Beautiful Day

    Tuesday, July 11, 2006  
Hillsong Conference 06....purpose driven life....Ishmael.....Selah

I didn't get to go to the conference much at all, but I did read a lot about the conference....positive, negative...posts from highly pumped up teenagers to very angry commenters to pastors...(still waiting for the posts from exhausted volunteers and superheros). I've had people stay at my house for conference so they told me a lot about their days,too.
Then I went to 3 meetings on Sunday at church.
Guess whose message spoke to me the most?
To my own biggest surprise, it's Charlotte Scanlon. She talked about Ishmael.

Well I haven't listened to her tape yet, I only read a couple lines of notes.
but this is how I understand about Ishmael.

Abraham lived a purpose driven life. His purpose? of course it's Isaac.
But in the pursuit of his purpose he did his own best. He involved and engaged the wrong people. He gave Hagar and Ishmael a false hope and relationship. To Abraham it's a mistake. But to Ishmael it broke his heart. Hagar and Ishmael's destiny and life were in jeopody.
I guess they tried to stay together, but it didn't work. It's not God's will for them to stay together,either. So there came a time of separation.
Interestingly there were two separations:
The first time they left, there was anger, bitterness and resentment. They didn't leave on a very good term. Their hope was about to crush. But an angel appeared to them and told them to go back!
The second time they left, Abraham sent them out, with some bread and water. It was not a lot. But it's enough for them to "get a life", and find their own purpose and destiny.

To me the point of having them sent back is for reconciliation. Not to keep on with the wrong relationship, but to settle the issues. Apologies, and just to say sorry...
and a little blessing(bread and water)... and Ishmael found God's favor, too.

A lot of people today are pursuing a purpose driven life. And there's nothing wrong about that. A lot of ministries have found their purpose and are having huge success. But in the hot pursuing of the purposes, they also created a lot of mess. They engaged wrong people along the way, (when I say wrong people, I don't mean the people have done wrong things, although they also could. I mainly mean people with different visions and purposes that shouldn't be combined together.) and they have hurt people.

Like the film clip that Reinhard Bonke played at the conference, the purpose driven life can sometimes be like the huge Titanic. They're having success, they're enjoying the promises, but they also need to look out for the mess they have created. If they keep an eye, and respond properly to the warning signs, then they can avoid all the danger and have a safe journey. But if they ignore the Ishmaels, simply push them away as distraction and nuisance, then these "little people"(as Charlotte puts it)can be like the icebergs, putting the big Titanic in jeopody.

It didn't take much for Abraham to send Ishmael away.... just a bit of bread and water, and they'll find their own destiny.

Richard Robert shared a powerful testimony on Sunday. He said for a time he was really upset with someone. But at a conference he saw this guy and God told him to go speak to him and ask him for forgiveness. Richard felt really hard to do that but eventually he did. The man burst into tears and confessed that he had found some problems against Richard and was just about to expose them to the national TV. But because Richard apologized, the man changed his heart.
This to me is a good example of taking care of Ishmael and dealing with icebergs.

Brian Houston released a new book called "Selah"...meaning to pause and to think about it.

Sometimes we just need to pause, have a good look around and think about some issues.

It's a very good and timely title for a book.

    As seen by Susan @ 12:56 AM

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