Chase The Lion Part 1

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By Ben Poole similar to Andy Stanley, Francis Chan , Judah Smith, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel,, Ben Poole similar to Andy Stanley, Francis Chan, Judah Smith, Andy Stanley, 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.
Sermon Outline Run To The Roar Scripture: 2 Samuel 23:20 The sermon is based on the book, Chase the Lion Mark Batterson David’s Mighty Men in Washington, D.C. four U.S. Airliners were hijacked, two of which crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and another was rumored to be aiming for the White House before the passengers took over the hijacking and crashed the plane near Shanskville, Pa. Staff Sgt. Christopher D. Braman was in his office at the Pentagon when his wife called and told him of the events in New York. He assured her that he was fine and that he loved her. As he hung up the phone, the building shook as the third plane passed by his office knocking him down from its impact. Smoke and panicking people filled the hallway as Braman ran to an exit. When he was outside, a DPS guard came stumbling around the corner with a woman and a baby. They were covered in ash and shock. "Dear Lord, please give us strength for what we are about to do," prayed Braman, and he ran back into the building using his T-shirt as a mask. With help from Lt. Colonel Paul Ted Anderson, Lt. Col Edmudson, a medical doctor, Braman rescued many wounded and at least 63 deceased from the wreckage over the next four days. Among the injured was a 42-year old woman accountant who had began work at the Pentagon two days prior. She later called Braman her guardian angel in thanking him for saving her life. “We come from a long line of the right people, in the right place, at the right time.”Doug Braman Braman received the Army Soldier Medal for bravery, Purple Heart for his injuries and a minted coin in honor of American heroism. The torch of duty and honor has been passed through generations in the Braman family. "We come from a long line of the right people, in the right place, at the right time," said Braman's father Minden resident Doug Braman, a Vietnam veteran. Braman's grandfather, Howard, was a Navy master chief during World War II. Each generation received the Purple Heart and medals in honor of their bravery and service to the country. On September 11, 2001, four airplanes were hijacked by terrorists bent on evil. Two of the planes crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City. One of them crashed in a field in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania. And one plane crashed into the west side of the Pentagon. 125 died in the pentagon attack. The natural instinct for those inside those buildings was to get out, but on that day there were heroes who didn’t run out. They ran into those burning buildings to help those in need. One of them was Lt. Col. Ted Anderson, One account “Anderson acted like a man possessed.” It said, “As others ran for their lives, he sprinted from his office toward the point of impact. Spreading his jacket over shards of glass on a windowsill, Anderson had a noncommissioned officer named Chris Braman boost him into the collapsing building. Together, they carried out two women, one of them unconscious and the other badly burned.” Over the next hour, as the rest of world looked on in shock and horror, Ted Anderson returned to the blaze over and over again. At one point, he and Braman were low-crawling through the inferno, screaming to be heard above the roar. Arlington County firefighters finally restrained Lt. Col. Anderson, not allowing him to reenter the Pentagon. They probably saved his life, because it collapsed a few minutes later. Ted Anderson stayed there all day, in part because his keys were still on his desk inside the Pentagon. That night, the building superintendent let him go in and get his keys. He drove home, listened to 52 messages on his answering machine, took a shower, cried for 30 minutes, and tried to get some sleep. His phone rang at one a.m. It was his boss, who said, “I can’t sleep. Let’s go to work. Put your battle uniform on.” So in the middle of the night, they were headed back to the Pentagon—because they knew we were at war! That’s what soldiers do. That’s who soldiers are. If you want to understand David’s mighty men in 2 Samuel 23, you need to understand what drives a man like Lt. Col. Ted Anderson to run back into the Pentagon, to run toward danger, to run to the roar. In Ted’s words, “We had people inside, and it’s the nature of a military guy that we never leave anyone behind.” David’s Mightiest Warriors 8 These are the names of David’s mightiest warriors. The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite,[b] who was leader of the Three[c]—the three mightiest warriors among David’s men. He once used his spear to kill 800 enemy warriors in a single battle.