So Far So God

July 1, 2020

 

Mark Batterson Weekly Devo

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When Ebenezers was being built, I was invited to speak at a community meeting on Capitol Hill. I was nervous because I knew we needed the community’s backing to get our property rezoned. I was also concerned that people would think of us as a Christian coffeehouse rather than a legit coffeehouse.

After sharing our vision for Ebenezers, I fielded questions. Someone asked me what Ebenezers meant, and I said that it basically meant “so far so good.” But that isn’t what it meant. And I knew it. I substituted good for God, when God is the One who miraculously gave it to us.

The bottom line? I chickened out.

A few weeks earlier we had hosted an Easter Eggtravaganza for several thousand kids and parents in our community, and one of the guests complained because she said we were talking about Jesus too much. We explained that National Community Church totally underwrote the event, we had permits from the National Park Service, and it was Easter after all. Oh, and then there’s the Bill of Rights, which includes freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Even the free candy, petting zoo, and egg hunt didn’t pacify her antagonism. So be it. Well, this woman was at the community meeting, and it put me in a defensive mind-set. So instead of offending this woman by saying so far so God, I offended the Holy Spirit.

Afterward I felt convicted by the Holy Spirit and my wife. Their voices sound very similar! I’m grateful for a godly wife who speaks the truth in love. After apologizing to God, I vowed that I would never play chicken again.

On our coffee sleeves at Ebenezers, there is a Scripture reference that looks like a SKU code—ISAM712. There are also the initials SFSG. The initials stand for “So Far So God.” We took good out of the equation and added God.

In every dream journey there are Ebenezer moments. You have to celebrate those milestones by building altars. Then you have to surround yourself with those life symbols so you don’t forget what God wants you to remember. That’s why I have an old liquor bottle in my office. We found it in the crackhouse that we turned into Ebenezers coffeehouse. I also have a framed copy of the front-page article from the Washington Post.

I don’t believe our greatest shortcoming is not feeling bad enough about what we’ve done wrong. I think our greatest shortcoming is not feeling good enough about what God has done right. When we undercelebrate, we fall short of the glory of God!

For some, Leviticus is their least favorite book in the Bible because of all the rules and regulations, but take a closer look. One of the commands was a seven-day celebration. Question: When was the last time you celebrated anything for seven days?

We need to celebrate more.
We need to celebrate better.
Why? Because hitherto the Lord has helped us!

Chase the Lion by Mark BattersonMark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC. NCC also owns and operates Ebenezers Coffeehouse, The Miracle Theatre, and the DC Dream Center. Mark holds a doctor of ministry degree from Regent University and is the New York Times bestselling author of 17 books, including The Circle Maker, Chase the Lion, and Whisper. Mark and his wife, Lora, have three children and live on Capitol Hill.

Mark’s book, Chase the Lion, helps readers see that when we stop fearing failure that we can fully seize opportunity by the mane. With grit and gusto, Mark delivers a bold message to everyone with a big dream. CHASE THE LION!

 

6 Comments

  1. Anna Marie Virgint on July 1, 2020 at 5:17 am

    Thanks for your transparency and “realness.” Such a good word to meditate on today.

  2. Lisa Washington on July 1, 2020 at 5:19 am

    Thank you for this powerful message. It reminds me of Facebook memories. I’m excited to see and look back on most but a few take me back to a time that was dark and painful. By the grace of God I moved on. ❤

  3. Denise Cothran on July 1, 2020 at 5:19 am

    Thank you Mark for your constant encouragement in my life’s journey.

  4. lidesi on July 1, 2020 at 7:11 am

    so encouraging.i definately need to celebrate more.

  5. Garry Bennett on July 9, 2020 at 6:14 am

    I appreciate your honesty and transparency Mark and have appreciated the book The Circle Maker.

  6. Debbie on July 9, 2020 at 7:47 am

    I’m thankful for the books God had you write!
    There God used them to touch my life .
    I chased the lion into the pit and survived.
    Before I read this passage from you this morning, God had put it in my heart to love as many other people as I can. Loving especially those who are hard to love who have hurt me. It’s God, because when you love them the hurt dissipates, you may not forget, but it’s OK!
    Thank you , for moving for God!
    Sincerely Debbie

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