Traveling Through Transitions

Traveling Through Transitions 

Follow Me 

Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – Oct. 11th, 2020

Intro:

  • Series overview: Follow Me – Abraham/What do you see? The Twelve Spies/Crossing Over – Stones of Remembrance. 
  • Merger and any major transition . . . it is critical that we seek God, seek counsel, and seek the truth about ourselves, and our situation. Once we know what we are to do, it is important to see it through. These are both two difficult stages: clarity and completion. 
  • This morning we are turning to the opening pages of Genesis to follow the story of a clear command God gave to His people. We will see where and why they failed to complete the command, and then look to Abraham: what it took and what he gained in complying and completing the command of God. 
  • From this message this morning, I want you to learn the difference between those who fail and those who succeed in times of transition so that you will choose to make the choices that will see you to the promise land.  

We are given a command

  • After creating the heavens and the earth God blessed humans and told us to: 

Gen 1:28 NIV 

be fruitful and increase in number.  Fill the earth and subdue it. 

  • This was His original command. And our ancestors became corrupt because of sin and used our power to do what we thought was best. God wiped the planet clean in a great flood and started over with a man name Noah and his family. 
  • Once Noah and his family came out the Ark, God repeated the same command to Noah: 

Gen. 9:7 NIV 

As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it. 

  • Noah and his sons obeyed the command of God and pushed forward to fill the earth. In the passing of time, they came up with their own plan and decided to go their own way. This is what we read from Gen. 11:

We go our own way

Gen 11:1-4 NIV

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. 

3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” 

  • Instead of making footprints we make monuments
  • His direction is to go out; our direction is to go up   
  • This is the real battle of our souls: choosing to follow our will or choosing to follow the will of God.The battle of who is Lord. 
  • Transitions are difficult. Sometimes God’s will is difficult. It requires us to do things that we would rather not do. In times like this, are we going to trust that His plan is better than ours? Every time I followed my own plan it has not turned out the way that I had hoped.
  • After we know what we are to do, our first and primary obstacle to overcome is our own hearts. Are we willing to trust God and follow His lead, or do we want to resist Him and do our own thing?  

Gen 11:5-9 NIV 

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” 

8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel — because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth

  • Sometimes God has to shatter us to scatter us. (Great commission, Acts, persecutions, war.) 
  • The sovereign plan of God will be accomplished either through us or in spite of us. His plan will go forward.  
  • Gen. 11 continues the story of humanity through the line of Shem (one of Noah’s sons). In listing the genealogy, it flows down to a guy named Terah who is the father for Abraham.  

We are prone to settle

Gen 11:31-32

Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.  32 Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran. 

  • Settle down, settle in, settle for (The first people and Abraham’s dad, Terah, were no different).
  • Easier, safer and more comfortable – the Lay-z-boy is not the bestselling chair in America for no reason. 
  • “The good thing about living in the land of the familiar is that it is comfortable, predictable and easy going. The bad thing about living in the land of the familiar is that it is comfortable, predictable and easy going.”
  • We have to overcome our tendency to settle in for what is comfortable and familiar at the expense of what God is directing us to do. 

We must keep moving forward

Gen 12:1-5

The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”

4 So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. 5 He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his wealth—his livestock and all the people he had taken into his household at Haran—and headed for the land of Canaan.

  • To move forward, you must leave something and leave someone . . .  
    • We will never receive the full blessing of the Lord if we can’t see past our no’s
    • God wants us to continue to move from the land of the familiar into the land of His promise
  • To move forward, you must trust there is something better and someone more . . . 
    • God will make you into something more 
    • God will show himself in ways you have never seen before
    • God will give you more people to influence and bless 
  • To move forward, you must believe that it is never too late to move forward . . .
    • Abram was 75-year-old
  • Abram moved out at the command of the Lord and in so doing, became the father of the faith and the father of the faithful. 
  • Remember, with every promise there is a process. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it. 
    • He was tested many times (with the birth and sacrifice of his son, etc.) 
    • And in the process, you will become more than you are now.  

Gen 17:4-5

Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram (high father), but your name shall be Abraham (father of a multitude), for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 

  • If you trust Him, and if you follow Him, He will take what is in you and make it more.  
  • Before we conclude with communion, I want to read for you a moving prayer of an anonymous confederate soldier

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;

I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for help that I might do greater things; 

I was given infirmity, that I might do better things. 

I asked for riches, that I might be happy;

I was given poverty that I might be wise.

I asked for power that I might have the praise of men; 

I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy my life;

I was given life that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I had hoped for. 

I am among men, most richly blessed. 

  • Trust yourself to the will of God. He is for you and not against you and the results of His plan are far better than we ask. 

Conclusion and Consideration 

  • God’s first command was to fill the earth with our presence.
  • God’s second command was to fill the earth with His presence. 
  • Our prayers must change from “God keep us safe” to “God make us Dangerous.”
  • Are you making monuments or making footprints with your life right now?
  • What are the areas where you have “settled” in your life?
  • What are you going to do now to “keep moving forward”?

Communion 

  • Jesus always did the will of His Father, even when it was difficult and cost Him everything. He completed the mission that God had given Him trusting Himself to the will of the Father, and His plan. Through Christ’s obedience, God better plan was accomplished, the world had a means of salvation, Christ was honored, and God was and will be enjoyed and glorify for eternity.