Green Bay Trip Report
Jun 21, 2010
We had excellent meetings in Green Bay this past week end, covering prayer, intercession, and spiritual warfare. It was good to meet some new people and to visit with those we had met earlier. Being the only speaker, I was given sufficient time to wear them out properly.
On the drive home last evening, we stopped to refuel in Curtiss, WI. Since it was about 7:00 p.m., we decided to go to the Alliance church for their evening meeting. This is the church where I learned to hear God's voice back in June of 1982. I told the full story of this in chapter 3 of my book, Hearing God's Voice.
It was like touching foundation stones once again. We had arrived there at a low point in life on Jan. 9, 1982, and there God began to rebuild us into a new creation. The current pastor of the church was a member of the church back in 1982, and we knew him as a friend. We had not seen him in 28 years, so we had a good (though short) time of fellowship after the meeting.
Back in 1982 my father-in-law was the pastor of that church, and this is why we had gone to live there while getting re-established. He gave me a key to the church building so that I could be alone in the mornings to pray and learn to hear. From this low point in life, God began to build us up in a new way of life based upon hearing Him and being led by the Spirit in a way that was previously unknown to us.
So last night as I pondered these things, I marveled at how far we had come from those dark days. In many ways it was like revisiting one's childhood home, complete with memories and emotions.
Pastor Karl spoke on the parable of the talents and how each receives his reward according to what he does with what God gives him. A "talent" was a certain weight of gold or silver. Jesus did not specify the kind of talent. A talent of silver was about 117 lb., which today ($20/oz.) would be worth about $37,440. A talent of gold was about 131 lb., which today ($1,260/oz.) would be worth about $2,640,000.
So you can figure out what 2 or 5 talents would be worth in the parable. What God has entrusted to us is not merely a few coins in a pouch.
The songs that they had picked to sing at the meeting spoke to me as well. One spoke of various circumstances in life, good and bad, ending with the phrase, "My Father planned it all." The old author obviously knew of the sovereignty of God by personal experience.
Another song was "This is my Father's World," and I thought about the BP oil spill, the impending wars, the doomsday scenarios, and man's ability to blow up the world many times over. None of these things are going to stop God's plan for the world, regardless of the threats.
Another song was sung about "Faithful Men" who have gone on before, showing how Abraham, Moses, David, Daniel, Peter, and Paul all laid foundations of the Kingdom that we now build upon. God is looking for faithful men who will continue building until the work is finished.
The old song writers obviously had deep and true experiences with God and knew His ways. Their songs can hardly be sung with a drum or guitar, nor do they have any appeal to those raised on this generation of music. But those songs are good meat to those who have experienced God in the same way.
I could not help but see that it is not the song or message itself that is unusual or exciting. I did not see anyone really get excited about either at the church. The significance is in the eye of the beholder and the ear of the hearer. The simplest of messages or songs are just routine unless it is a revelation to you. When the Spirit of God uses plain, simple things of this earth to speak to us, His presence makes all things exciting and inspiring.
For me, I heard the voice of God coming through Pastor Karl and through the songs that he had picked to sing. I knew that God was speaking. My whole life had been planned from the beginning, and that even the dark days of 1982 were carefully planned so that they would work out for good. I was reassured that in spite of the dangers of world destruction, this is my Father's world. My only concern is to be faithful to the calling that He has placed upon me, to do business with the "talent" entrusted to me.
I came away from that place renewed and refreshed after a long week end of teaching many hours.
Dr. Stephen Jones