Monday, May 9, 2011

Out of Place....

C4 was incredible last night, God is moving and it's so obvious. Several of the college kids had brought their moms to C4 in honor of Mothers Day...and I was no exception =) I brought dad too! It's so good to see so many people just lost in worshipping God.
Tyson's message Sunday was called "Out of Place" and the title made me think of that game we used to play as kids "one of these things is not like the others"...anyway...it was a really good message.
1 Samuel 5:1-7 - After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then they carried the ark into Dagon’s temple and set it beside Dagon. When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained. That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor any others who enter Dagon’s temple at Ashdod step on the threshold. The LORD’s hand was heavy on the people of Ashdod and its vicinity; he brought devastation on them and afflicted them with tumors. When the people of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, “The ark of the god of Israel must not stay here with us, because his hand is heavy on us and on Dagon our god.”
  • The Philistines had stolen the Ark of the covenant from Israel and had placed it in their temple
  • The Ark of the Covenant was the most prized possession - the holiest thing on earth - where God dwelled on earth.
  • In the morning, Dagon was face down in front of the Ark - the dwelling place of God...even though the Philistines had meant to mock God, instead he made their god fall to his face.
  • You might ask why God would let his dwelling place be stolen by the enemy of his people...but it was all for his glory - so that people would see his power.
Sometimes we feel out of place but we have to remember that God has not forsaken us or forgotten us - we are right where he wants us...and it's for his glory. He wants to use us where we are...in spite of everything. The Bible is full of things that feel out of place such as the Ark of the Covenant in the Temple of Dagon...the temple of the enemy...but it's all for his glory. God uses the negative situations in our lives...in the midst of all the storm and strife, God wants to use us to bring hope to the hopeless and life into dead situations. No matter where you are, whatever the circumstances, God will use you - just like he used the old man in the rain to speak into Tyson's life and in turn speak into my life - it doesn't matter, he's going to use you - there will be a light that shines in you.
  • Sometimes people feel out of place among other people
    • Sometimes you might feel like you don't fit in, you don't belong...or you feel reserved...you shouldn't feel that way...you should feel the love of God surrounding you when you are among believers...it's our job to show you how much God loves you...letting him speak through our lives...to show you that you belong, that you're worth it, and that He wants you to come as you are...because He is the God who makes all things new.
    • Sometimes, when you feel isolated, it might be because you've shut yourself off from fellowship...take a look at your own life and ask yourself, "Is it me that's causing myself to feel out of place...or is it truly because I don't fit in?"
    • As a Christian...we aren't supposed to fit in...We are a chosen people, those who have been set apart. We are living in the world but we are not of this world...therefore we cannot become a part of the normal scene. There should be a difference...one that's noticeable.
  • Sometimes people feel out of place when they sin
    • You might feel out of place when you realize that you've done things you promised yourself you'd never do again, when you went back to the place you never wanted to go to again.
    • As a Christian - when you sin, you should feel out of place. There needs to be conviction in your life...if there isn't...then you are in a dangerous place
    • There is a difference, however, between conviction and condemnation
      • Conviction draws you back to Jesus...The Holy Spirit shows you when you've sinned, convicts you and leads you out of sin and back into the arms of God
      • Condemnation is guilt and shame we heap upon our own heads...we beat ourselves up and let our shame overshadow God's mercy...condemnation kicks you when you're down.
    • Get up, be restored, come back to God no matter how bad your past is...God wants to do a work in you...and nothing you've ever done could make him love you any less.
  • Sometimes people might feel out of place at Church or at C4
    • Sometimes you might feel forgotten or abandoned (1 Samuel 7:1-4)
    • Maybe you look around you and you see people who are worshipping and people who are happy...and maybe you don't feel like that, and you wonder "has God abandoned me?"
    • Romans 8:31-39 - Nothing can separate us from God or his wonderful love
He won't abandon you...but you must be careful and examine your own life and ask yourself "Have I abandoned Him?" - sometimes we grow so familiar with the routine...with religion...that we don't take the time to cultivate our relationship with God...don't ask God where HE is...He's always there...if you feel distant, it could be because he's waiting for you to put everything else aside and make him first in your life again. We allow the world to distract us and distance us...but no matter how far you are, he's closer than you think...he's only 1 prayer away.
Even if you feel out of place wherever you are right now...remember that 2000 years ago, the most out of place thing that could happen, happened. God stepped down and made himself lower than the angels so that he could walk with us. He was out of place here...but out of that came the greatest story the world could know. No matter how out of place you feel, God can and will use that...he doesn't ask you to change before you come to him...he just wants you to come...he'll use you.

1 comment:

Orlandoescape said...

Interesting blog ..enjoying your blogging