[d] 9 Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai, a descendant of Ahoah. Once Eleazar and David stood together against the Philistines when the entire Israelite army had fled. 10 He killed Philistines until his hand was too tired to lift his sword, and the Lord gave him a great victory that day. The rest of the army did not return until it was time to collect the plunder! 11 Next in rank was Shammah son of Agee from Harar. One time the Philistines gathered at Lehi and attacked the Israelites in a field full of lentils. The Israelite army fled, 12 but Shammah[e] held his ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the Lord brought about a great victory. 13 Once during the harvest, when David was at the cave of Adullam, the Philistine army was camped in the valley of Rephaim. The Three (who were among the Thirty—an elite group among David’s fighting men) went down to meet him there. 14 David was staying in the stronghold at the time, and a Philistine detachment had occupied the town of Bethlehem. 15 David remarked longingly to his men, “Oh, how I would love some of that good water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem.” 16 So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew some water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But he refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as an offering to the Lord. 17 “The Lord forbid that I should drink this!” he exclaimed. “This water is as precious as the blood of these men[f] who risked their lives to bring it to me.” So David did not drink it. These are examples of the exploits of the Three. David’s Thirty Mighty Men 18 Abishai son of Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, was the leader of the Thirty. He once used his spear to kill 300 enemy warriors in a single battle. It was by such feats that he became as famous as the Three. 19 Abishai was the most famous of the Thirty[h] and was their commander, though he was not one of the Three. Lion Chaser 2 Samuel 2:23 David’s mighty men weren’t the kind of men who would run away from what they were afraid of. These were boot-camp-trained, battled-tested brave hearts. And their stories are some of the most epic, most heroic stories in the entire Bible. Josheb faced 800-to-1 odds, but he stood his ground. Eleazar fought until his hand froze to his sword. And when the rest of the army retreated, Shammah took his stand in a field of lentils. And then there was Benaiah. That’s where we pick up the story. 20 There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior[i] from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions[j] of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it. Asciatic Lions 500 pounds. Aggressive. Known to eat humans. This one is serving a life sentence in a zoo in India after eating 3 humans. 21 Once, armed only with a club, he killed an imposing Egyptian warrior who was armed with a spear. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it. 22 Deeds like these made Benaiah as famous as the Three mightiest warriors. 23 He was more honored than the other members of the Thirty, though he was not one of the Three. And David made him captain of his bodyguard. One of the great challenges we face in reading a story like this is that we know how it ends. And because we know the ending, we assume it was inevitable. Psychologists call this hindsight bias. And it’s one of the greatest challenges we face in reading Scripture. We’re Monday morning quarterbacks. We know how every story ends. For example, before we read about the crucifixion, we know about the resurrection. Because we’re reading these stories thousands of years after the fact, and because we know how every story ends, we lose the element of surprise, the element of danger, the element of risk. That’s how it is with this story in 2 Samuel 23:20. We know that Benaiah is the one who walks out of the pit. And if we aren’t careful, we assume it had to have been like that. But this has to rank as one of the craziest acts of courage in all of Scripture! Here’s what I know for sure. When the image of a man-eating beast travels through the optic nerve and into the visual cortex, the brain sends one message to the body: run! But lion chasers aren’t wired that way. They don’t run away from what they’re afraid of. They run to the roar. Let me zoom out and look at this from a wide-angle lens. We don’t know where Benaiah was going or what Benaiah was doing when he crossed paths with this lion. All we know is his gut reaction, and it was gutsy. Listen, lions weigh 500 pounds and run 35 mph. Plus, they have these things called claws! It goes without saying, if you find yourself in a pit with a lion on a snowy day, you’ve got a problem— probably the last problem you will ever have. This is how it’s going to end for you. But you’ve got to admit, it looks awfully good on your résumé if you’re applying for a bodyguard position with the king of Israel. Benaiah landed a job as King David’s bodyguard. And he eventually became commander-in-chief