Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘CHANGE’

SPRING BREAKTHROUGH #3AM  –   WHY SIT HERE UNTIL WE DIE?spring breakthrough 2

In my back yard I have a paved area. Sometimes weeds grow in between the paving stones. When I looked at my paving this week it seemed as though they grew up overnight, but in reality I didn’t notice them growing over the last few weeks. Isn’t it true that sometimes undesirable things creep ever so slowly up around us and it’s not until something jolts us that we realise that things have changed and we must take action to remedy the situation?

Let’s take a look at this interesting story in the Old Testament.

READ 2 Kings 6:24-25 & 7:3-9

2Ki 6:24  Afterward Ben-hadad king of Syria mustered his entire army and went up and besieged Samaria.

2Ki 6:25  And there was a great famine in Samaria, as they besieged it, until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove’s dung for five shekels of silver.

 

2Ki 7:3  Now there were four men who were lepers at the entrance to the gate. And they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die?

2Ki 7:4  If we say, ‘Let us enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. So now come, let us go over to the camp of the Syrians. If they spare our lives we shall live, and if they kill us we shall but die.”

2Ki 7:5  So they arose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians. But when they came to the edge of the camp of the Syrians, behold, there was no one there.

2Ki 7:6  For the Lord had made the army of the Syrians hear the sound of chariots and of horses, the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, “Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt to come against us.”

2Ki 7:7  So they fled away in the twilight and abandoned their tents, their horses, and their donkeys, leaving the camp as it was, and fled for their lives.

2Ki 7:8  And when these lepers came to the edge of the camp, they went into a tent and ate and drank, and they carried off silver and gold and clothing and went and hid them. Then they came back and entered another tent and carried off things from it and went and hid them.

2Ki 7:9  Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come; let us go and tell the king’s household.” (ESV)

HERE’S THE BACKGROUND

The King of Syria besieges Samaria resulting in famine.

A donkey’s head sells for 80 shekels of silver and Dove’s dung (Could be translated a bowl of greens) for 5 shekels of silver.

Each day got worse as the famine continued.

At first people looked out and saw the enemy surrounding them, and wondered what would happen. Gradually things began to change. Prices started going up. Pressure started to mount. People began to get short with one another. Finally they were fighting over tiny amounts of food.

People got used to having less. At times over the next few moths life took on a form of normality – This is how it is now. The new normal.

IS THIS HOW IT IS FOR YOU IN YOUR LIFE NOW?

Have you grown used to not having all that God has promised to you? Do you live in a place of lack that you have come to call normal? What’s your situation? Do you have sickness that won’t go away? Financial Constrictions that you have put up with now for too long – That’s just the way it is…

What about those broken relationships that you’ve tried to fix over and over all to no avail. What about reaching that loved one with the gospel, you know, the one you have shared with over and over again.

Look outside the walls, the enemy is still waiting there.

When I look at our church – I see we need a Spring Breakthrough. The vision is clear, it’s 500 in 5 years. That’s the breakthrough. To accomplish that we need to see more people coming, more visitors, more people being saved, more life change, more finance pouring in. The enemy wants to besiege you and this church.

He wants to stop the supplies getting in or out. We can get used to seeing what we see now and it becomes the new normal. But God has so much more for us.

Like the 4 lepers, we must take action. The 4 lepers were 4 people robbed of life. Living in less than what God had for them.

At least they were at the city gate. They could see God’s people coming and going. And they can see the enemy. They had awareness and they had perspective. These were possibly the 4 most unlikely men to deliver the city from the enemy.

They make a great statement: Why should we sit here until we die?

Why should we just sit here in the midst of a problem and do nothing. If we sit here we die, if we go inside the city we die (of starvation), if we go down to the enemy camp then they may give us food or if they kill us we will only die.

Look at this wisdom in the 4 leprous men.

  1. They realised the gravity of the situation
  2. They decided to do something to change
  3. They faced their fears and took action.
  4. God took over and did the rest.

Here’s a great example of that this week – let me read out this testimony from Carol one of our members who lives in Flowerdale:

“I had to ring my Dad as he’s going in to hospital today and so many times he is not interested in God or religion – it’s for those who need it or he tells me some jokes about Jesus or religion that are downright offensive and not really funny at all. So I was reluctant to bring it up again having been met with so many knock backs and “no” answers but something kept pressing on me… The conversation went like this.

After an hour of talking and feeling that pressing need to ask but not wanting to hear a negative “So before I say goodbye Dad, have you thought about giving your heart to Jesus” – “Yes”
I shook the phone and tapped it to make sure it was receiving the signal right. “Would you like to give your heart to Jesus now?” – “Yes”
So he did hear me! And that’s 2 yes’s.
“I have this thing to read out to you and you repeat it after me word for word and you give yourself to Jesus” – “Yes”.
That was 3 yes’s and what’s more, when I had been tidying up on Saturday, I found the card, left over from John Mellor’s visit, with the words to give your heart to Jesus on it and put it over our Bible so I knew where to find it. God knew that I would need it.
Dad repeated the words after me and gave his heart to Jesus right there and then. Wow, what a breakthrough and I wasn’t even thinking of Dad when we were praying. And what’s more, If I hadn’t of asked him if he wanted to give his heart to Jesus, we would have just said our goodbyes and missed the opportunity but as I say, I kept feeling pressed to ask that whole one hour conversation and wanted to put it off but kept being pressed.”

Spring Breakthrough is about you breaking through personally, and it’s about the church breaking through too. Do you have an appetite for change?

Why sit here till we die?

Have you put up with the new normal? The enemy wants to close you down, and shut down the church vision too. We are at the gate, it’s the place of perspective, we see what’s going on, what will you do to bring change?

Will you face your fears and take action. Here’s what I’m doing…

I’m fasting 2 or 3 days every week in spring. I’m finding new times to pray and seek God, I’m reassessing all that I do to chuck out activity that is not producing; I’m reaching out to people and inviting more than ever.

What will you do to create change and give God something to work with?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. What three things have you decided that you want to believe God to do for you this Spring?
  2. What changes will you make to your normal routine to give God something to work with?
  3. What price would you pay for change? For example, fasting? Give up some time wasting activity? Leave unhealthy relationships that pull you down?
  4. Write down your three goals. Read them every morning and night. Now find a picture that illustrates them if possible. And look at them every morning and night.
  5. How will you hold yourself accountable for change?

Read Full Post »