Mark Batterson was one of our speakers at Central’s prayer conference and I was able to spend some time with him this evening. He’s the author of a book I’ve previously reviewed called In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. He’s a very down-to-earth guy that God is using in incredible ways in the DC area (and soon Germany) as the lead pastor of National Community Church. He also has a hilarious way of laughing at his own jokes and making everyone around him laugh as well.
A few of us on staff had dinner with him before the conference and he talked about Ephesians 1:23 in a way that I hadn’t thought of it before. The last phrase of the verse is loaded with a powerful image of how God works among us: “the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” He spoke of God’s desire to fill everything in every way. Whether that’s broken areas of our lives or filling up church gatherings. As he told the story of his church he continually referred to this passage. I love looking at God in that way.
He made a statement in talking about his grandpa that is something I’ll never forget. He said that a righteous person’s prayers can outlive them. He referenced current answers to prayers that he sees today that he attributes to his grandfather praying for him when he was younger than six. That’s a terrific idea to hold onto when thinking about the legacy we want to leave behind.
The other idea that stood out to me was how he talked about Acts 10:25, “As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence.” This was when Christianity went from being a Jewish sect to a way for all people to experience God for themselves. There was no longer unclean food. More importantly, there were no longer unclean people. As Mark joked, one small step for Peter, one giant leap for Christianity.
Finally, one last quote that I liked: “When you’re in an argument with the Lord, if you win… you lose. If you lose… you win.”