Sunday, August 26, 2012

Find Yourself


Lately we have been capitalizing on being in God’s rest for this season of self inspection, discipleship and the strengthening of the Church. As I have been reporting for the past couple of months, we do not know what we as a nation or as Church may be called upon to face in the coming year but at the present time the Spirit of the Lord is testifying in every place where His voice is heard that this is a time to rest and allow ourselves to be strengthened for the work ahead. This is not a time to launch out, overstress the Church, our finances or our families. God is trimming the sails and stocking the ship, making ready for the season yet ahead.

The last three years have been strenuous times for so many and the cloud of God’s presence, protection and provision has now given the Churches a place to pitch their tents. The time will come for us to march but for now the Body of Christ has been given rest so that they may “strengthen those things which remain”.

In order to facilitate this current season we will be offering various other opportunities to worship which may better fit your schedule, demographic and/or your family’s convenience. We will be doing this by way of a “Third Service” opportunity here at our Church and also a more convenient approach to taking advantage of Adult Sunday School and regular Church as well. You’ll hear more about these things soon. They have been in the works for a long while now in anticipation of these days of God’s rest and refreshing. But for now, let’s continue examining and strengthening ourselves in light of God’s Word so that while we are in this season of refreshing we can continue to be prepared for the day of God’s choosing. We don’t know how soon that day might come.

We’ll begin today with a familiar historical quote: “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”

The heart of this quote, and its 15 or so variations, is originally attributed to the 18th Century British statesman and philosopher, Edmund Burke who, is generally viewed as the philosophical founder of modern political conservatism. Burke was educated at a Quaker Boarding School and then attended Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, before deciding to abandon his studies of law in favor of pursuing his literary work.

There is no doubt that his philosophies of life were formed and confirmed by his early and continued exposure to the Scriptures. Although rooted in the philosophies of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the like, it is reasonable to assume Burke’s quote concerning history repeating itself was principally founded on the verses he discovered as a young boy which are written in the book of:

Ecclesiastes 1
9  That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.
10  Is there anything of which it may be said, "See, this is new"? It has already been in ancient times before us.
11  There is no remembrance of former things, Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come By those who will come after.

Mankind is destined to repeat history and destined to forget it. Only by God’s Word can we be saved from our own destruction. And then, only if we know it.

People often fail to stop and consider that their lives are but instant replays of days gone by which are already written in scripture by one Great God. Depending on the path we choose, our lives unfold thereon in very predictable patterns leading us to the same conclusions as it did our predecessors.  However, those who ignore history have no idea what they are bound for. And sad to say, many never look up.

In ancient times, as well as the distant future and even in this present moment, truth prevails. And the truth of God’s Word in every age says:

·        Things which are wrong can never become right simply by the passage of time.
·        God is more concerned with your future than your past, however your present will determine that future.
·        You can always find where you are in life - It is reflected in a story already written in the Bible.

Someone’s history is your future! And for the most part, you get to decide who you want to be.

Who are you … not who do you wish you were – but who are you today? What Bible story applies to your life? What will happen on your road? It’s really not that hard to find out … in fact, if you simply ask God, He will certainly guide you to the right place.

And remember: Those who don’t know or those who choose to ignore history are doomed to repeat it. We can know our future by finding ourselves.

God has a Word for everybody and everything – not just a wishful imagination or a delusion of grandeur, but an actual account of scriptures which parallels His truths and your life on planet earth. Remember, you have to fit in God’s story – you can’t make Him fit into yours. Blended stories make for hypocritical lives. For example, you cannot be both Rahab and Mary or Paul and Judas at the same time. God is not a multiple personality God and your life can portray only one character at a time. Whoever you choose to be today is who you are, and potentially who you will be forever.

Who you are today is the only you that exists at this time.

Who are you like in the Bible? Where are you in the Old Testament and where are you in the New? What is the story of your life? Find yourself.

God’s Word is always likening one thing in the Bible or in a person’s life to something else which already exists or has already happened so He can better explain to us what we are facing and what we should do about it. God even uses the word “like”  more than 1000 times in the Bible most often to draw comparisons between us and something else to which we are familiar so that we can better understand the situation. He does these comparisons and parables for our benefit so that we might see ourselves, others and the situations of life from His perspective.

Only that which has been will be – it has already been done before – you may not be familiar with it but that won’t stop it following the same course … there is nothing new – you are reliving history by the choices you make. What road are you traveling? What course are you choosing? What character are you playing? Where are you? Who are you? Find yourself!

Most often God begins preparing me to preach and teach a specific Word from Him long before it is needed.

Matthew 13:33  He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.”

By this I mean that the Word is like yeast hidden in 3 measures of flour, He works His Word in me until it works thoroughly throughout me, spirit, soul and body, before it works out of me. The result is that the world gets to hear the “Worked Out Word” in its time. It is in respect to this process that I dedicate the 20 to 30 hours of study each week to the Word of God and what He is saying to the Church. This world needs a proven Word and not a quick fix gospel.

While some may only be searching for a life changing Word, today there are many who are searching for a world changing Word. We, along with many other Churches in every community continue to receive those world changing Words from heaven’s hand . For us in particular it means water wells, Bible School graduates, orphans, Churches, medical clinics, saved inmates, missionary support and help for the homeless and hopeless. We help when and where we cannot be helped back. The whole Body of Christ at large has a history of helping. Where would the world be without the Church? And where would the Church be without you?

Although there is nothing new … yet man forgets and needs to hear a true Word from God again and again. Without the continuing Word man cannot find himself or recover himself in times of need.

Presently my life is paralleling a passage from 2 Samuel 15, give or take a couple of chapters. After some extra prayer and fasting this week, I slept like a baby Friday night only to be awakened in the early dawn by a dream from the Lord. I am given to spiritual dreams and this one confirmed and explained so much. I now have a true picture from God. I found myself.

Have you ever found yourself in the Word of God?

The Word God gave me shows me who I want to be and how I want to behave. Once again His Word has become my strength and the direction of my life. Our one goal should be to find ourselves in God’s Word so we can know what to believe and what to do in order to please God.

There is only One God and He is telling only one story, His Story …

Where would you find your life in the Bible today? What character would you be in God’s story? Is that the character you want to be? You see –

Life may set the stage but you decide your character.

My encouragement for you today is to find yourself. Find yourself in God’s Word and if it is not the place you should be … change!

If you ignore history, (His story), you will be doomed to repeat it for there is nothing new under the sun … that which has already been, will be again.

The road you are on will take you straight to the same place it led the last traveler.

You can read all about it in the Bible.

But … Good news!!! If you don’t want to go there, you can make an exit … only make it today!

Pray with me that you find yourself in God’s Word and then that you find a way to please the Lord in the history you are making.