Is It Time?

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Contributed by Russ Perkins, Elder Overseer of Communities at Image Church

2 Samuel 23:11-12 – “And next to him was Shammah, the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines gathered together at Lehi, where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the men fled from the Philistines.  But Shammah took his stand in the midst of the plot and defended it and struck down the Philistines, and the LORD worked a great victory.”

“King David’s Mighty Men of Valor” – King David had a posse of some extremely tough hombres.  I remain convinced they could have made any current ultimate fighting champion cry like a little girl. They served King David, not only in his attaining the throne but also remaining upon it during his 40 year reign. 

The two verses above describe but one of these mighty men.  This excerpt serves as an example of just a single one of his exploits.  We are only allowed the smallest glimpse of the events that transpired that day, but what is crystal clear is this – while others fled, Shammah took his stand.  This is never an easy task, but often it is exactly what is required.  Shammah could have perhaps picked any place but, for reasons we can only guess, he chose a plot of beans (lentils).  Enough was enough, no more excuses; he would not budge.  Too much was at stake. It was time to get down to the business at hand no matter the cost, so he did… and well, so then, perhaps should we. 

Six years ago I turned 40 years old.  It would prove for me a pivotal chapter in my life.  In short, the realization that I had likely passed the middle point of my own earthly existence was profoundly sobering.  Frankly, as I at that moment in time surveyed my journey with the Lord at about 17 years in – I found myself somewhat dissatisfied with the cumulative results of my contribution.  There was never any question in my mind that, for all that time, the Lord had been exceedingly generous and gracious to me.  I would simply come to the conclusion that I had achieved little in the way of lasting significance on my King’s behalf.  Now don’t get me wrong – I was busy doing all sorts of “good things”.  I want to be very clear on this point. I, like you, understand the Lord loves us each unconditionally, and our faithfulness is what He desires.  His acceptance of us is not performance based.  He loves us because we are His.  But the Lord also expects us to do the things we know to do to the best of our ability and with all our hearts.  He takes great pleasure in our dutiful obedience given in response to His limitless mercy and grace.  The Lord had done so very much for me, but what had I really done for Him?  Enough was enough. It had, for me, become time to get down to “His” business.  Too much time had been squandered already chasing many of the wrong dreams.          

Providence would bring us to NOVA in 2004.  Not long at all after our initial arrival, we would discover what would become Image Church.  I knew almost immediately that this was the place we were supposed to be and these were the people we were to knit our hearts together with.  Image Church was to become our “plot of lentils”.  My decision was simple: we would join this, then new, church plant on the mission to which all His chosen are called – Advancing His Kingdom in their days.  Even back then in 2004, Shannon and I could clearly see and both understand all that had transpired in our lives previously had served as preparation for the new reality we faced (helping to plant a church in NOVA – advancing His Kingdom in our day and this city).  A short detour would take us to Texas and then back to NOVA, but His hand was in all of that as well. 

Let me be straightforward and get right to the point.  Are you ready to pick a place and to take a stand?  Will you knit your heart together with others and join in on the mission we, His chosen, are all called to?  Are you ready to do this no matter the cost?  Are you ready to stop pursuing the wrong dreams and chase the right ones?  The Lord is the One who will do all the heavy lifting.  Thousands of years, and these truths still remain.  The Lord is the One who ultimately brings about the great victory.  All we need to do is pick a place and make our stand.  Join us as we join Him – there is no time to waste!

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3 Responses to “Is It Time?”

  1. chrisrhodenhizer Says:

    Rite on Russ! AND I am glad Jesus, our KING, has chosen to let us do ministry together!!! Many years to come!

  2. Papa Dayee Says:

    Amen bro, if you never take a stand, you will never know who you are.

  3. tobyward Says:

    Freakin awesome Russ!!

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