Tuesday, March 1, 2016
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There are some cities I look forward to visiting when I get a chance in this country. San Diego, California is one of them. There's just a list of things I love to see and do when I'm there. I was thinking about a particular trip prior to the invention of cell phones. (Yes, there was life before cell phones.) I was looking forward to getting out to see the sights, I was going to visit the beach, eat at a favorite restaurant there, but the meetings I attended were back to back and this happens a lot. I mean, I couldn't get out of the hotel. I mean, I hardly even got to my room! I wasn't there to see sights; I know that. I was there for ministry work, so I'm okay.
When I did get a short break, I'd race to my room with barely enough time to freshen up, change clothes if I needed to before I raced back to the next thing that was scheduled. But, no matter how much of a hurry I was in there was one thing I did check on – that message light on the phone that sat on the night stand. If the red light was on, it meant someone had sent me a fax, a message, call from the office, or somebody maybe needed me. So no matter how fast I was running, I always looked for the message light, because the red light meant that there was a message I needed to get.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Checking For Messages – From Heaven!"
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Joshua 5:14. It's the night before the battle of Jericho and the great general, Joshua, is scouting the outskirts of the city, and he's encountered this awesome figure who's identified as the commander of the army of the Lord. Many Bible scholars believe this is probably the Son of God making one of His pre-Bethlehem visits. When Joshua asks whether this commander is for the Israelites or for the enemies, he says, "Neither, but as commander of the army of the Lord have I come." Then Joshua fell face down to the ground in reverence and asked him, "What message does my Lord have for His servant?" That's a great question.
Joshua gets personal orders that actually end up having an incredible effect. But the reason he gets the orders is because first he checks for a personal message. He's got an attitude of openness, of expectancy. He's looking for what God wants to say to him. You say, "Well, O.K. but I haven't had any heavenly commanders appear to me recently." Joshua didn't have the Bible. You do. He didn't have the church. You do.
Today the Lord addresses His people through the book He wrote and then as it is taught and celebrated, and as there is worship time together in His church. Often we open up the Bible and it just feels like nothing's happening. You go to church, you go to a Christian meeting – not much. Well, the first thing you need to do is go in with this attitude that says "I'm checking to see if there's a message here for me. I'm assuming there's going to be a message here for me. "Lord what message do You have for your servant?" That's the attitude that we should always come to God with. "What's the message, Lord?"
We go to church looking for God to say something to us through the sermon, through a hymn, through a prayer, through the comment of another believer in the hallway. Not sitting there criticizing the sermon, you know, grading like Olympic judges how well the choir did, how good is the music. We're looking for a message from God somewhere.
When you put your Bible in your lap to read it, say, "Lord, I'm not just going through an exercise here to check the box and say I did my Bible reading. I want to leave Your book with more of You than I came with. Give me a message from You." You go expectantly, you go curiously, and you go hungrily.
When you're fellowshipping with other believers, listen for a message from your Lord. Jesus is always in His Word. He also speaks as you're involved in His church. If you come away with no message, it's probably because you didn't go looking for one. Don't ever be too busy to check your message light. God turns it on often. He's got so much He wants to tell you.
Whenever you're around God's book, God's meetings, or God's people, check for messages!