Summary: A sermon that encourages folk to move up into the purposes of God. The second point uses material I got from the internet.
Going Up - Experiencing something different
Ezra 10 4, Rise up take courage and do it.
Don’t you want to experience something different in 2016?
Do you want to go up not down?
Well I want to assure you life will be different but I want to tell you you have to choose between up and down – like when you hop into a lift the buttons ask you a question do you want to go up or down. I mean some mechanised lifts say –
“Going up keep back from the closing door.” A lot of people are caught up in the closing door they want to stay in last year in yesterday and living in yesterday will kill you.
One of the most quoted scriptures in recent years has been this one – Jeremiah chapter 29 verse 11.For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord – Plans for a future and a hope. We know God has plans but many people choose to remain where they are to not move forward. I know a woman who I met 35 years ago – we met her recently and to our horror she hasn’t moved a step further in her walk with God. She probably thinks that she is still on the ground floor but actually she is now stored in the basement and what she is doing is irrelevant and disasterous all because she chose to not go forward with God.
The thing about Jesus is when he says follow me it always involves staying in his company and that often means continuous movement.
But what Jesus is saying when he calls his disciples is it means immediate detachment from their particular calling. You see you can’t move forward if you are attached. ”you need to detach” – In a very real sense to these fishermen they are being called from being fishers of fish to being fishers of men. In other words they are being called to go up in their calling. So are you..God is calling you up into your calling this year!!
You can’t go up in the elevator if you are still attached to something in the foyer.
When I was a young salesman we sold a very heavy piece of office equipment to Dalgety’s in Invercargill. My assistant salesman at that time was a man called Bruce Von tunzelman and he thought it would be very funny if I was left to carry the trade in machine and he followed me carrying the cord attached to the machine. I lugged this monsterous machine past all the people in the office put it down in the lift and pushed the down button expecting my colleague to follow. As the doors closed – to my horror I saw him grinning still standing in the office holding the attached cord. The office workers looked on with interest. As the elevator moved down my very heavy machine became airborne and dangerous – the cord unwound and the machine went airborne in the lift it crashed into the ceiling and the elevator stalled. The cord like a piece of demented spagetti was sucked into the lift and stopped when the plug would not fit through the gap. When the plug could take the pressure no longer it simply fell off and the Gestetner model 366 smashed to the floor. Eventually the lift returned to where it came from and sat there forlornly opening and shutting it’s doors and would not stop. We left and the bemused workers stared on in disbelief. The moral here is You can’t move on until you have disconnected from the past it will pull you back.
Luke 9:62 But Jesus told him, "Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.
The first key to experiencing something more in 2016 is don’t look back look forward.
This is an enduring Christian message. For example if we consider Lot’s wife - Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back at the town of Sodom that God had decided to destroy. Sodom stands for immorality and impurity and ultimately rebellion against God.
Lot’s wife is said to have looked back and commentators say – longingly back at her old life. At the ways of the world. It cost her her life. God was raining down sulphur on the 5 cities and getting out and away was the only option
One source says
Whatever happened to Lot's wife seemed to freeze her in her tracks. She was possibly covered with a sulfurous explosion which included a great quantity of salt. A sulphurous rain of salt and molten sulphur which covered her and froze her in her tracks, leaving a statue of salt behind.