Is There Not a Cause?

by Andy Wood on May 11, 2012

in Five LV Laws, Following Your Passion, LV Cycle, Principle of Abundance

Watch the video, then let’s talk (yeah, that’s me doing the voiceover).

 

Here’s a bit of thoughtful Bible trivia for you:  what was it that enabled David to kill the giant, Goliath?

There are a number of possible answers, of course.  A rock in the middle of the forehead was certainly helpful.  David’s faith in God was essential.  His skill and courage were an asset.

But I believe there was one catalyst that made David stand out among the armies of Israel.  In a badly-translated King James verse, David asked his brother, “Is there not a cause?” (1 Samuel 17:29).

Okay, so that verse doesn’t actually point to it (actual translation:  “Can’t I just talk?”), but David’s life and actions certainly did. This Philistine had defied the armies of the God of Israel, and their only reaction was to tremble in fear.  These men saw no cause worth dying for, no purpose worth risking everything for.  And when David came along, they accused him of being a mischievous busybody.

You may not be facing a nine-foot Philistine, but you face the danger of being just as afraid or just as paralyzed as the armies of Israel.  We live in a generation that seems at a loss for a cause – for a reason to risk, and even to die if necessary.  And the question of David still speaks to us today:

Is there not a cause?  Is there not a reason to sacrifice our energy, time and money?  Is there not a purpose that is worth being misunderstood for?  Is there not an ideal that can motivate us to draw a line in the sand and say, “Here we stand!”?

One of the marvels of the business world has spent a lot of time talking about the importance of being a crusader for a cause.  He defines a crusade as something that is bigger than we are – a cause with an impact that reaches beyond your personal needs and wants.  “Much of the progress in our country,” he says, “has come from men and women who had more than a business – they had a crusade to make a better product, a cheaper product, a product that made life easier or more pleasant.”

What is true in the business world is also true in Christendom.  Those individuals and churches who rise above the level of mediocrity all seem to have this one essential quality.  They have a well-defined purpose that motivates them, that unifies them, that directs them, and that at times may cause others on the outside to misunderstand them.  But they stay true to their purpose – to their cause – in spite of the opinions or criticism of others.

On the other hand, the arena in which our generation moves is littered and lined with people and organizations who have lost their purpose.  The epitaphs of many a church or business has been written by complacent fat cats and kittens who are still doing the same old things; they just can’t remember why.  Their only cause is situational; their only commitment is their own narrowly-defined interests and traditions.

I have stood open-mouthed as highly-respected people in more than one church made statements such as these:

“I know what the Bible says, but this is how we do it here.”

“As long as this building stands until I’m up the hill (in the cemetery), I like it just the way it is.”

“I’m tired of all these outsiders (new members) coming in here trying to take over our church!”

“You know, you’d probably get more support if you weren’t always insisting on preaching that `Jesus is Lord’ stuff.”

These weren’t pagans or church wallflowers.  They were heavyweights – highly visible people in positions of leadership and influence!  All of whom have wondered over the years why their children and grandchildren just don’t seem to be as committed to Christ and the church as they think they are.

Is there not a cause?  Unfortunately, for the comfortable, the answer is often, “No.  There is just convenience.”

So if you’re interested in slaying the giants and insisting that the Lord still has His ideals, you’d better get ready.  Your noisiest opposition won’t be from the Philistines.  It will be from the trembling armies of sleeping saints would rather live in the bondage of mediocrity or tradition than die free.

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