Summary: This message is a celebration and refocusing message for my congregation as we enter into our new sanctuary.
We Have Come Too Far To Turn Back Now
Scripture: Hebrews 11:13-16
My message this morning is a simple one and it is titled: “We’ve Come Too Far To Turn Back Now.” Last week Jackie told us that we must look forward and that we cannot look back on where we were. Her statement has stayed in my spirit because it is the absolute truth. Someone else told me this week that it matters how we come in here and it does. We must come with the right understanding and the right attitude. We must understand that God sent us here and our attitude should be one of service. We must move forward without looking back – except for the memories. We have all experienced times when we have left one place to go to another place. Whether that was to move to another city; purchasing a new home; or just leaving your home to go out to the store and we have all experienced what happens when you depart from one place and you end up at another place. The journey from the starting place to the destination place can be hard but if you stay the course (especially if you’re driving and using a GPS device) you will arrive at your destination. This morning I want you to know that we have arrived at our first destination; God continues to be our GPS; and we have come too far to turn back now.
My Scriptural reference for this message comes from Hebrews 11:13-16 and I will be reading from the NAS version of the Bible. It read as follows: “All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.”
I. The Opportunity To Look Back
I want to share a personal example with you before we examine more fully the Scripture we just read. In 1989 I went to work for a pharmaceutical company shortly after being discharged from the Air Force. This company was not the first company of my choice, but I needed a job so I jumped at the opportunity. After working for that company for three years I received a phone call from my first choice company – the one I really wanted to work for. After going through all of the negotiations, they offered me $100 less than what I was currently making. Although this was a shock to my ego I truly believed that this is where God wanted me to be so I resigned from my job to take the new one. When my manager came and checked me out, he asked me why I was leaving and I told him that I thought I would have better opportunities at the new job. He told it was his plans to eventually help me get into management but it was too late and I left and went to my new company.
I wish that was the end of the story but alas it is not. Three weeks after I was with my new company, I received a phone call from my former partner at my old company. He said that there was a manager position open and my former director wanted to know if I was interested. I called a friend to check on it and the friend told me not to look back but continue forward with my new company. Well the opportunity sounded too good for me not to check into it. Even though I believed that God had led me to my new job, I kept looking back and asking “what if” instead of closing that door and focusing on my new opportunity. I decided that I would check into it so I called the director. He told me that yes there was an opening, however, they only hired manager from with in and I was no longer “with in” meaning that I was not eligible for consideration. The director had never really considered me for the position he just wanted to rub it in my face of what I could have had if I had stayed with them. My point is this, I knew what God had given me and yet I kept looking backward and almost walked away from what God had given me.