of Israel’s army under King Solomon. So he was the second most powerful person in the entire kingdom of Israel. But it all traced back to this fight-or-flight moment. Are you going to run away from what you’re afraid of? Or are you going to run to the roar? Are you going to let fear dictate your decisions? Or are you going to live by faith and chase the lion? Not much has changed in 3,000 years. When we lack the guts to go after God-ordained, God-sized dreams, we rob God of the glory He deserves. You can do nothing wrong and still do nothing right. Just ask the servant who buried his talent in the ground. Come on, let’s go big or go home! Let’s quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Let’s go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. God wants to be Amazed and to show us Amazing things. Crazy Dreams As we begin this series, let me ask some questions: • What’s the scariest dream you could go after? • What’s the craziest dream you could go after? • What’s the riskiest dream you could go after? • What’s the biggest dream you could go after? “You might want to pray about it.” If you’ve got a drastic decision like that in mind, think about it, talk about it, and pray about it before acting. You remember the story about Peter walking on water. If you’re going to get out of the boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, you’d better make sure Jesus said, “Come.” And if Jesus says, “Come,” you’d better not stay in the boat. Let me tell you something I’ve learned about 500-pound lions. By definition, a God-sized dream will always be beyond your ability, beyond your logic, and beyond your resources. If God doesn’t do it, it can’t be done. But that’s how God gets the glory. He does things we can’t take credit for. And that’s what I want to challenge you to go after in this series. What’s the craziest dream you could go after? I have to warn you. It’s going to take longer than you think. It’s going to be harder than you want. But if your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s too small. If you’re big enough for your dream, your dream isn’t big enough for God. Two Ways to Get Started on Your Dream You may not think you are a dreamer, but I think you are. I think you have dreams, even though you may not know they’re dreams. For example, if you’re a parent, you have a dream. You gave that dream a name when he or she was born. You’re a dreamer! If you’re a grandparent you’re a dreamer. Let me share two of the best ways to discover your dream. First, inventory your history. Your destiny is buried somewhere in your history. We simply identified defining moments— Lt. Col. Ted Anderson—whose story I told in the opening—is a great example of destiny being buried in history. When he was 13 years old, he visited D.C. for the first time. His dad was graduating from the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. They visited the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. Ted said, “That’s when I knew that I wanted to be a soldier.” Ted would go on to serve as a paratrooper for two decades, but that seed was planted when he was teenager. Second, one of the best ways to discover your dream is to get around a dreamer. Dreams are contagious. (Ride in the draft) There are seasons when God wants us to focus on the dream He’s given us, but there are also seasons when we’ve got to focus on serving someone else’s dream. And that’s how our dreams will become reality. That’s what the 37 mighty men did. Benaiah was serving David’s dream. In fact, as his bodyguard, he was willing to trade his life for David’s life. But it was David’s dream becoming reality that led to Benaiah’s dream job. He got a key position in the administration. Then he worked his way all the way up the chain of command to become King Solomon’s commander-in-chief. His dream became reality, but it started with Benaiah serving David’s dream. It takes faith in God to step into your fears. Joy’s Wednesday night classes. John Purkey’s Sunday school classes and preaching. What Is Faith? 2 definitions of Faith 1. faith is the willingness to look foolish. (It’s only faith if it lacks certainty) I can’t imagine anything more foolish than chasing a lion. Right? But that’s faith. faith is the willingness to look foolish. Noah looked foolish building an ark. Sarah looked foolish buying maternity clothes. David looked foolish going into battle with a slingshot. Benaiah looked foolish chasing a lion. The Wise Men looked foolish following a star. Peter looked foolish getting out of the boat. And Jesus looked foolish naked on a cross. But again, faith is the willingness to look foolish. And the results speak for themselves. Noah was saved from the flood. Sarah gave birth to Isaac. David defeated Goliath. Benaiah killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day. The Wise Men found the Messiah. Peter walked on water. And Jesus was raised from the dead. If you aren’t willing to look foolish, you are foolish! Because it’s the fear of foolishness that stands between us and our dream. The sermon is based off of the book, Chase the Lion. “I can’t quit my job—I might look foolish.” “I can’t seek out counseling—I might look foolish.” “I can’t ask her out—I might look foolish.” “I can’t share my faith—I might look foolish.” “I can’t pray for a miracle—I might look foolish.” “I can’t fill out the application—I might look foolish.” “I can’t make the move—I might look foolish.” “I can’t make the call—I might look foolish.” Go ahead. Look foolish! 