Monday, July 19, 2010
The God of Reversals
Ever felt like you're up against a modern day Goliath?
Yesterday, Dave spoke at a tiny little church in Muskegon - a new church that in it's short history has already experienced a split. In addition to their worn congregation (splits rarely energize), our core team for the church plant was also in attendance. Two churches coming together to worship One God.
And the worship was sweet.
Dave preached from Psalm 107, charging both churches to boldly proclaim the steadfast and enduring love of God.
"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His lovingkindness (steadfast love) is everlasting. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary and gathered from the lands, from the east and from the west, and from the north and from the south." Psalm 107:2,3
The psalm goes on to describe four scenarios where man was completely lost and desperate, and God chose to reach into the middle of the crisis and save. This is the testimony of the church - if we don't proclaim the good news, then who will?
Near the end of his message, Dave said that "God is the God of reversals." I really liked that statement. That is a statement of hope. When all hope seems lost, Jesus can change everything. Whether you are a wanderer who is completely lost and alone, or a prisoner in shackles and in utter bondage to sin, or you find yourself in the midst of a raging storm that is completely out of your control, or in the pit of addiction and rebellion, Jesus can meet you there and change your life. He can give you hope and a future. He alone can defeat sin and addiction, and set you on a secure path.
But it doesn't stop at salvation. Life's storms continue to pop up and wear down, even after salvation. That's where the God of Reversals continues to show up in a big way. Not sure what I mean? Let me give you a few examples:
*Sarah longed for a child, and twenty-five years later (at 90 years old!), against all odds, God gives her one
*Joseph, despite being responsible and kind-hearted, finds himself in slavery, abandoned by his brothers, falsely accused and forgotten in prison, suddenly finds himself second in command in Egypt
*The Israelites, finally leave Egypt after watching the power of God unleashed on the Egyptians, only to find themselves hemmed in between a sea of Egyptian soldiers and a sea of water, only to have the water part and dry ground appear, making their path to safety an easy one and turning their salvation into death for the Egyptian soldiers
*David, a young shepherd, visits his brothers in battle, only to find himself face to face with a warrior giant, defending the name of God, and with one flick of his wrist, against all odds, he brings down the enemy
*Jonah, running from the will of God, finds himself in the belly of a fish, awaiting sure death by stomach acid and strangulation, only to be spewed back to life and obedience by God's grace
*Gideon, hiding in a threshing floor, overnight becomes a mighty warrior, leading a miniscule number of soldiers to battle the forces of Midian, only to find that he never has to raise a sword, only his voice for victory
*A young Jewish virgin is told she is pregnant with the Son of God
*Peter awakes in prison to find his chains lying beside him and an angel guiding him through the darkness to safety
*The disciples in a boat discover that in three small words, the Master can control nature
*A chosen race of dead corpses are brought back to life without a single credit to their name - all for His glory, all for His purposes, all by His blood, against all odds...
So, what Goliath are you facing this morning? May I remind you that God is the God of reversals, and odds mean nothing to Him. If you are called according to His purposes, then fasten your seat belt and watch Him change the unthinkable.
Remember how David's story ended? David didn't close his eyes, cross his fingers and pray to be saved. He used his God-given abilities that he perfected while responsibly watching a bunch of ignorant sheep, knowing all the while that God would be credited for the outcome. He knew Truth and acted upon it. He risked the well-being of his nation, truly went out on a limb, but boldly aligned with God, and God showed up in a big way.
So, here's my charge:
Be faithful in the small things.
Immerse yourself in the Truth.
And be prepared to give Him the glory when He does a mighty work in your midst.