Friday, July 27

Adullam's Cave - a place for the desperate, in debt, and discontented

In May 2005 my wife Linda and I were privileged to attend a week at SonScape in Colorado. SonScape is a "small group spiritual retreat with personalized pastoral counseling for pastors, missionaries and their spouses. It is a week-long experience of exhaling the fatigue and staleness of life and breathing deeply of the Spirit of God. A place to rest, receive, and renew in the beauty of the Rocky Mountains..."

After a wonderful week of having a true "mountain top experience", the Lord didn't waste any time in letting us in on his intentions for allowing us to go. The descent was quick from our little "Mount of Transfiguration" back to the valley below...

At the end of our week at SonScape, as we were preparing to leave, one of the other men who had also been a participant at the retreat came to our cabin. He seemed a bit uncomfortable, but looked me in the eye and said, "I believe God has given me a word to share with you." I didn't really know what to expect, but politely sat down and allowed him to share what God had placed on his heart.

He began reading from 1 Samuel 22:1-2...

So David left Gath and took refuge in the cave of Adullam. When David's brothers and his father's whole family heard, they went down and joined him there. (2) In addition, every man who was desperate, in debt, or discontented rallied around him, and he became their leader. About 400 men were with him...

The prophetic word he shared was that the Lord was about to make us a rallying point for those who are "desperate, in debt, or discontented." It would not be easy working with wounded people. I was stunned and speechless. Little did he have any idea how "right on" those words were to be for our us.

Indeed, our band of Guayaquil house church believers is made up primarily of these kinds of people. We feel God is using us to seek out, love, disciple, edify, and church the rejects, the losers, the marginalized, the forgotten...and yes, the desperate, in debt, and discontented!

As the years have gone by since this prophetic word was shared with us, I have been amazed at how literally we have become "caves of Adullam". Our house church network of approximately 100 "caves" is made up largely of women in prostitution, abandoned elderly, homosexuals, broken marriages, the sexually abused, drug addicts, alcoholics, kids from street gangs, the hopeless, the extreme poor, the financially indebted, the unemployed... all seem to gravitate towards one of our "Adullam caves." Even our leaders come from these kinds of backgrounds.

What is interesting about the desperate, indebted, and discontented in 1 Samuel 22, later become "David's warriors" in 1 Chronicles 11. The "rejects" become mighty warriors and men of valor. In chapters 11 and 12 these men are individually named. They are singled out for their valor and incredible deeds. This is our prayer too. That all the outcast, hurting people he is sending our way, will be transformed by the Holy Spirit of God into mighty warriors for the Kingdom.

5 comments:

Bill Lollar said...

What a blessing to find yourself walking alongside those Paul must have had in mind when he wrote,

"Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God." (1 Cor. 1:26-29, NLT)

Praise God for the ministry God has given to you and your dear wife! As we pray for you, please remember us as well in the valleys of South Wales!

Bill Lollar
The Thin Edge of the Wedge

Ken said...

Guy,

Great story of such a personal experience. It is always a blessing to see how God can use us to be instruments of His love and grace to those whom Paul described as, "without hope and without God in the world".

WTJeff said...

Guy,

Thank you for an outstanding post. As we begin to get some things off the ground here in my home town, I needed to be reminded that the poor and the marginalized are the ones most forgotten.

Thanks for your example and heart for "the least of these".

Grace,

Jeff Parsons

Beth said...

Guy and Linda,
You guys are such a blessing to all. Thank you for pouring into us and blessing us with your lessons learned through the years and your wisdom. A beautiful post!
Blessings,
Beth

GuyMuse said...

Bill,

We do think a lot about you in there in Wales and enjoy reading your blog. In many ways we can relate to the passage of Scripture quoted, especially the part about using the powerless to shame the powerful.

Ken,

While being a personal story, it is also a public story of what God is doing in our midst. Our team has the same understanding of these things as I have shared this with them and often relate to this passage in our discussions.

Jeff,

A good book about the poor and marginalized being "good soil" is Neil Cole's, "Organic Church". Let us know how things develop there in W. Texas with the new work.

Beth,

Thanks for your kind words. We have a volunteer team with us again this week from Austin. How are things there in Ft.W. ? T. had mentioned helping Jose, but so far haven't heard anything else. Jose leaves next week. Our Josh gets home next Saturday. Linda says Hi!