On the surface it seemed so simple - almost ordinary.
God spoke to Sally telling her that the winter was over and her spring had come. She was thrilled and knew it was worthy of celebration.
She sent out an e-mail to the three friends who had walked with her through the winter, sharing the good news, and asking them to come celebrate on Sunday. She announced that they would start with brunch at 10:00 a.m., then go where the King led. They might be indoors or out, quiet or verbal and there was no end time set.
When Sunday morning came, Sally was setting the table for a simple brunch. God indicated that there had been some defilement in the community the night before, and He needed the King to be enthroned on the land that morning. It was not really about Sally, it was about a Kingdom agenda.
With that change of focus, she swiftly changed to the kingly dishes she owns, set a gorgeous, decorated table and ran to change her clothes as well.
When her friends came, Sally explained the new agenda, they each shifted gears emotionally and spiritually and leaned into it. They began with Communion, celebrated the efficacy of the blood of Christ, then each of the ladies shared some glory stories from their own pilgrimage.
The celebration lasted for hours, and they each left rejoicing in the experience and in the honor of being selected for a time sensitive task which had importance to Our Great King.
We would all love to be handpicked by God for such an assignment, but it does not come cheaply. Let’s break this story down into its component parts to see what is transferable to you.
1) First of all, Sally is a celebrant at heart and as a lifestyle. Notice that God did not tell her to enthrone Jesus on the land, nor even to celebrate with friends. He simply knew He could bank on her nature. Tell Sally some good news; she will celebrate the King. It is a given.
So what are the things about you that the King can count on - every time?
If He were to tell you something oblique, without giving you a direct command, what could He count on you to do?
For one person, if you mention a baby, they will rush to bless the child. For another, you mention a mess, and they will move toward cleaning it up. For another, you mention a piece of broken land, and they immediately want to deal with it. For another, share about a pre-Christian in the mix, they will want to build a relationship and share Christ.
But you have to have a passion and a history of walking out your passion with excellence before the King can position you to cause asymmetrical damage to the enemy without His having to spell out each step of the way.
With Sally, it was a sure bet.
2) Something else that stood out to me was how able Sally was to hear the heart of the Lord, as opposed to His words. He stated that her winter was over. But when she was setting the table for a simple, efficient brunch, she FELT that this was not right. She is sufficiently attune to her King that she can measure His pleasure and the lack of pleasure as she walks through a new thing, and this allowed her to make an instant course correction.
What about you? When was the last time you heard His heart, not just His voice, and you were able to adjust? Could He count on you to sense His pleasure and have that alone guide you without specific instructions?
3) Did you notice that she had a kingly set of dishes at hand? She is no stranger to celebrating our Great King. She has table ware, candles, fabric, vases, and essential oils available all the time. She is a good cook and can do some things with flower, graphics and Scripture to enhance the ambiance. At all times, she has the wherewithal to walk out an original worship experience for the King, with a rich variety of tactile, visual, gastronomic and ideological facets.
What about you? If the King overtly asked for a celebration in two days, what could you do?
What is your skill set and what resources are immediately available?
4) There is quite a story about Sally’s friends. Remember the King in the gospels who threw a party and no one wanted to come? That did not happen here, but could have.
Sally is not from California. She is in a community which is defined by being deliberate. If you tried to discuss spontaneity with them, they would think it was the latest kind of flu bug. Like I said - not from California, not Exhorters, not ones who can turn on a dime and leave you some change.
These people plan ahead, keep unhurried calendars, and don’t cancel plans already made. Unless . . . they happen to be Noble Subjects.
Friend #1 works for a Christian organization that does a lot of staff-heavy conferences. She was scheduled to attend one on that weekend. She had to juggle to leave one full day early in order to be at the celebration.
Friend #2 is a nurse and she was scheduled to work that weekend. With almost no time to spare, she scrambled to swap work schedules with someone else, so she could come.
Friend #3 had a church ski trip offered some weeks before. She had the money, she had the time off work, she had the desire to go be with family and friends, but she never felt peace, so she did not sign up for the trip. As the weeks went by and God never spoke to her about an alternative plan, she wondered if she had actually heard right. But when the invitation from Sally came, she was instantly validated in her decision.
Sally only invited three people. All three of them were willing and able to make major adjustments to join her for a celebration. That is pretty special if you ask me.
What about you? Do you have three friends who will drop everything and come when you say the King wants a party?
Sally has invested deeply in her friends - not just those three, but all those around her. She has talked and modeled and pushed and prodded over the years. She at times has made herself a nuisance as she insists that the Kingdom should take precedence over social contracts and the general mores of the culture.
But in the end, these three think and behave differently than they did five years ago. Because of Sally.
I get endless e-mails about Plumbliners who are all alone, with no one around who shares their values. Some act like they have been betrayed by God. What is that about? Where did God end up with the moral obligation to change the world for our comfort? Didn’t He send us out to a hostile world to be the change agents?
Anyway, before I go down that road and end up with a rant, I will simply close by saying Sally got a choice assignment. The enemy moved a chess piece and God smacked him silly, immediately, through Sally.
And the choice assignments go to the wise virgins, not the sincere, ill-equipped virgins. God accepts sincerity as a part of our worship.
That is a loyal subject who brings a good heart to the King. They will never be turned away. But for war, it usually takes a bit more.
Four Noble Subjects brought their resources to their King and beautifully executed a precise maneuver to expand His kingdom.
THAT is the difference between the loyal subjects and the noble subjects.
I love it!
March 12, 2011
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