Where’s your lentil field?

In the job I now have at CVM it is difficult to hide the fact that I am a Christian, it’s sort of obvious as just about all we do is about introducing 1,000,000 men to Jesus Christ. Even before that I was pastoring a church and before that a Chaplain for a drug rehabilitation project with men, my faith has been part of that and visible.

What I realized is that for loads of men this is not the case, you can do your job for years and years and never reveal your covert Christian identity. I have had jobs too where this has been the case and I started to think about that.

I know you might not want to do this right now if you are at home with your feet up, but imagine your work place, the field where you stand and spend a lot of your life. This field is being fought for and a battle is going on right there, in the places where we work.

In the Bible, you can read about King David’s 3 closest warriors, one of them was called Shammah, son of Agee. This man watched the Israelite army, his mates, run from a field of lentils chased by the Philistine army. Shammah refused to run and stood in the field to fight. What happened? Well he fought with the presence of the LORD and held the ground, an incredible victory in a field of lentils.

So what? Well I believe Shammah matters for us today. The field you stand in is constantly under siege, ‘keep quiet, don’t talk about Jesus here, don’t offer to pray for them, don’t invite them to church, don’t pray for him, don’t let them see you’re a Christian!’ If someone talks about God and Christians you might wince and hope the radar hasn’t picked you up! Have you been there?

I don’t know why Shammah stood in that lentil field, was the field important? Was he tired of running? Did he believe he could beat them all single-handedly? Was he that confident? I don’t know why he didn’t run, but he didn’t, he drew a line in that field and claimed it for the LORD. I like that.

As you fight in the field your feet are in you may be laughed at, ridiculed, lose mates or miss a promotion. Let’s be honest, that might happen. Or you might find men around you start to take steps closer to a decision that will impact their eternity, and God moves in that field and starts to amaze you!

Shammah’s name in Hebrew (as far as I can see, as I failed Hebrew lessons) formed part of a word that would mean: The Lord is present! I like that, as I stand in the field, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I know that God is with me, present. Can we be men who refuse to run, who look for ways and opportunities to make Jesus known in our field? Can we be men who don’t give up praying for the lives of those who stand in that field with us?