2. Faith is unlearning our fears. You can run away from what you’re afraid of, but you’ll be running away the rest of your life. Don’t let fear dictate your decisions! There are thousands of fears and phobias but we are only born with two fears —the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. That means that the rest of those fears are learned, which means they can be unlearned. First John 4:18 says, “Perfect love expels all fear.” Love is fearless! The cure for the fear of failure isn’t success; it’s failure in small enough doses that you build up an immunity to it. I discovered that God was right there to pick me back up, dust me off, and give me a second chance. I know some people ask the question “If you knew you couldn’t fail, what dream would you go after?” I think that’s a good question, but here’s a better question: If you knew you would fail, what dream would you still go after because you couldn’t live with yourself without going after it? It’s not about winning or losing. It’s not about success or failure. It’s about obedience. Live to Tell the Story Are you living your life in a way that is worth telling stories about? When Solomon was a young boy, David would tell him bedtime stories. I’m guessing that many of those bedtime stories were about his mighty men and their epic exploits. And I bet Solomon asked for the chase-the-lion story more than once. Forty years later, Solomon becomes king of Israel. And who does he choose to be his commander-in chief? His father’s bodyguard, a man named Benaiah. Why does he choose Benaiah? I think he chose Benaiah because of the bedtime stories he had heard as a child. He chose Benaiah because Benaiah lived his life in a way that was worth telling stories about. God wants to write His-story through your life. You are a subplot the epic story of redemption. But the turning point of that story is when you have the courage to chase your lion the way Benaiah did his. When we lack the guts to go after the 500-pound lions in our life, we rob God of the glory He deserves. Avoiding Inaction Regrets Two decades ago, social psychologists Tom Gilovich and Victoria Medvec carried out a study making a distinction between two kinds of regret. First, there are action regrets—things you’ve done that you wish you hadn’t. And then there are inaction regrets—things you didn’t do but wish you had. What they discovered is fascinating. In the short term, we regret actions over inactions 53% to 47%. So it’s a toss-up. But over the long term, when we look back over our lives, we tend to regret inactions over actions 84% to 16%. That’s huge! In other words, 84% of our regrets are going to be the lions we didn’t chase. Neal Roese describes it this way: “When we look back at our lives as a whole, we are most haunted by things left undone—romantic opportunities untried, career changes unexplored, friendships left untended.” Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. Run to the roar! Fear of Failure is often worse than failure. ccc This is a lion spike. A lion spike is made of cow bone that has been sharpened on both ends and has a hand hole in the middle. It’s the weapon of choice for warriors in the Maasai tribe when charging a lion. When the lion roars, the warrior thrusts the spike into its mouth. When the lion closes its jaws, the spike punctures the upper and lower jaws, making it impossible for the lion to bite down. I don’t know what dream you’re chasing or what fear you’re facing, but there is always a moment of truth when you have to dare to thrust the spike in the lion’s mouth. Don’t run away from what you’re afraid of. Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. Fight for the 500-pound dream God has put in your heart. The Lion Chaser’s Manifesto Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Run to the roar. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-given passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Stop pointing out problems. Become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past. Start creating the future. Face your fears. Fight for your dreams. Grab opportunity by the mane and don’t let go! Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Live for the applause of nail-scarred hands. Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God. Dare to fail. Dare to be different. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away. Chase the lion.

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