…’maybe he is relieving himself? or sleeping?’ LOL!)

Elijah’s turn.  God rains down fire that not only burns the sacrifice, wood, but the STONES, the DIRT, and all the hundreds of gallons of WATER that Elijah had them pour on it to up the ante. Then he goes and single handedly whacks 450 Baal-prophets.  Sheesh.

After this amazing victory, what does Elijah do?  He runs away, like a scared 4th grade girl after the queen says she is going to kill him.  Not only runs…he runs all the way back to Mt. Horeb!  He recreates the wandering in the wilderness for 40 days and night.

“Um, dude…didn’t you see what just happened?  What the heck?! After all that, you are scared of the Queen?!!”

My favorite scene is when God catches up to Elijah and asks him simply – “What are you doing here?”

Here is the tie in to Indigo Montoya (I know…you thought I forgot…).  Elijah answers with a nice mantra he just made up:

10He said, “I have been very(A) jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant,(B) thrown down your altars, and(C) killed your prophets with the sword,(D) and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”

God then “reminds” Elijah just who he is talking to.  He brings a great wind which tears the mountains apart (breaking), then an earthquake (shaking), and then a fire (a “taking” by fire). [Thank you, dear Brother Todd Fenners…]

…but God wasn’t in any of these.

Then came a soft whisper, and Elijah went out to the front of the cave.

God asks him again…”Now…what are you doing here?

Still, Elijah gives him the Indigo-mantra – the SAME answer.

10He said, “I have been very(A) jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant,(B) thrown down your altars, and(C) killed your prophets with the sword,(D) and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”

Yeah…I heard that part.

But what are you doing HERE?  You should be back THERE.  God then sends him all the way BACK to finish the job and rid the land from the influences of Baal.

What hit me was, do we – especially as worship leaders – expect God to ONLY be in the big moments?

In the big show?

Are we even listening for God in the small, soft whispers?

Are we spending time with him alone in his word, in prayer to hear the soft whisper?

How much time to do you spend each day in this way?  Or maybe does it get a little more intense right before you are leading worship?  It must be a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute seeking of Him!

As worship leaders (and all Christians BTW), it’s VITAL that we get alone with God, each and every single day.  Soak in his Word.  Listen to good solid, Biblical teaching…be Bereans and dig into it. Be with other brothers who can sharpen and challenge you.

As it’s been said, ‘you cannot lead where you haven’t gone personally.

As I saw in a post this week – there are no secret steps. It’s not going to flow out of us if it’s not in us –   This is God we are talking about here…pragmatism has it’s limits and God really doesn’t have limits now does He?  If aren’t seeking after God with all our hearts, then guess what…we are seeking something else, maybe even ourselves that we are seeking to glorify.  Idolatry at its finest.

…and, as illustrated in 1 Kings 18…idolatry is not something we can be involved in, especially as leaders.

…and, let’s be a little quicker than good old Elijah (Indigo?) – to be honest with God.

-M

Rehoboam…What were you thinking?

In my chronological read of the Bible, Solomon has just passed away…but not before the Lord telling him that the kingdom, due to his turning from the Lord, is about to be ripped from him.  He is done.  Kingdom?  Yeah…not yours anymore: [1 Kings 11:6]

6So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done.

You would think that his son, Rehoboam, would have known better.  Then again…his Father, Solomon probably witnessed the whole grandfather David-Bathsheba disaster and yet it was women (strange foreign women) who turned his heart from the Lord.  (11:4).  Why would Rehoboam then not guard his heart?

What struck me today was how God deals with the turning of Rehoboam’s heart.  After the kingdom has been divided and torn from him as God predicted, Rehoboam becomes unfaithful to the Lord.  In 2 Chron 12 the Lord says very clearly “You abandoned me, so I have abandoned you.”  Rehoboam promptly gets run over by the Egyptian King, Shishak – who takes everything.

But then something interesting happens, God actually spares the wayward Rehoboam…why?.  2 Chron 2:12-13 —

12And when(A) he humbled himself the wrath of the LORD turned from him, so as not to make a complete destruction. Moreover,(B) conditions were good[a] in Judah.

13(C) So King Rehoboam grew strong in Jerusalem and reigned

When he humbled himself, the Lord took his wrath away from him.  I don’t think the key here is acting a certain way gets treats from God…but rather the key is humbling yourself puts you in a proper perspective to a Holy, Righteous God.

James 4:10 says “Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you”.

Matthew 23:12 says “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

It instantly makes me think of the process that God uses the foolish things to shame the wise (1 Corinthians 1).   God uses them because then there is nothing to get in the way of bringing glory to God.

People thought it was insane that we worship a God who was crucified.  Showing utter “weakness” unto death on a Roman,  criminal cross. Yet he was the God of the universe in the flesh of a man.  He came in weakness, and humbled himself, and became obedient to death…even death on a cross (Phil 2).

Therefore, God exalted Him to the highest place – to the glory of God.

Therefore, as followers of Christ – He is our model.  Having all of the “you” smashed out of you so that you are empty enough of you for you to glorify God.   Not that God wants us to be beaten down…no self esteem, whoah as me…he wants us to find all our joy in Him. Because in “Him is fullness of joy.”  Not in ourselves, or heck…even anything besides God.

I was reminded in a great sermon I heard on the drive into work today of how undeserving I am of God’s amazing grace that he lavished on us.  I was humbled and immediately had to repent my reactions the  things in my life that currently seemed to be mounting up that just weren’t going right and how I felt that I “deserved better.”  No…actually I deserve Hell…but our Father in his amazing mercy and love reconciled me to Him thru Christ.  Why can’t I then pour myself out in love and mercy to others? Why do I ask God to work in my heart, give him all my concerns…and then take them right back and begin to worry over them?  Friends…that is the sin of unbelief!  Let us give our concerns to our Father in prayer, seek His wisdom, act in His strength, act in mercy and grace towards others…and leave it up to Him for His glory.

-M