Ever been in a pit? Ever been stuck in the miry clay? Ever felt like you are sinking deeper and deeper as the days passed by?
I’m not talking about a dirt pit on the side of the road. As bad as it would be to get stuck in one of those, the pit I’m talking about is much scarier and much more dangerous. It’s the pit that King David speaks about in Psalm 40. Read More
Finally! It’s finally time to stop talking about LIVING in the pit. It is now time to start packing up our bags and talking about LEAVING the pit. Today I want to answer the question that I’ve heard repeatedly since I started these posts earlier this week…HOW DO I GET OUT OF THE PIT?
First, the game plan. The path to escaping your pit begins with a DECISION and is then followed by a PROCESS. A decision, then a process. The decision is something you can do today – you say I WANT TO GET OUT OF HERE. That is the first thing that the Prodigal Son did. He came to himself and said “I don’t belong in here. I am choosing to do whatever it takes to get back to my father’s table.”
But the decision was only step one. The decision alone was not enough to restore him back to his father’s table – he still had to get up, walk back to the house, ask for forgiveness and consent to his father’s will. Same with you too. You can make a decision today but unless you follow up that decision with some effort, you’re unlikely to find success.
Getting out of the pit is a DECISION followed by a PROCESS. The decision is “I don’t belong here and I will no longer accept life in the pit. I was made to live in a palace, not a pit – not because I am good but because God is my Father.” Romans 8:16-17 says “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” Read More
As promised, today I will address the third and final way that we end up in a pit – WHEN WE ARE THROWN IN. I call this the pit of innocence. This pit has nothing to do with you or your sin. You’ll be tempted to think it is your fault, but the truth is…IT ISN’T. The first pit spoken about in the Bible was this pit of innocence. In Genesis 37, Joseph was just walking through the fields one day, going to see how his brothers were doing and the next thing you know…
“So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him. Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it. And they sat down to eat a meal.” Genesis 37:23-25
Every time I read this story, I get filled with emotion at the thought of what happened. It’s not that I am worried about Joseph – we know that he turns out ok. But what weighs me down is the thought of many others “Josephs” out there – who did nothing wrong, yet found themselves violently thrown into a pit by the selfish actions of another.
Below are some real stories of real people that I know. The names are made up, but the stories aren’t and neither is the pain and hurt that they feel. These are all real people who bleed and cry and suffer the anguish of their pit through no fault of their own. Read More
“Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.” You’ve heard that before haven’t you? That famous line was spoken at the end of every episode of G.I. Joe (which if you’re part of my generation, you grew up watching these religiously). At the end of every show, they’d present some type of public service announcement and end each one with that phrase. So now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
I couldn’t agree more. I need to know how I got into my pit in order to figure out how to get out. They say that history repeats itself. Well, in the case of falling into a pit, I agree 100%. It doesn’t need to repeat itself – but unless we take the time to figure out what caused it, the likelihood of repeating it increases significantly.
So with that said, the 2nd talk at the retreat was titled HOW DID I GET IN HERE? We identified 3 ways that we end up in pits. Either we jump in, or we slip in, or we’re thrown in. Let’s break them down one at a time. Read More
"Lost for words with all to say,
Lord you take my breath away,
Still my soul, my soul cries out,
For You are Holy.
And as I look upon Your Name,
Circumstances fade away,
Now your glory steals my heart,
For You are Holy"
WHAT A WEEKEND! Wow! That is just about all I can say after the conclusion of a very powerful and uplifting weekend. I can’t tell you the number of people that came to me during the retreat and said something along the lines of “I can’t believe you chose this topic – this was exactly what I needed to hear!” Read More
Yesterday I preached a sermon based on the story of the Prodigal Son (which I’ll assume everyone knows but it wouldn’t hurt to go back and read it as a refresher, see Luke 15:11-32). The story is an exact fit for all that I wrote about last week. When I read the story in the morning, what jumped out at me was how deep the boy had fallen and how amazing his deliverance was. He went from the deepest pit to the highest palace in no time.
How deep did he sink? We often have this picture of the Prodigal Son eating pig’s food with dirty animals in a pen. But actually that is NOT what the Bible says. The Bible doesn’t say he ate food with the pigs; what the Bible says is actually that it was even worse than that.
“And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.” Luke 15:16 Read More
It looks like I hit a nerve yesterday with my blog post. Several people took the time to comment on the blog, others emailed me and some just stopped me in the hallway at the school pickup line. The tweets and retweets were flying left and right linking people to the blog post (and I even learned how to use my first hashtag, #passionretreat).
Yesterday’s post became the highest viewed post on my blog – and it hasn’t even been up for 24 hours. What does all this mean? It means exactly what I said yesterday: TOO MANY PEOPLE ARE LIVING IN THE PIT.
For too many of us, the pit has become an accepted standard of living – we feel like we can’t get out of it. Nothing we do can free us from it. We fast, we pray, we go to church, we give our tithe, we do everything right. BUT WE’RE STILL LIVING IN THE PIT! Read More