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By Ben Poole similar to Andy Stanley, Timothy Keller, Judah Smith, Rick Warren, Craig Groeschel,, Ben Poole similar to Andy Stanley, Timothy Keller, Judah Smith, Rick Warren, and Craig Groeschel. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
The Ripple Effect Samuel 23:8 2 Samuel 23:8 That’s when most of us run away. But not Josheb. Those are long odds, but God loves long shots! And to the Infinite, all finites are equal. There is no possible or impossible. There are no degrees of difficulty. Impossible odds set the stage for God’s greatest miracles. I know the motto of the Hunger Games: “May the odds be ever in your favor!” Not in God’s kingdom. May the odds be against you! That’s how God gets His glory. He does things we can’t take credit for. Think of it the Israelites were chosen as a nation because they had no chance. Except… God and God was showing the other nations what He could do. Unless God does it, it can’t be done. Most of us, though, avoid situations where the odds are against us. And when we do, we rob God of the opportunity to do something supernatural. If Josheb wins a one-on-one match-up, big deal. I don’t think that gets him into the Bible. But when you beat 800-to-1 odds, someone is going to give you a promotion. And that’s what David did. He tapped Josheb as chief of David’s three mightiest warriors. Don’t run away from 800-to-1 odds. Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite,[b] was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter. And to explain how this can actually work, I want to focus on the last two words in 2 Samuel 23:8. This little phrase is pregnant with possibilities, full of hope—“one encounter.” You are one encounter away from an alternate reality. Here’s what I believe. I believe God is ordering your footsteps. I believe God is preparing God works in advance. Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. I believe God is strategically positioning you in the right place at the right time. I don’t believe in coincidence; I believe in providence. And because of it, I live with a holy anticipation, a sanctified expectation. Why? Because God is setting us up! You never know when or where or how God is doing to show up and show off His power, His grace, His goodness. But what I’ve learned along the way is that we’ve got to take the first step of faith. 1 Faith is the willingness to look foolish. 2• Faith is the process of unlearning our fears. Let me give you one more this week. 3> Faith is taking the first step before God reveals the second step. Many of us are waiting for God to make a move, while God is waiting for us to make a move. And that’s where we get stuck. “Why are you praying for something when you can do something about it” Butterfly Effect wiki Edward Lorenz gave a name to the phenomenon, the idea that small causes may have large effects in general and in weather specifically was earlier recognized by French mathematician and engineer Henri Poincaré and American mathematician and philosopher Norbert Wiener. Edward Lorenz's work placed the concept of instability of the earth's atmosphere onto a quantitative base and linked the concept of instability to the properties of large classes of dynamic systems which are undergoing nonlinear dynamics and deterministic chaos The phrase refers to the idea that a butterfly's wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate or even prevent the occurrence of a tornado in another location. The butterfly does not power or directly create the tornado, but the term is intended to imply that the flap of the butterfly's wings can cause the tornado: in the sense that the flap of the wings is a part of the initial conditions; one set of conditions leads to a tornado while the other set of conditions doesn't. The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which cascades to large-scale alterations of events (compare: domino effect). Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different—but it's also equally possible that the set of conditions without the butterfly flapping its wings is the set that leads to a tornado. There is an initial impact, but then there is a ripple effect. Those concentric circles ripple out further and further and further. The same is true of our lives. Every action we take, every decision we make has a cause-and-effect echo beyond our ability to comprehend, beyond our ability to control. Most of our life is comprised of very small decisions and events that determine our future. Our actions and inactions, our decisions and indecisions have a ripple effect way beyond our ability to comprehend or control. We have a tough time comprehending the cause-and-effect of our actions right here, right now, let alone the future-tense impact of those actions. But what I’m getting at is this: your decisions make a difference; your actions have an impact. And I believe that what God is doing for you isn’t just for you—it’s for the third and fourth generation. One of my favorite Christmas movies is It’s A Wonderful Life. We have no idea the ripple effect of one prayer, one act of obedience, one step of faith would set in motion. But that’s the beauty of precession. That’s the beauty of God’s sovereignty. If you keep doing the right things day in and day, God is going to show up and show off in ways that you could never You are one risk away from a totally different reality. You are one idea away from a totally different mentality. You are one decision away from a totally different eternity. That’s why teaching God’s word is so important. Mulling over the decision to go to Batavia IL heard a sermon in Goshen about spiritual mentors. And knew that God was saying yes. Josheb. I don’t think Josheb was looking for 800-to-1 odds. It just happened. But when it did, Josheb didn’t see 800 problems. He saw 800 opportunities! And he raised his spear. I don’t think Benaiah was hunting lions. It wasn’t on his to-do list that snowy day. But when it happened, he didn’t see a 500-pound problem. He saw a 500-pound opportunity. And he chased the lion. In the first sermon in this series, I asked a question: Are you living your life in a way that is worth telling stories about? What are you doing today that will make a difference a hundred years from now? Last week I talked about inaction regrets. Our greatest regrets at the end of our lives will be the 500- pound lions