This week, we welcomed Matt Reynolds from Grace Midtown to FCA. Matt began by describing four things that we need in order to grow with our faith.
1. The Cave
The cave is a place where we have intimate and private time with God. This place represents our quiet time everyday with him.
2. The Road
The road is what gives us direction for the day. It is how we start and finish our day, but also how we partnered with God on our journey of the day.
3. The Table
The table is a place where we gather to talk about God. It represents community and communion to discuss how God is moving through you.
4. The Fire
The fire symbolizes prayer. This is the prayer of conviction where you ask for forgiveness and your sins are burned from the day.
These four things allow the veil between heaven and earth to be thin and make God feel like he is more accessible and on earth with us. After describing these four essential tools, Matt really emphasized what the road should look like in our life and how that partnership with God will help in our journey on the road. The road symbolizes a space of partnership where God invites us to commit to his mission and take a risk and follow through with the invitation to serve.
You first receive scripture in the cave, and are then called out to use what you learned in the cave on your walk along the road. On this road, you have two paths, the highway and the byway. The highway is your main path of life. This is something that you have designed and know what the plan is. It could include anything from getting a degree at Clemson to getting a job to even becoming the president of your club. Byways are moments of interruptions, distractions, or movements of the spirit. These look like everyday inconveniences or detours from your main path of life.
Mark 5:21-37 is a great example of highways and byways that occur in Jesus’ life. In the passage, Jesus’ highway is to go help heal this man’s daughter. As he is on this journey to go help her, a woman in the streets touched Jesus. Jesus immediately noticed being touched and took the time to recognize this small action. In this moment, Jesus is on a byway and he take a step back from the highway to realize that God is doing something important that he wants to be a part of.
It is important to give ourselves and stay focused on our path of life, but if we are so hyper focused on our own things that we miss this byway and moment to experience God’s presence.
Matt’s points for the journey on the road:
1. Pay attention
The first thing we need to ask ourselves is what is our purpose? What is God doing to use us on this pathway and is he leading us on the highway right down or trying to divert us to the byway. We start to fall asleep on the highway of our life. We start seeing the same mile marker and landscapes and lose sight of what we were doing in the first place and why we were doing it. When we are in such a daze on this highway, we don’t realize when someone is pulling at us and calling us to take the byway or detour. As Mark 5:21-37 represented, Jesus was present in the highway, but he also knew when to be present and take a moment in the byway.
2. Take risks
Mark 6:8-11 states,
“These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”
In these verses, Jesus is sending our his disciples and tells them to take a risk. He is making them dependent on others and on God. Too often, we become too comfortable on our highway and stop relying on God because we feel that we know what we are doing and want a little more control driving our life. The problem is that when we try to take back this control and stay comfortable, we aren’t trusting God and his plan for us or allowing him to take us where he is calling us to go. When God calls us into these places of risk, he will open the doors necessary for us to go where he is calling us. While it’s easy to make excuses and say that you don’t have what you need for this journey, God will remind you that YOU are the equipment needed and nothing else is needed to take this risk. You are the instrument of God because Jesus says that he is going to work through people to work on people.
Then in Mark 6:12, the disciples “went out and preached that people should repent.”
The disciples took Jesus’ challenge and went on the path he was calling them to. Ordinary and normal people go on the road everyday and it has changed the way they live their life.
Matt concluded his message by asking us two questions.
What am I here to do?
How will God use me on this detour?
These are questions that we need to constantly be asking ourselves on our walk with Christ.