Summary: We must make a decision whether or not we will surrender our lives to Jesus Christ or continue to try to find meaning on our own.
The Day of Decision
Today is the day that we celebrate nine years of ministry together. I can remember like yesterday arriving at Britton Christian Church and being welcomed by many of you who are still here nine years later. As the years have passed we have seen so many people come into the fellowship of the Body of Christ here at Britton Christian Church. We have shared in the funerals of many godly men and women who have led our church in years past. We have seen some people come into the church and bless us with their many gifts only to be led by God to move on to some other city or some other church. We have seen much take place during the past nine years and I have to tell you that I have been tremendously blessed by serving as your pastor and friend.
As we begin our tenth year of ministry together God has impressed upon my heart how crucial these days are that we are experiencing right now. We know where we have come from during the past nine years. It is very apparent to anyone who has been here any length of time that God is moving in a powerful way in our midst as He continues to lead people to this little, out-of-the-way church. We have seen God move in the past, we are experiencing an outpouring of His Spirit in the present, but still the question has to be asked, "Where are we going? What does the future hold for us as a church?" Today is the day of decision! Where are we going?
We are not the first people whom God has confronted with this important question. I can imagine the Israelites walking through the wilderness all of those years feeling misguided, misinformed, and mistaken about God's promise of going to the Promised Land. They had seen God work in the past. After all, it was God who freed them from the oppressive hand of Pharaoh. They had witnessed His mighty hand of deliverance, His hand of sustenance fed them through the desert years, and His hand of blessing promised them a land flowing with milk and honey. They had witnessed God's faithfulness in the past, but they were yet to see all of His promises fulfilled.
Moses had been the leader of the Israelites from they day they walked out on their jobs and began to walk into the promised destiny of God. They had looked to him during difficult days and Moses had been a real source of comfort for the people. The day came when Moses' leadership was nearing an end and a new kid on the block was raised up by God to take on the mantle of leadership.
The mantle was passed on to a young man named Joshua. By the time the Israelites prepared to walk into the land promised by God, Joshua was one of only two people still living who had been allowed by God to see the Promised Land. The other men who had seen the Promised Land had allowed their eyes to be clouded by the giants in the land so that they could not see the prosperity and blessing that flowed through every valley; the glory and grandeur that rested atop every mountain; and the peace and contentment that swept through the trees like a refreshing Spring breeze. Because of their clouded eyes they spread bad rumors among the people, rumors that stirred chaos and brought about fear and despair. The entire generation except for Joshua and Caleb were not allowed to enter the Promised Land because of their lack of faith, their lack of trust in Almighty God. They wanted to go back "home" - home to slavery, oppression, and the watchful eye of Pharaoh's henchmen.
The vision of the great and glorious land had been burned into Joshua's heart and mind long ago and he was not about to turn around. God had called him to lead the people in taking the Promised Land and he was eager to settle down in the land flowing with milk and honey. God knew that it was a difficult task, a daring task, but He also knew that if Joshua and the Israelites would be strong and courageous they would enjoy the fruits of their labor.
The people who missed out on God's best for them - the Promised Land - were people who saw the perils and not the possibilities. They were filled with anxiety and not anticipation. They saw giants - Joshua heard God!
There have been people throughout history who were paralyzed by the potential perils and never tasted of the great possibilities of God. Then there have been those who realized the insurmountable odds they faced, but they knew they were destined for more than what they were presently experiencing. People who knew God was calling them to make it over the hurdles of their lives.