God's Good Future / Day 4

BIBLE READING

Matthew 13: 16-17:

But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

Genesis 12: 1-5

The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

‘I will make you into a great nation,

and I will bless you;

I will make your name great,

and you will be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,

and whoever curses you I will curse;

and all peoples on earth

will be blessed through you.’

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

SUMMARY OF PETE GREIG’S MESSAGE AT ENCOUNTER MORE 2016

We live in a day when we are seeing God do great things. Small sparks are becoming large fires. However, it’s important to remember that historically the people of God have struggled most, not in times of testing and fire, but in times of great blessing. It is then that they can often become arrogant, independent and comfortable. How do we handle and host the favour of God?

This moment of blessing from God in Genesis 12 has reverberated down through the millennia ever since. We are, in a sense, part of that great nation that was promised to Abraham. Abraham had already experienced the blessing of God on his life: he was married, wealthy and successful. But God had greater things in store. One of the keys in the life of Abraham as he hosted the favour of God was that there was something within him that just kept pioneering and refused to settle or say, “This will do.” He rises up again and again to take hold of God’s ‘more’.

No matter how much God has already blessed you, He has more for you. Whether you are a new Christian or a seasoned follower of Jesus – there is always more. Keep pioneering, believing, expanding and imagining. Our vision is not nice church buildings but the total transformation of communities. We long to see the kingdom break in with thousands more people coming to Christ, divorce rates plummeting, businesses prospering, no baby unwanted, no child un-adopted, no immigrant unwelcome, no old person lonely, failing schools succeeding, oncology wards underworked, churches planted, missionaries sent out, fresh sounds emerging and new songs rising. Keep pioneering and keep imagining.

“Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.

Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran.” (Gen 11: 31-32)

At the end of Genesis 11, Abraham had settled in a place which seems to be named after Abraham’s dead brother. It was a place short of the promise of God. Terah, Abraham’s father died there. He settled down in a place named after his grief and loss. It is possible to camp out in our brokenness. It is possible to redefine our lives according to the contours of our pain. When you are grieving, it is important to pause a while and lament, but it is not healthy to continue in that place forever. There comes a moment when you have to move on. Don’t make your disappointments your permanent domain. Don’t downsize your expectations of God. Don’t downgrade your dreams. Abraham moves on to take hold of the Promised Land.

Most people pioneer once in life. The real heroes of the faith are those who keep pioneering, who refuse to settle down, who keep laying things down, who keep moving forward, who keep paying the price.

Abraham kept seeking the presence of God. 

 “The Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your offspring I will give this land.’ So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

From there he went on towards the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.

Then Abram set out and continued towards the Negev.” (Gen 12:7-9)

We see that wherever God appears, Abraham builds an altar, a place of worship. His nephew Lot took the blessings but never built an altar.

Keep building altars, keep sacrificing, keep worshipping, keep seeking the presence of God. Don’t take God’s favour for granted.

What motivates you to keep pioneering is an unshakable desire for more of God. When He speaks, build an altar and seek Him more. Don’t live off that one past revelation or story or blessing because He always has more. We read that Abraham was God’s friend because he spent his whole life seeking and longing for more of God.

It’s possible to live vicariously trading off other people’s prayer lives, altars, sacrifices, revelations, pioneering and vision. There comes a moment if you are going to lay hold of the favour of God and His ‘more’ for your life that you stop and say: “I will seek God for myself, I will cut out the middle man, I will pursue Him with every fibre of my being, I will seek His presence when no one is looking, I will sacrifice whatever it takes."

Life to the full belongs to those who love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. That is the generation that lays hold of the greatness of God, not just for their own lives, but for their families, their communities, for a world that is bleeding and broken without the shalom and hope of Jesus Christ.

You must lay hold of the greatness of God, you must not not settle because this is not just about your own personal convenience, it is about a generation through whom the Kingdom of God is coming to earth and the glory of God is filling the earth as the waters cover the sea.