Summary: The World uses the best equipment to send their message. Shouldn’t God’s people do at least the same?
Finding God’s Plan for Your Life - Jeremiah 1:4--10
When we open our Bibles and read the first few words of the first book we discover many things about the God who made us. He is the great creator of heaven and earth. His power to create is in his Word. His Spirit moves over the vast depths of the universe so that God is everywhere and knows all that is going on. God organizes chaotic formlessness into light and order and life.
As we read on another great truth emerges. God has a plan. We see his plan unfold before us as he creates and as he interacts with his creation.
Plans are important, aren’t they? Just imagine UT facing their biggest rival and the quarterback asks coach Fulmer what play he wants them to run. Coach says, "This time, I just want you to all get out there and do whatever you think you should do. Don’t run a play, just get out there and give it all you’ve got and lets see what will happen." Now I’ve seen some plays that looked like he might have said that, but I know deep down that’s not the truth. Those who have no plan do not win the game of football.
Plans are important! Look at this building. This is a beautiful place. Somewhere before every stone and wire and window and wall, there was a plan. Everything here reflects the plans that someone thoughtfully worked through and laid out. Others took those plans and constructed this place. It took time and money and energy. I required foresight and dedication and persistence. We gather here today and enjoy the benefit of all that went into planning and implementing that plan. When we worship and share in the Word of God and in fellowship with the Lord and one another here we are honoring the plan for this place in part.
We wouldn’t think about turning this place into a furniture store on weekdays, would we? No! We recognize the purpose for the place here and try to do what honors the plan. There is nothing holy about these stones and pews, but they are here for a purpose. To honor that purpose we must limit what we do here to fit the plan. In the Old Testament God set a place for his name and there was built a center for worship for his people. It was his plan for that time and those people. It was a temporary plan though.
When God gave Moses the blue prints for the tabernacle, he warned Moses, (Hebrews 8:5), "See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain." You see God had a plan for the place where the people of Israel would worship him. Later, when Jesus entered the temple, he saw what the Jews were doing there in that place and his zeal burned within him and he made a whip and drove out those who were not honoring the plan of God for his place of worship. Jesus said, "My Father’s house shall be a house of prayer for all nations!" "You have turned it into a den of thieves!" They weren’t following God’s plan for that place! The Jews found out that they could turn a buck by capitalizing on those who came to worship. Their plan was not to stop God’s plan, but to take advantage of those who were worshipping. They were motivated by money. Instead of helping people worship God, they were taking advantage of the worshippers to market their goods.
I want you to notice something. The temple was not like the tabernacle Moses made. It was not a tent that could be taken down and moved about. It was a huge structure, built first by Solomon, then after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, it was rebuilt under Ezra and Nehemiah and then rebuilt again by Herod the Great. When Jesus came to the temple he didn’t say, "We must restore the tent according to the Pattern Moses received." Not at all! Jesus accepted and respected the updates to the tabernacle of Moses. The temple allowed many more worshippers than the tabernacle and was much larger and modern in its day. God obviously approved using the technology of the day. What he disapproved was changing the heart and purpose of the plan. We’ve put air-conditioning and heating in here. We’ve updated many things to make this place more comfortable. We want to make this building the best servant for the plan of God for worship and Christian growth that we possibly can. God has a plan for this place to be used to serve the cause of Christ! If that is not done here, we will fail to keep the plan of God. Another important thing is that worship does not begin and end here! This place and what we do here should only serve to build up worshippers who leave here strengthened and encouraged in worship and service to God in Spirit and truth outside these walls. This is part of God’s plan!