Is Your Quiver Full?
In this thing, there are a lot of verses that we can all, over the next the stretch of time, go back and re-read and reconsider. But even hearing them all again today, as I hear those things my response should never be, “Do I know that? Do I agree with it? Does it excite me?” That’s not the response to the Word of God. It is, “Do those things describe me and the people that are around me and in relationship with me? And if not, what am I going to do about it today to change that? And how am I going to work to see those things changed in the people around me?”
Yesterday, we were about to head out to lunch, and Ben and I had an exchange. It had to do with a conversation eight months ago, where we were about to eat, and Mike basically said, “If you came here to my house tonight without something that’s welling up inside of you to share or to contribute, something on your mind that you want to pray about—if you’re not here to be a giver, if you’ve come here and your quiver isn’t full, ready to do battle, then you really don’t have any right to be here.”
We’re here to be workers, to be warriors. And I was actually just thinking—because Ben has brought it up several times—that it just it didn’t stick with me the way it stuck with him. I think that itself is a case in point of the kind of hearing that I’d allowed my ears to become dull to—where I can hear things, I can even hear really strong things, and not allow it to stick, not allow it to really work itself into my life, to my own shame. I had heard that eight months ago, but even just in the last week I realized, that truth alone is one of the things that—moving forward—that truth alone of refusing to come into any circumstance, whether a lunch, whether an evening together, whether working together on laundry, whether going to school together...if we refuse to go into any of those situations unprepared, then things will change.
John and I were talking yesterday about Little Pigpen, the Peanuts character. Whenever Shultz drew him, he always had this little cloud around him of dust and all that kind of stuff. And I said, “That’s really the kind of person I want to be as it relates to change.” I want that little dust cloud of change to be everywhere I go. I want to be a change agent, because change is never pretty or dust-free, you know. It has its own difficulties. But we can be those kinds of people that are effecting change in each other’s lives in a real way. Again, you see that it’s articulated here that being a father isn’t about zeal and just kicking work into gear, not just some sort of rush of activity and trying to help each other out of the flesh, but out of truly being people who have our lives hidden in the Holy Place with Jesus, and that we are functioning with each other out of that place of quietness and realness with Jesus.
But if that happens, and we’re not listening with the heart of a desire to change and a desire to be doers of the word, not hearers only, then like it says in 2 Corinthians 3, a veil will remain over our hearts. We’ll hear the word of God, but we just become hardened and our lives continue on and we become—I become—a traditionalist: someone who is making null and void the Word of God because my life keeps going on, and I just keep doing the same things. I don’t do anything different the next day from what I’ve heard.
We have such a richness of the Word of God among us. And I know it can sometimes be overwhelming when you get a page or an email every day with something. It’s kind of like, “Wow, there’s a lot here. What specific thing do I work on today when there’s so much, something new every day? I felt like I just started on what I learned yesterday, and now there’s something new today.” Well, that’s a great problem to have, if you’re going to have problems. But don’t allow that to just work us into some sort of place of not doing anything different. Be working through something—have some front of war that you’re working on, and maybe multi-fronts in your own life, and things we’re specifically dealing with in lives around us.
But if no war is going on, if no ground is being taken, if no kingdom is being expanded, then it is ultimately going to be a retreat. Things never just stay the same. It’s either an expanding kingdom and expanding righteousness and obedience in our lives, and Jesus having more of His way—or it’s a retreating. But it’s not going to be just neutral.
So again, the lunches specifically. We’re about to get in the van yesterday, and I say to Ben, “So, is your quiver full? Are we ready to do battle here?” We’re going to McDonald’s. But I’m not going there to eat. I’m not going out there to just hang out with my buds and chit-chat about the Colts game coming up that night.
A page went out this last week, that every nugget of time is a golden opportunity. It’s the only opportunity we have to put these things into practice. That time is the fire in which we burn. It’s slowly melting away here. The opportunities we have are the only opportunities we have to put these things into practice. And I don’t want to waste any of them.
So, we were talking about that. And as I said that to Ben, then we got in the car, and John and Nathan were in there. And I had this weird thought of, do I tell them that same thing, or do I just want to kind of feel spiritual and try to work on helping them? And I said, no, I want to share with them these same things, because if we’re going to be fathers, we need to be able to be fathers to one another. It’s not me fathering you exclusively. We’re all here, and we’re all wanting to move on to fatherhood, and to young menhood. But there is no hierarchy of, “I’m a father to you, but you can’t be a father to me.” No, if there are things that you see in my life that need to be fathered, then I need you to be that, and I can be that to you. We can be that to each other. It is a mutual exchange here that we can be helping each other with.
But it does take doing things differently. I can’t just keep on doing the same grooves of things that I have done. I have to make no assumptions. It’s so easy to be a creature of habit and to approach everything the way we’ve always approached it, versus really looking at each moment and each opportunity with freshness and with a desire to be about Father’s business.