God & His People
Bible Text: Joshua 6:1 | Speaker: Parkey Cobern | Series: Standalone Sermons | Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in. /// Joshua 6:1
When one reads the Bible, it is easy to see that life is much more fundamental than complex. Oh, the systems of life are complex but the basic driving force of life remains the same. The Bible tells a story that is still unfolding of God’s relationship with His people. As a matter of fact, history is full of tales of sorrow, victory, compassion, and defeat but the isolated tales are a part of the ongoing story of God and His people. The last few weeks have been surreal. There have been days that have seemed like we’re just waiting to “wake up” from this dream we’ve been in. Coronavirus, another tale in the story of humanity, has interrupted what many believed could not be stopped – the agenda and economy of the world. But, if the truth be told, Corona was an agent that simply played a role in the story of God and His people. God has used many agents down through history in His dealings with His people: the flood of Noah – the nation of Egypt and the ten plagues – the conquest of the Promised Land – the decrees of Cyrus, king of Persia – the nation of Rome and its tool of cruelty: crucifixion – the insane nature of Hitler – the Balfour Declaration and the rebirth of a nation.
Although these agents are historic and we learn about them at length, the motivating force behind it all is the love of God for His people and His relationship with them. Just as in the story of Joshua and Jericho, the city of Jericho was securely shut up because of the presence of God’s people. It seems that what is happening today with the arrival of Corona has more to do with the relationship between God and His people than it does with biological science. God has basically shut down the idols of society to send a message to His people. Since we are speaking of messages, let’s first answer the question: How does God speak to His people?
Through His Word – Logos and Rhema
Through someone in the Body of Christ
Ladies and gentlemen, we are at number three on the list. We have the Bible available to us which tells us that Jesus should be first in life and is serious about saving people. But since His Word has been drowned in a pool of a lukewarm faith, God has moved to number two. Many pastors and prophets have been sounding the call to put the kingdom first. We listen to their sermons, say how much we enjoyed the Word and go home to filter out what hasn’t fit with our agenda. So now, we are at door number three: circumstances.
While this circumstance is staggering to our national economy and society, it is rather mild in its nature. Things are bad but could be a lot worse. This is the downplaying of hard times many are experiencing, just stating the obvious when compared with biblical history. Should it surprise us that God would deal with His own before He deals with a world that rejects Him?
For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? /// 1 Peter 4:17
We believe the Spirit is telling us that this isn’t about the judgment of a sinful world but a straying church. We must return to our first love so that we are not dragged down the drain of deception along with the Laodicean church. The relationship between God and His people is the key to everything. Remember the words that we so often quote in the church:
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. /// 2 Chronicles 7:14
God’s people are at the center of societal change. We have large churches all over America and churches on every corner. Now, God is visiting them like He did the churches in Revelation. Let’s pray that Capstone will be standing at the end of His time of visitation. Let’s take nothing for granted. The good news is that if you ever doubted the power of God and His control over the works of man and Satan, be encouraged! God is displaying His control right now. Satan’s puny attempts at control are nothing compared to the power of our God! The voice of God is speaking to us corporately and individually. Revival starts in your heart. If you revive, you are alive. If you resist, you will cease to exist as His people and will find yourself facing the judgment of an unbelieving world.
The good news? Jesus is visiting us! Let’s respond and give ourselves totally to His purpose for us and our world.
1 Peter 4:17
2 Chronicles 7:14
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