Monday, November 14, 2005

Promise Keepers 2005: My Adventure

A few months ago I heard an advertisement for the upcoming Promise Keepers conference. I sensed that small voice encouraging me to go. I was not sure why, I had been there before and I had been thinking, been there, done that. Well, I am learning to obey that whisper in my head so I had to start making some plans.

I contacted my church to see what was going on with the church for the conference. I found out that nothing was happening, so I volunteered to coordinate getting some men together for the event. I found out that there was not much interest. I did not take this personally or anything, I guess they were not being encouraged to go and that was just fine.

There was one gentleman that I had met once or twice before at church that did contact me and he really wanted to go. This worked out great and we were able to go together and my two sons were also able to come along.

I realized that I had no expectations of this event at all, so I went into the event completely open minded. I guess there were about ten or eleven thousand men at the event. This is not as large as some other times that I had participated in the event, but it is still a great crowd. There is nothing like being with eleven thousand men singing praises to our God.

The leaders of the event have a way to serve up great truths that are very convicting and at the same time use great humor. I have not laughed so much in a very long time. And then two seconds later, I am struck between the eyes with an awareness of my sin. It is like the Lord was talking to me directly about my issues. The leaders to not pull any punches, we need to live lives of integrity; we need to give up our favorite sins.

That first evening, after the first very convicting session, there is an alter call. This time is very powerful and God was moving powerfully. Men were being broken. We could see our sin and we knew we could do nothing by ourselves to make things right. Hundreds of men called out to God for the first time to be saved and accepted his free gift of salvation. This time was a time of sorrow that then turns into a time of celebration, celebrating what God has done. I can’t over emphasize how powerful this time was!

The next day, there were about five sessions; there were several themes that were hitting me mightily.

1. There are younger boys and men that are watching me and the example of my life is painting a picture of what God is to these people. What I do and my example is critical to the lives of many others. It is true that both Christian and non-Christians are watching. Young Christians are watching to see how to live as a Godly man. Non-Christians are watching to see if Christianity is authentic. Our example is a powerful indicator of what we really believe, and frankly a God example of excellence at home and at the work place is often the best form of evangelism.

2. If you are waiting for a new word from God to show you something new in life it is likely that you are not obeying what you already know to be true. The theme of obedience kept hitting me again and again. We are called to live of life of holiness. DO IT! Quit cutting corners, quit lying, and quit cheating at work.

3. We as Christian men need to put all our heart into the things that we do. Work with a focus on excellence. This is a big deal for me because I often feel like I am not at the right place in my work life. But, I am there so, while I am there I need to work at it with all my heart. Do it with excellence. This creates a powerful example to others. This also has an influence on how we take the responsibility to be Godly husbands and fathers. This is our number one responsibility in all of life and we need to do the work and focus the energy to perform this responsibility with excellence.

4. Erwin Lutzer communicated five principles of Godly fatherhood.
  • Communicate
  • Be the lawgiver and the grace giver
  • Be the protector
  • Be the mentor
  • Be reconciled to your own father
The most influential part of the entire event to me seemed to be an unplanned item. While Erwin Lutzer was speaking it was like God was telling him to change his message. He sensed there was a need for a time of repentance from sin. So, after he had talked about the sins that commonly entrap men, he called men forward that were ready to be released from these sins. And the men poured forward. The room was filled weeping and anguish. It was like the Holy Spirit had show up and first did the work to show men there sin and then showed a clear path towards the way the be cleansed from that sin. Many men humbled themselves recognizing their sinfulness and called out for that cleaning. This is very moving to experience this cleansing amongst so many men.

There was one other miracle that occurred during the weekend. You see over the past year and a half, my wife and I had built a house purely as in investment. That house had been on the market since spring and it was starting to weigh on our hearts and minds more and more. Well, during the event, we received and offer on the house and we were negotiating in there minutes between sessions. By Saturday after we had come to an agreement. The house was sold. It just so happens that this was just about the time that God was working on me with some of my issues. Call it coincidence, call it fate, I call it a miracle.

Now as always the difficult part is to live the life we have been called to live. A Promise Keepers event can be a mountain top experience type event but we need to go back into the battle. This event calls us to awaken from our slumber and reenter that battle with the help of God. If you are on the fence about going to such an event, I would indeed encourage you to go and be open to what the Holy Spirit wants you to see.

- Wayne

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