Summary: A series helping churches who are searching for a new pastor.
When traveling on any road eventually you will come to an intersection, a crossroads. At this intersection one is forced to choose to travel in a particular direction. This morning I would like to use the metaphor of an intersection or crossroad to offer to you an incredibly basic Biblical truth.
This crossroad is incredibly basic and simple and yet it is probably one of the most neglected truths across our land and within our churches. It is simply the crossroad of listening to and obeying God.
If you have your Bibles turn with me to Numbers chapter 13 beginning in verse one.
The context of this passage involves God using Moses to free the children of Israel, the Hebrews out of Egyptian slavery, He did this by displaying his might and power by pouring out 10 plagues on the people of Egypt and then drowning the entire Egyptian military in the red sea that he parted for the Hebrews to cross. He dramatically gave them laws to govern their new nation and he promised to bring them into a land beyond their wildest dreams- a land flowing with milk and Honey.
Our passage in Numbers begins with the people camped within a stones throw of this promised land.
Listen to our passage…
This unique place where the children of Israel camped was called Kadesh Barnea and it was both a crossroad and a test This was the first true test of the people and its relationship with their God. You see Israel was given opportunity to act on the promises of God. To do this would involve conquering each nation that resided in each part of the land. To do so meant that they had to truly believe that God was real and that he was able to deliver them. For the Israelites the crossroads involved 3 choices to walk forward, turn around and go back to Egypt, or just continue to wander in the wilderness as before.
You too have a similar choice…or rather choices. Do you go backward? Choosing to live in the past and its glory days? Choosing to start conversation with “Remember when”, or it used to be like this. Do you choose to wander? Doing church but without purpose or direction.- Seeking to just have church for the sake of having church. Or Do you move forward and claim the land the Lord has given you? Dramatically impacting the lives of those who live in this community. As a church you can either choose to be a player or a spectator.
This morning this message has one point. This one point is perhaps the key to it all. Are you ready?
What is God Telling You?
Moses for the people was the mediator between the people and God. Whatever God communicated to Moses he communicated to the people, but for you and I Today because of Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection we have access to the throne of God. We can talk to God and He can talk to us. He can hear us and we in turn can hear him. As Baptists, we call this the priesthood of the believer.
We live in a day though where it seems as if we are going back to O T times expecting someone else to hear a word from God. This began in part when we began to separate out the pastor from the people. As the pastor became more trained the people relied more on him and in doing so, they placed the pastor as the mediator between them and God. As a result we have a generation that is both biblically illiterate and powerless. Satan has successfully convinced the church that their role is to call a pastor, encourage that pastor, and commission that pastor as a missionary to their community. This is not a biblical model. This is an attack of Satan that has reduced the church to no more than a one man show.
The biblical model is one where the pastor calls, equips, and commissions his people, the congregation to be missionaries in their communities. Being salt and light in every school, workplace, neighborhood, family, in Cuyahoga County. Every Sunday 10’s of 100’s of people would we sent out as Crossroad’s missionaries. And each Sunday morning would be a celebration of all that has been seen and done. That is church God’s way. Releasing the people to be transforming agents in their own communities.
Why do we settle for less? I believe one of the reasons is simply we have either forgotten or never learned to hear from God?
When is the last time you personally heard a word from God, a word of encouragement, a word of task, a work of rebuke, a word of direction. If we truly believe that God is a personal God who wants to direct and guide our steps then shouldn’t we expect a regular personal word from God. God speaks to each of us through his word, through certain circumstances, Godly counsel, and through Spirit-led prayers.