I was at a conference in Abilene, TX when I heard James Bryan Smith say that we live in the Unshakeable Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is never in trouble." I just can't let that thought go. This Sunday I will speak to the senior class 2012 of the Highland Church of Christ Youth Ministry (3D Ministry). I will read Psalm 145:13"Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does."Then I will charge them to live a life that when it has ended, people will be able to say that they lived a life in which they never lost confidence in their God and always leaned on the Kingdom.We live in a time of great uncertainty and insecurity. We know more about the world and its atrocities than ever before. We can no longer be the Ostrich with our heads in the sand. And while that can be very scary and disorienting, it can also be revitalizing as we assure ourselves that faith is the conviction of unseen things and God's promises are always YES! We do not travel our life's journey in great wonderment or uncertain mystery. We travel knowing that God is who he says he is and does what he says he will do. Just like the taking of Jericho we march His path with great confidence that God has already overcome! While there is mystery and wonder left in the kingdom for imaginative, awestruck, spiritual lovers we don't walk a path for what might be or what never could be, but what already was, is, and is to come. We live in the unshakeable Kingdom of God and God's kingdom is never in trouble.
There was this one time when I went to visit Atlanta for a conference. I was a country boy in a big city. I had some free time, lots of free time, so I decided that I would go visit Mercer University outside of Atlanta. I wanted to go to the bookstore and buy paraphernalia with my name (Mercer) on it...I was young and full of myself! So I took the Marta, but had no idea how to really read their map system. I got off the rail and thought I was pretty close so I began to walk. After about an hour and as I entered a deteriorating community I began to think that my decision was not the best. I found a gas station finally and asked for directions. I was an incredible distance from the University and not enough time in the day to walk. As I was standing at the counter considering my options: walk back to Marta, call for cab, or...there really wasn't a third option until a man said he knew where it was and would give me a ride. I swallowed my pride and fear and got in his car and went for a ride. It was awkward for both of us, but as soon as he found out I was a Christian our conversation eased and we both felt more comfortable. I made it there and bought enough merchandise with my name on it to make it worth it.
I didn't have a good plan. I had planned out every other detail of that trip, but this was me being spontaneous. I'm glad I did, because I have never had the chance to go back and visit yet. I wish I had a better plan. Sometimes we can have bad plans and God works despite them and sometimes we have wonderful plans and nothing works out. Sometimes our plans are just puny!
In Numbers 13 the spies are sent to Canaan. The land is great, everything that God has promised it should be. Joshua and Caleb agree that the risk is worth the reward. However, the other 10 can only focus on one aspect. They look like grasshoppers in their own site next to the Nephilim and even to the Nephilim they look this way. Nephilim were known from a specific area and were basically Giants.
In order to take this land they would have to go up against men 10 times their size that could crush them easily. So really you can defeat Pharaoh and the entire Egyptian empire. You can walk on dry ground through the parted Red Sea. You can watch food fall from the sky and water gush from rocks. They had heard the stories of an entire world being flooded, languages changing, not to mention the unique way that a Hebrew found his way as a great commander within the Egyptian empire.
But their plan is puny and they cannot see past a few giants. They cannot see God and can't trust in his power. And so they stir up the report and let it spread throughout all the Israelites and effectively killing the plan to enter the promised land all together. They would wander around until they would all die except for Joshua and Caleb.
They gave up milk and honey and great land due to a puny plan and a great lack of faith
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God Is... -God is... is a book that takes a look at Genesis and portrays six true images of God. There are many ways we think about God that are unhealthy and even destructive. These six images help turn our attention to who God really is and how we might follow him more closely. Click the Lulu button below to download your copy!