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April 19, 2017

Under the Umbrella


Easter has been called the Super Bowl of church life. It’s one of two times a year (the other being Christmas) that almost all professing Christians attend church. This past weekend was incredible, starting with Good Friday in the Park, and concluding with 6 worship experiences celebrating what Christ has done for us. It was great seeing thousands of people gather together for fellowship and community at the Myriad Gardens on Friday evening, then seeing a completely packed house on Sunday morning. Pastor Clark started a new series entitled “Overshadowed” based on Psalm 91. During his message he pulled out an umbrella and referenced that an umbrella’s purpose is not fulfilled until it is open and we step under it. In other words, just having access to an umbrella doesn’t keep you from getting wet during a storm – you actually have to open it and step under it. The same is true when we speak of Christ. In order to be overshadowed by Christ, we have to be willing to step under his covering.


I read a book several years ago entitled “Not a Fan” by Kyle Idleman. In this book he writes the following:

I was reading about a strange baptism practice that was allowed by the church when the Knights of Templar would be baptized. When the church would baptize one of the knights, they would be baptized with their sword, but they wouldn't take their swords under water with them. Instead they would hold their swords up out of the water while the rest of them would be immersed. It was the knights' way of saying to Jesus, "You can have control of me but you can't have this. Jesus, I'm all yours, but who I am and what I do on the battlefield, how I use this sword, that's not part of the deal..."


My initial thought when I first read this was, “That’s kind of weird!” But as I began to think a little more about it, I saw a little bit of myself in this story. Not being baptized with a sword in my hand – that IS a little weird… But I saw myself in the fact that there are times in my life when I have basically approached Jesus said, “You can have A, B, and C – but I’m going to handle D and E on my own. "I’ll trust you with my eternity, but leave my relationships alone. I’ll trust you with my kids, but leave my marriage alone. I’ll trust you with my marriage, but leave my finances alone."


Sadly, what we are doing when we take this approach is saying, “I like the umbrella – but I’m going to hold this part outside of it.” Then we get frustrated when things don’t go well – and many times we even get frustrated at God because He didn’t hold up His end of the deal. While I would never say that every difficult circumstance we face is because we didn’t put something underneath the umbrella, I am 100% convinced we could avoid A LOT of the snares and traps that come our way by allowing His presence to overshadow and protect us. SO my question for today… What do I need to place under the umbrella (the Shadow of the Almighty)?


Check back every Wednesday for new devotionals written by one of our pastors Glenn Quirk!

These devotionals are designed for you to grow and respond to the topics in our current churchwide study.

We are very excited to see you grow in your relationship with Jesus!