Summary: 2/3 of "God" is "Go". This sermon deals with how we, too often, just stop. Audio will be placed at www.sermonlist.com
There was once a man who loved to fish. As a matter of fact, he fished so much that he became an expert at fishing. It was not long before other people began asking him to teach them to fish also, which he did.
The word spread and pretty soon a sporting goods company hired him to teach their customers how to fish. He was a huge success and many people learned to fish. But the downside to all this was that the more time he spent teaching other people how to fish, the less time he had to go fish.
The bottom line was he taught others how to do something, but he ended up doing none of it himself.
Many churches are following the same pattern today. We sit inside our walls and satisfy ourselves that we are teaching others in the church how to be fishermen, but we are not going out into the community to do any fishing ourselves. There is a saying I have heard since I was a kid that explains what we do. We are “all talk and no action.”
A lot of Christians go to church and expect the church to do everything for them. They believe if they go to church once a week, they have fulfilled their duty as Christians. They need to realize that they have the same job duties to reach others as the church does. All of us need to back up and reassess what we are doing for the Lord.
In GENESIS 17:1, did God tell Abraham,
‘Stay where you are and be blameless?’
No, God told Abraham to ‘walk before me and be blameless.’ God knew that, for Abraham to receive His promised blessings, he had to go forth for the Lord to do the Lord’s work.
In GENESIS 26:3, God tells Isaac:
‘Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you.’
Isaac stayed in Gerar and God blessed him 100-fold. But notice that God told him to stay in that land ‘for a while.’
Reading on in GENESIS 26, we see where Isaac moved on from there and ended up in Beersheba, where God blessed him mightily. We see that when Isaac moved on for God, God blessed Isaac.
There is an old physics saying, ‘For every action, there is a reaction.’ How many of you know that ‘where there is no action, there can be no reaction?’
What am I getting at? You want to blessed by God, you’d better try working to bless Him first. He has given us a set of instructions but too many of us ignore them to the point where we are not even aware of what those instructions are. And if we are unaware of what they are, or that they even exist in the first place, we cannot obey God by following them.
Paul knew this very well.
In PHILIPPIANS 3:13 he said,
‘Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me Heavenward in Christ Jesus.’
Paul knew that the only way to get closer to the Lord was by walking toward him. Walking away from Jesus was no option, and neither was staying where he was.
Remember when the Israelites left Egypt and were being pursued by the Pharaoh and his army? Where were they? They were standing on the shore, with the army in front of them and the sea in back of them. They seemed to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. So what did they do? They started crying out to God to save them. What did God do?
In GENESIS 14:15 God said,
‘Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the Israelites to move on!’
God told them to do something! Go! Stop talking and start walking!’ He had already delivered them from their evil oppressors and the plan was for them to go to the land He had promised them. But when they came to the Red Sea, they stopped.
They could not go to the left or right because there was nothing but steep mountains. They could not go back because the soldiers would kill them. And they saw no way of going forward. But what we see is that as soon as they began to go, God made a way for them to do so. Scripture does not say God made a way for them to escape later on, but He made the way right then - when they needed it. But they had to initiate God’s actions by stepping out in faith first.
And that is where many of us falter yet today. We are willing to do things when we see a way to do them, but when we see no way to proceed, too often we just quit. And then what do we do? We cry out to the Lord to help us out. I think the answer we should hear back is this: “I quit only after you quit. If you start again, so will I.”