King Lemuel Part 2. Last week I introduced you to these words from King Lemuel from Prv. 31:8,9, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” How can we hope to truly make a lasting difference without first being changed by encountering the living God? I tremble when I think of so many entering the fray armed with good intentions but strangers to the ways of Christ. Maybe I am just one of the slow learners, but I have been sitting at the feet of Christ for years now and I know how difficult the lessons can be to learn. I know how easy it is to launch out with passion, convinced that you are right and determined to make a positive difference and then see yourself not only come up short but actually contribute to the problem. I know how easy it is to be tempted and seduced by ego and the devastation that lack of experience can cause. I know the disappointment of trying your best and not only failing but doing harm. I know the bitterness that is compounded by fighting the good fight and then having to deal with an alarming lack of progress. I know how impatience over lack of progress can lead to anger at others and even at God. I know the foolishness of assuming that any who disagree with me, must be evil or at best just plain wrong. I know the insecurity of wondering if it is worth it or if I will ever grow. All of these thoughts and emotions and more are part of entering the arena to speak, judge and defend. I don’t share my insights to dissuade you from the journey. In fact, just the opposite. I speak from the expectation that you will enter the arena and speak, judge, defend. For such a journey to be positive and effective, you will need a strong relationship with Christ, for this there is no substitute. Christ will enable you to keep getting up, without hardening up and never giving up. This is how you raise the bar on your discipleship.