Saturday, March 3, 2012

Our God is Able! (Pt. 1)



Last Sunday I had the opportunity to preach at my father in-law's church, again. It was amazing and so confirming to what God has called me to. Actually, every time I get to preach the Gospel, God confirms His call in my heart. Before I me start, let me just say, because of the length of the sermon and because I want to lend enough space (without forcing you to read forever), I broke it into 3 posts.

 Here's the first...

I got to speak on how we can easily, if we're not careful, end up in a place where we move from asking God why to questioning whether He is able (or willing) to work on our behalf. I spoke about three specific steps we take toward the change in asking Him why and the questioning of His ability.

First, let me be very clear on this point, I absolutely believe that God is okay with us asking Him why. There are lots of instances in the Bible that support God allowing us asking Him why. Job did. In Job 13:23-24, Job talking to God asks, "How many wrongs and sins have I committed? Show me my offense and my sin. Why do you hide your face and consider me your enemy?" We are allowed to approach God with "Why?" seeking understanding.

BUT, there is a distinct difference between asking God why and questioning whether He is able. When we ask Him why, even though we’re asking to satisfy ourselves, there are still elements of belief that God is able and we’re more apt to approach Him seeking His guidance and wisdom. But, when we question His ability we are acting in unbelief and showing our lack of faith.

So, HOW DO WE GET TO THE POINT OF QUESTIONING GOD’S ABILITY? The main section of scripture I preached from was Numbers 11, specifically Numbers 11:4-23.

Starting in Numbers 11:4 we see that the Israelite people began to complain to God. Numbers 11:4-9 say, "4 The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! 5 We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. 6 But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!” 7 The manna was like coriander seed and looked like resin. 8 The people went around gathering it, and then ground it in a hand mill or crushed it in a mortar. They cooked it in a pot or made it into loaves. And it tasted like something made with olive oil. 9 When the dew settled on the camp at night, the manna also came down."

The first thing we see in this section of scripture that can begin to cause of to question God's ability is...

1. The People Listed to the Rabble.

See, the rabble (foreigners from Egypt) among them started to complain and remind them of how “good” they had it when they were slaves in Egypt. But here's the thing, THEY WERE SLAVES! They were bound, not free from anything, and they were complaining about how good that had it as slaves.

We still do this today. We come to Christ and He frees us. Then we hear the world (the rabble) tell us that we’re missing out and remind us of how “good” we used to have it when we were bound and we fall for it. We start to complain to God about what we don't have and forget the blessings that He has given us. We forget that through Jesus we're FREE! That He has made us unbound. Yet we long for bondage.

Romans 6:6-7 tells us that we are no longer slaves. The Israelite people forgot what slavery was like and sadly so do we. They, like us, were so focused on what they did not have; they missed all that they did...freedom.

See, when we live our lives complaining and focused on what we don’t have, we miss the blessing we do. We begin to believe that some how what we were bound by is better than the freedom God has for us. This is the first step we take in beginning to believe that either God isn't willing or able to work on our behalf. And, this couldn't be farther from the truth. When Jesus freed us from the grip of death, He released us from our bondage to the world. When we listen to the world, we begin to complain. When we begin to complain, we start to question if what we had is better than what He has. When this happens, we start down a dangerous road.

Don't listen to the rabble, you're free.

Ignoring the rabble,
Bruce

Oh yeah, and I was ordained too...