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You Have Been Too Long At This Mountain


Sermon shared by John Hamby

July 2003
Summary: “The treacherous enemy facing the church of Jesus Christ today is the dictatorship of the routine, when the routine becomes ‘lord’ in the life of the church."
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
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without you. But God says, "You have dwelt long enough at this mountain.”
Another hindrance to moving on is maintaining the same attitudes that have caused us to fail before. The children of Israel were only three days out of Egypt when the people began to complain, and here they were nearly forty years later and they are still complaining. They allowed a critical spirit to stall out their spiritual growth. Their love for truth languished, their hunger for people to be saved dissipated, their praise turned into pity-parties. Strife, bickering over small things; majoring on minors while minors became the majors; settling for mediocrity and staleness, all take center stage when a church gets side tracked by a critical spirit.
But God says, "You have dwelt long enough at this mountain.”
Sometimes the things that appear dangerous are actually much less hazardous than a safer-looking alternative. Some people refuse to fly in commercial airliners, preferring rather to travel in an automobile. But statistics tells us that traveling by commercial airline is 30 times safer than transportation by car.
Being pushed through the air several thousand feet above the earth by huge jet engines may not seem like it would be safer than being pushed along the highway by an automobile but it is. The same of our journey through life. Following the Lord into a new adventure may seem perilous. But in reality it is the safest way to travel through life.

The Outward Manifestation
Turn and Take your Journey. (vv. 7-8)
God has said “You have been at this mountain long enough.” If you have been a Christian any length of time, you should be prepared for battle. You should be ready for service in His Kingdom.

“Turn and take your journey, and go …..(8) See, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to your fathers--to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob--to give to them and their descendants after them.”

So what is it that we are being told to do?
We like the people of Israel are to “go in and possess the land.” That is that we are to be actively pursuing the mission that Christ left us here to do, that is to reach a lost and dying community for him.
So what is our problem? In Ephesians 5:14 the apostle Paul says, “Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light." What is interesting is that this not a part of a message to an unbelieving audience, this is not a message to sinner but to saints. Not only is this a message to the church but it was written to one of the best churches in the New Testament, the church at Ephesus. Our problem is that we have gone to sleep on the job.
We all know that being suddenly awakened can be surprising. How many times have you gone to sleep extremely tired and when awakened by the alarm clock, you were startled and thought “It can’t be morning.” Being awakened suddenly can also be disconcerting. Once on a church trip to Colorado I was sleeping when we stopped for gas and when we left it was my turn to drive. Unfortunately when I took off I went in the opposite direction, the way that we had just come. It was a little disconcerting to find out that I was going the wrong way. Being awakened suddenly can also be shaming, if we have gone to sleep in a place or a time that is inappropriate. You know like going to sleep in church!
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