Summary: The nest is comfortable. It is safe, warm, secure and only for a season. You can’t stay in the nest forever. If you stay there too long, then it is no longer an incubator, but a coffin!
Text: Deut. 32:11
"Like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions.” NIV
“He was like an eagle hovering over its nest, overshadowing its young, Then spreading its wings, lifting them into the air, teaching them to fly.” Message
I want to read to you a portion of Scripture that is oft quoted. It is part of Moses’ last song before he is taken by God. This one statement gives us a glimpse of how God deals with His people! How He deals with us! He rouses his young. He waketh up his nest.
It is a safe place. Warm. Cozy. Secure. Comfortable. The boundaries are marked - defined by the outside edges of their living quarters. It is their home. It is their world. It is all they know. It is all they care to know. It is their nest. Food is found here. Camaraderie is found here. Peace is found here. Every need is met. Every desire accommodated. It is their place!
And yet, the day comes that the mother hen or the momma eagle, as referenced in the text, does the unthinkable. She stirs up her nest. What was a comfortable place now becomes a prickly, sticky, sharp, pointed, untenable enclosure. She forces the maturing chicks to the edge. No longer safe. No longer cozy and secure. No longer comfortable. They want to stay there, but she won’t allow it to happen because she knows that for their own good she must push them to the edge. She knows that they are born to fly and soar. She knows they are destined to explore. If she doesn’t do her job and “out” them the nest will become a prison. The nest will no longer be an incubator, but will become a coffin! The day has come that they are pushed out for their own sake and for their own good!
We like things to be safe. We like things to be warm. Cozy is our compass. Security is our standard. Much like chicks in the barnyard we want to remain in our cocoon of comfort and we refuse to venture to the edge. Church is our nest. It is our defining boundary. We huddle together for warmth and protection. We fight venturing out to the world around us. We allow the nest to become a coffin!
According to Deuteronomy God stirs His nest! God must have a split personality or something because in one instance we are told that God wants to gather us under His wings like a mother hen gathers her chicks. He wants to protect us, love us, and comfort us. But then in Deuteronomy, we get another glimpse of God; we are told that He wants to force us to move beyond the enclosure! He wants to out us!
What does outed mean? If someone outs you they expose you for who you really are. They tell on you. They pull back the covers and let others get a glimpse of the real you. They pull off your mask. They force you to face the truth!
I probably need to warn you that I am going to out you today! But before I out you I need to out me!
I am comfortable in here! I know how to do this. I know how to do church. I feel safe here. The people I love are here so there is often no sense of urgency to go outside these walls. I often see outreach as a duty (what we are supposed to do to be considered a “real” church) rather than an incredible opportunity. Church, if I am honest, on many days has become about me! Did I get my needs met? Did I get my spiritual fix? Did I get my praise fix? Did I get my goose bumps? Did I get to use my gift and did I use it well? I am in the nest. I like the nest. I want to stay in the nest.
I have wrestled with the messages I am preaching during this series because they are some of the most uncomfortable I will ever preach. And because if I am not careful, I will employ every trick I have ever learned to listen, but not actually apply them to my own life! I am outed this morning!
As an eagle stirs up its nest! You must be outed too! We need to be awakened. I hope you become uncomfortable right now.
When I realize that 99.5% of you will never lead one person to Christ it tells me that you are too comfortable in the nest!
When I realize that the average church in the USA spends $250,000 a year and only wins one person to Christ then the nest has become a coffin!