I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but approximately 64 million people have left the institution of religion. An exciting 1 million continue to leave every year. We shouldn’t be surprised at the mass exodus we’re seeing today. God has called His people out before. He spoke to his people asking them to leave their current living conditions and go. They left Egypt so they could go to the promised land. The great exodus of the Lord’s people, with the parting of the Red Sea. Then many years later they were asked to leave Babylonian Exile. They were to return to the promised land and rebuild the temple.
In both cases God’s people weren’t where they were supposed to be. They weren’t in the environment He created for them. The environment that would allow them to become fully who they were meant to be in Christ.
God is moving His people again, today, like we’ve seen in Exodus past. What a glorious time to be in when He’s doing it again but on a larger scale. God wanted a people for Himself, a tribe, a holy nation where He was their only source, their king, and He still does.
Let’s learn from our Hebrew brothers and sisters in the past while we’re experiencing this current exodus. They got caught up with their own needs,
discomfort of the wilderness
unmet expectations – “manna again”
harder than they imagined
grumbled and complained
They couldn’t see beyond themselves on to what God wanted. This blinded them to what God was trying to accomplish. He was taking them somewhere… for His purpose. He still has a purpose, and it’s an Eternal Purpose wrapped up and centered in Christ.
They wandered the wilderness longer than God had originally intended: Because they did not know how to ask the One Question.
It’s the same problem that plagues some of His people in the exodus today.
The One Question
God is awakening instincts within us that are calling and leading us out unto him. These elementary instincts can feel like
-longing for community
-urging to be useful vessels,
-yearning to have a place where we can know and express Him.
These are His desires awakening within us. These urges are there to propel His people forward into His Eternal purpose, who is Christ in the Church.
We get tripped up
The temptation is to fulfill these longings with the baggage of “what you’ve always known”, “I already know this” or “the right way to be the church”. There is only one way to do church and that is God’s way in Christ.
Qadash is the Hebrew word which means to be set apart, consecrated. Before crossing the Jordan, Joshua asked the Israelites to:
“consecrate yourselves, set yourselves apart, prepare yourselves.”
Hear our brother Joshua asking us to do the same thing today. Get Ready!
The Ark had to cross over first when crossing the Jordan; the Ark was the living presence of the Lord. It was a physical thing they could see with their eyes; that the Living God was among and with His people. Referring to the Ark, Joshua said to them,
“By this you shall know that the living God is among you…”
The living reality of the Ark for us today is Christ. Emmanuel- God with us in the person of Jesus Christ. We, too, have the living person of Chris,t in the form of the Spirit, within us leading and guiding us as one people, one nation, one body.
There is forgotten, latent instincts in God’s people today
One thing that sets us apart, that consecrates us, as his people
The Ark had to cross before Israel could cross, this shows us God comes first then man follows. He is the Head, we are the body. Where the head goes the body follows.
What sets us apart as His people is we let God cross first. We let Him be the head of His church, the body.
We do this by asking ONE question…
Lord, What do YOU want?
And we ask this question together as His people, His holy nation.
We’re set apart because we’re consumed with this one question. We’re consumed with God getting His way.
What do you want?
By asking this one question
We let Him be our purpose, our source, our king, our everything.
We let Him guide and rule us.
We become a people who lay down our way of doing things so He can have His way.
Then we wait, wait to hear Him, and we do this together. It’s always and forever a together thing. We need to relearn this instinct, because we have forgotten who we are.
We are a consecrated, set apart, hallowed people for God alone.
This is possible because all of God’s people are in Christ. Christ is the one who is consecrated, set apart, and hallowed. What Christ is, we are too, because Christ is in the Church. The church is only the church because Christ is in Her.
When we do this, we begin to see a God who is beyond our wildest imagination. He fills every one of our longings with Himself. It’s an exhilarating experience to allow the Lord of All Creation to run the show. It’s worth letting go of everything.
The best place to start is to let go of our ideas of what we think we want when it comes to church, what we think this should be. He will guide us and show us His purpose for the church just like the Ark guided them in crossing the Jordan on into the promised land.
Let’s be different, set apart. Let’s start asking a new question – the One Question: Lord, what do You want?