Are We There Yet?
Are We There Yet?
1. The title of this message is, “Are We There Yet?”
2. There is nothing quite as enlightening as going on a “road trip” (2,170 miles)—Phoenix to Warren.
a. Especially when our children are young, it only takes about ten minutes before they echo those dreaded four words…
b. Distance is often more than a matter of quantity (length), but rather one of perspective.
1) In order to gain the proper perspective, we need to understand three aspects:
a) (Past)—Where have we been? (Requires reflection)
b) (Present)—Where are we now? (Requires reading the immediate situation)
c) (Future)—Where are we going? (Requires a sense of vision)
2) God has given us a wonderful GPS that guides our thoughts, words, and actions over the process of our daily walk along the way (Psa. 119:105; 37:23).
a). The Hebrew word used by the psalmist does not mean God has our ‘steps’ programmed beforehand and that we just on a predesignated ‘treadmill’ to march along without any personal sense of direction.
b) But God ‘make firm’ and ‘establishes’ the direction of our lives as we walk with Him (I John 1:7-9; II Chron. 27:6).
Jotham was 25 years old when we became the 11th King of Judah who reigned 16 years.
- The positive direction of his life is seen over the course of time—(II Chron. 27:1, 2).
- God ‘established’ the directionality of Jotham’s walk with victory and success.
3. Chris Palios—over more than a decade of friendship has a favorite saying, “God did not bring you this far, to bring you this far”
a. There is something amazing about stepping back and taking an insightful look into the overall picture of our lives.
1) We are no longer where we were (our yesterdays are now past)
2) We are exactly where are are (in our present moment, snapshot of time—the present).
3) We are not yet where we are going (in the future of what God has in store for us)
a) “Life is a journey, not simply a destination.
b) The journey has somehow brought Linda and I here today (something for which we are grateful and humbled by the opportunity to work alongside the Cortland Congregation and to stand within the wonderful years of ministry and service of Terry and Jeannie, the Elders, and the Deacons).
b. God has not brought us “this far to bring us this far”—He has more in store for all of us here today.
1) It is the time when we reflect
a) Where has God taken this congregation thus far?
b) How has He shaped us along the way?
c) What have we learned?
2) It is the time to consider the present moment.
a) What resources do we have?
b) What is our sense of God’s presence at this time?
c) What is to continue? (If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it).
3) It is the time to have a vision (goals) for the future.
a) What is God going to do in the coming weeks, months, years?
b) Although there is no way to predict the future, there is absolute certainty that it is GOD who ‘establishes’ our steps, brings victory, and a genuine sense of accomplishment and growth—spiritually and numerically.
THE CALL OF ABRAHAM
1. There is so much to be learned from the Biblical narrative and how God worked in the lives of people along the way.
a. We often focus on the “call” of Abram (Abraham) out from Ur of the Chaldees (Gen. 12:1-3).
b. Abram was 70 at the time God spoke to him originally…
1) Abram had no clue as to “where he was going” (Heb. 11:8)—But GOD knew exactly where he was going.
2) After Abram left Ur, the family traveled to Haran (Gen. 11:31)—about 600 miles northwest from where they began.
c. Abram and family settled down in Haran for about five years and paused along the journey.
1) Haran was a place of COMFORT, but not the land of PROMISE.
2) Canaan was to be the land of PROMISE in the realization of COVENANT
2. God had to nudge Abraham along from his place and time of being in COMFORT, to move toward the ultimate goal of reaching the land that was meant for him and his descendants.
THE NATION OF ISRAEL IN THE WILDERNESS
1. The nation of Israel was delivered from bondage in Egypt to move toward the “land” that God was ready to give to them.
a. But, as a people they had fallen into doubt and unbelief (Heb. 3:19)
b. Moses, reminded the second generation of the goodness and provision of God (Deut. 6:24, 25)
2. It was so easy to miss the goodness and purpose of God losing track of the purpose of God in the details and circumstances of life.
THE LIFE AND DIRECTION OF THE APOSTLE PAUL
1. Paul could have taken pride in his accomplishments as a teacher and one who practiced the law (Phil 3:4-6)
2. He counted those things as “loss” in the perspective and realization of what God was going to accomplish.
3. His urgent desire was that of “knowing” Christ and being conformed into the image of His death (Phil. 3:8-14)
4. His sense of perspective moved him forward.
1. As people, do we appreciate where we have BEEN
2. Do we know where we ARE?
3. Do we have a sense of direction as to where God is moving us forward.
4. Working closely with the Cortland congregation, what I hope to see in the coming, days, weeks and months is a deepened sense of PERSPECTIVE and a sense that God wants us to have a VISION of how we can have an impact into our own lives and in the lives of others in the community.
a. God has not brought us THIS far to bring us THIS far---good things are just ahead on the horizon.