Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Jakin and Boaz

Dear Capernaum Friends!

I read today in 2 Chronicles 3:17 of the two pillars Solomon erected for the Temple. They must have been magnificent. I was struck and amused that he named the pillars. I do not name any of the architectural pieces in my house, although lately I have been calling the doorknob on our backdoor “stupid” because it doesn’t open easily. Solomon was a bit more mature than me. He named the pillars Jakin, which means, “He establishes,” and Boaz, which means, “In His is strength.” Wow! Pillars are central to a building, they hold up a building. Paul called Peter and James “Pillars of the church.” Pillars are not foundational but they come close. Solomon was not making an architectural statement, he was using architecture to make a life and ministry statement. The statement was: He establishes and in Him is strength.

He Establishes
What a pillar to build my life and ministry on. It doesn’t say, “Nick establishes,” rather “God establishes.” Is this not great news? You and I are not responsible to establish YL Capernaum. This is God’s business. It is God’s business to establish leaders, donors, kids and a ministry plan. You and I do not make good pillars, unless one of our names is “God establishes.” The pressure is off, God is God and I don’t have to be. I have to repeat this countless times a day when I all too often start taking responsibility for YL Capernaum to be healthy and grow. I know when I feel the stress in my body and spirit I’ve turned “He establishes” into “Nick establishes.” Save me and save us from that lie.

In Him is strength
This pillar reminds me that as God established I am involved. Ministry is a marathon not a sprint. We become weary unless we run the race in Him who is our strength. If we do not run with Him we will run in vain and probably drop out due to exhaustion and discouragement. I have been reminded more times over the past 10 years that the enemy is out to kill, steal and destroy us. In my own strength I am nothing but a casualty waiting to happen.
But, this is the good news; I can live my life and my ministry, “In Him who is strength.” Praise God! Again I will say, it is not about me, it is about Jesus. “I can do all things through Him that gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) “Faithful is He who calls you and He will bring it to pass.” (I Thessalonians 5:24) “Since we have this ministry, by God’s mercy, we do not lose heart.” (2 Corinthians 4:1)
Isn’t Jesus‘ example amazing, because He fully lived His life on the twin pillars. His Father established Him and was His strength. How is it that Jesus lived this way and I continually seek to live by the false pillars that cannot hold up my life? These false pillars are: I establish and in me is strength.

Sisters and brothers, I am going to have my 15-year-old son Zack, who is an amazing artist, paint 2 pillars to put up in my office. Pillars named “Jakin” and “Boaz” to remind me that He establishes YL Capernaum and in Him is my strength to live out this glorious call.

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