we didn’t chase. It’ll be the opportunities we left on the table. They’re called inaction regrets. Let me talk for a minute about a phenomenon in social psychology called inaction inertia. When you miss an opportunity, there is scientific evidence that you are even more likely to miss it the next time and the time after that. I like to call it the Recliner Effect. Newtons 1st law obects an object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force. It’s the natural tendency to keep doing what you’ve been doing, ad infinitum. It’s the tendency to keep thinking what you’ve been thinking, ad nauseam. Listen, if you want God to do something new, you can’t keep doing the same old thing. You tell me the last you were uncomfortable, and I’ll tell you the last time you grew. The status quo doesn’t cut it. It’s not going to get you where you want to go spiritually or relationally or professionally or physically. Let me have a little fun with this. what you do makes a difference. But it’s the little things—the small acts of kindness, the sacrifices you make that no one sees, the prayers you pray that no one hears, the little steps of faith that scare you to death. That’s how the kingdom advances. It’s when one person has the courage to raise his spear against 800 because he knows he isn’t outnumbered, not if God is on his side. If God is on your side, the odds are in your favor. It’s called the favor of God. Y Your dream predates you. God was setting you up before you were born. And your dream postdates you. Your legacy isn’t your dream. Your legacy is the dreams that your dream inspires. Tim Scott is the first African American in U.S. history to be elected to both the House of Representatives and the Senate. But he had to defy the odds to do so. Tim grew up in a single-parent household with a mom who worked 16-hour days just to put food on the table. And he struggled academically, failing English and Spanish. “That doesn’t make you bilingual,” Tim says in self-deprecating fashion. “It makes you bi-ignorant.” But in the eighth grade there was a teacher who spotted political potential and said, “You ought to think about student council.” Those seven words changed the trajectory of his life. Never underestimate the power of one well-timed, well-phrased word of encouragement. One sentence can alter someone else’s destiny! I recently met Senator Scott backstage at the Catalyst Next Conference in Washington, D.C. During an unplugged interview, the senator said, “I’m a big believer in writing down vision.” That’s precisely what he did as a 19-year-old. Tim’s mentor, a Chick-fil-A operator named John Moniz, had a dream of positively influencing one million people. One of those one million was a teenage kid who could only afford fries. John gave Tim free sandwiches and a steady diet of godly wisdom. When John died of a heart attack at 38, Tim adopted John’s dream and one-upped it. He then wrote down that second-generation dream: to positively affect the lives of one billion people. That’s a 500- pound lion! Against all odds, Tim is now making decisions that directly affect the lives of 319 million Americans. And those decisions indirectly affect billions around the globe. In our cultural narrative, Senator Scott is the hero of the story. But Tim would argue that the true hero is his mother, the true hero is an eighth-grade teacher, the true hero is a Chick-fil-A operator who saw his potential. They are the bylines that helped Tim Scott make headlines. Matthew 13:31–32, He explains, “The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” And that’s true of Benaiah and his band of brothers. Every David needs a Benaiah. Every Tim Scott needs a John Moniz. And someone needs you! I’m eternally indebted to the people who have leveraged my dream—my parents, professors, coaches, mentors, and pastors. Most of their names you would not know—Bob Rhoden, Kirk Hanson, Jac Perrin, Opal Reddin, St. Clair Mitchell, John Green, Michael Smith, Robert Smiley, Dick Foth, Jack Hayford. Some of my uplines intersected my life for only a few seconds, such as a missionary named Michael Smith, who spoke a prophetic word over my life when I was 19 years old. He wouldn’t even remember that moment, but I’ve never forgotten it. The same is true of Opal Reddin and Jac Perrin. It was a sequence of conversations with each of them at a critical juncture in my journey that helped me resolve a theological conundrum. Then there is Dick Foth, who has been a spiritual father to me for two decades. The only way I can repay the debt I owe each of them is by doing for others what they have done for me. Your legacy isn’t your dream. Your legacy is leveraging the dreams of those who come after you. Your legacy is your downlines—those you parent, mentor, coach, and disciple. You may not influence a million people. But who knows? You may influence one person who influences a billion people. Success is succession. Success is precession. I don’t know what risk you need to take. I don’t know what decision you need to make. I don’t know what opportunity you need to stake. But I do know this: faith is taking the first step before God reveals the second step. I know that you cannot finish what you do not start. I also know that He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion. Renee Reed walked an aisle. Sarah Bayot started a business. Sam Farina preached a sermon. James Otis gave a speech. John Moniz mentored a teenager. Each of them raised a spear in his or her own unique way. May we do likewise. The first step in constructing a bridge over the Niagara Falls Gorge was made by a 16-year-old American named Homan Walsh. On January 30, 1848, Homan flew a kite he named Union from one side of the gorge to the other. Someone on the opposite side caught the kite and tied a stronger string to the end of the kite string, and Holman pulled the new, thicker string back across the gorge. The process was repeated with an even stronger string, then a cord, then a thin rope, then a thicker rope, and eventually a steel cable, which crossed the expanse and was strong enough to support workers, tools, and materials. Finally, a sturdy bridge, over which trains and trucks could easily pass, was completed. And it all began with a string. Jesus says, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much” (Luke 16:10). According to our Savior, little things can make a significant impact on the big picture.