On Friday night in the Q unit, one man came in about half-way through, visibly shaken at the very brink of tears. He was a flustered mess and needed a refuge. I welcome him, and after he sat down, I asked if we could pray with him. The other six men were very respectful and helped him feel safe. He was very willing and in now in open tears. He came to our service from a harsh telephone argument. He went into a rapid-fire littany of very real trials. He gave an assured testimony of his faith in Jesus but life has been a twisted mess. I assured him our service is a safe place. Mike Butler, who was serving with me, emphasized, "sanctuary." Mike led us in prayer for this man.
Using the whiteboard, we continued brainstorming things people believe in they perceive will give them life. The Navigators call it "the well illustration." The key verse is Jeremiah 2:13, "For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water."
When lives are filled with other things that become idols, God says they end up with broken wells that hold no water. They are forsaking Him and their cisterns are useless. The Lord invites His people to come and drink freely from His fountain of living waters. Whatever was in the past, everyone may repent and run to Jesus Himself, the fountain of living waters.
I closed with Isaiah 55:1-3. The Lord graciously and repeatedly invites us to come to His banquet table where He Himself is the host. The guests include others who are hungry and thirsty for God, broken and hurting people, desperate ones. Everyone is welcome! There is a special place-setting and seat with your name on it. The menu is prepared just for us by the Lord. We are invited to come and be delighted with His food to give us living water and life.
This very special banquet, a safe santuary, was hosted by Jesus Himself Friday night in Q unit at the RJC and for you and me whenever we purposefully come together to seek Him.