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Are You Willing To Go? Sermon Only Caleb Baker June 12, 2022

Are You Willing To Go? Sermon Only
Caleb Baker June 12, 2022

Are You Willing To Go? Full Service Caleb Baker June 12, 2022

Are You Willing To Go? Full Service
Caleb Baker June 12, 2022

Well, good morning and welcome to central. If you're here with me or wherever you're watching from, so glad to be with you today, if you have a Bible where you turn to Genesis chapter 12, Genesis chapter 12, uh, Genesis is the first book in the Bible. Easy enough to find we're starting a new series today that we're, that we're gonna spend all summer working our way through. And I'm so excited to, uh, kick it off for us. So as you're turning to Genesis 12, let. Pray and ask that God would speak to us and then we'll jump in God, thank you for this time. Now that we have together to open up your word Lord, and we just asked that by the power of your spirit, by the power of your word, as we believe that it's alive, that it's active, that it has a new word for us today, even though it's thousands of years old, we believe that it has a new word for us today. So I asked that you'll do that. God, that you'll. Get the distractions outta the way that you'll, uh, speak clearly to us. Now we're so thankful for your generosity. We're thankful that you, uh, have designed us for relationship with you. And so meet us here in this place, as we try to learn and try to get closer to you. It's in Jesus's name that we pray and everybody said, amen. I wanna show you a picture of a 1967 Chevrolet Impala. Look at this car. Just a majestic vehicle. Uh, honestly, I don't even know if this is a 1967 Impala. That's what Google said. I don't know anything about cars and it doesn't matter, cuz that has nothing to do with the message today. This next picture is an African Impala and this animal, this beautiful creature has everything to do with our message today. I don't know how much you know about the Impala, but these things are incredibly athletic. They can run up to 56 miles per hour, and they even know how to run in sort of a zigzag formation to avoid the predator that's chasing them. So they don't even run 56 miles an hour straight. They zigzag around. It's incredible. And Impalas can jump. Like I'm talking about really jump. They can jump up to 10 feet high. And if they're in like a full sprint and they take off for a leap, they can cover like 35 ish feet in one jump. I mean, just incredibly athletic. I love thinking about these animals, but today I don't wanna focus on what they can do, but rather what they can't do. See, it's been discovered that these African Impalas with all of their athleticism, with all their speed and leaping ability, they won't jump anywhere that they can't see where they're going to land. so, so they're so, so they're so limited by their unwillingness to jump. So if you go to the zoo and you see the Impala enclosure, you might notice that the fence doesn't need to be 10 feet high at all, because if the Impala can't see what's on the other side of the fence, they're unwilling. To jump, even though they could probably clear it. They, they were designed to be able to jump higher than that, but if they can't see where they're gonna land, they'll stay in their cage. And so I guess we're not technically talking about what the Impala can't do, but rather what it won't do. even though they were made to run and to jump into zigzag their way through the Southern planes of Africa, they are so profoundly limited by their unwillingness to jump. And, and so am I, and so are you, so are we. See each and every one of us have these incredible things that God has put in us individually and collectively God has made us to, to run and to jump and to usher in the kingdom of heaven and to our day and our age that we we're capable. We are designed to do such incredible things. but just like these animals, a lot of times, if we can't see where we're going to land, if we don't know the plan, we are so profoundly limited by our unwillingness to jump. In this entire summer, we're gonna look at stories of God working in people's lives on the go, as they're traveling, as they're on a journey. And we're gonna see that God continuously calls his people into mind blowing things that, that they couldn't do without God sending them and empowering them. And I hope and pray that we, as a church can learn. To trust God enough to jump. Even if we can't see where we're going to. Our first story today is the story of a guy named Abraham. You might know it. It's right there in Genesis 12. And this story, this calling that God gives to Abraham in a lot of ways, as, as followers of Jesus, this is where our story starts. We can trace our faith roots all the way back to this story that we're gonna read today. So let's jump in Genesis 12, starting in verse one says. the Lord had said to Abram, go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land. I will show you, I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you. I will make your name great. And you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you, I will curse and look at this last line. If you're reading with me and all people's on. God says to Abraham, we'll be blessed through you. So right away, we see the, the, I thought his name was Abraham, but they call him Abraham what's happening in Genesis 17. God changes his name from Abram to Abraham because Abraham means father of many nations. And God has a thing with names. I'm probably gonna call him Abraham the rest of our time today, just because it'll confuse me. Uh, but, but look at this blessing. Look at this purpose. Look at this job description that God gives to Abraham. He goes, I'm gonna make you into a great nation. I'm gonna bless you in ways that you couldn't possibly imagine at all, people's on earth will be blessed through you, Abraham. I mean, that's insane to think about, but I wanna show you something that we just read in these verses and, and it's not like a one off, this seems to be consistent with God's character. This seems to be the pattern that we see from God over and over and over again. And it's frustrating. If I'm honest, God gives the worst directions. And I'm not trying to get hit by lightning. God knows my heart, but like, like he gives the, these are the worst directions. Abraham, leave your country, leave your people, leave your father's household, leave everything that you know, and are all together familiar with and go leave it all behind and go. Abraham's like where , you know what I mean? Where are we going? And God's like, we're going to a new land. It's like, cool. How will I know if it's the right land, I will show you at a later date. it's like, what is happening? This is so frustrating, but I love how this verse is laid out. That God calls Abraham into this blind faith. In other words, he calls him to jump before he can see where he's going to land before all this blessing, before all this purpose, before all this greatness that God offers to Abraham first, he goes, but you gotta leave everything that, you know, in jump. But God, where, where am I jumping to? I'll show you later. I need you to trust me. I need you to put your faith in me. I need you to surrender your need and desire to know every turn of the directions. I need you to just trust me and jump. I'm doing something new. I'll show you where we're gonna go. And man, when we get there, I'm gonna bless you. You're gonna, you're gonna see things and do things and be a part of things that you couldn't even imagine, but you're gonna have to jump. And this is why in our culture, it's really hard to follow God because we are in the day and age of clear directions. We always know where we're going. And we need to know the plan. We need to know the steps, right? Where are we going? How long is it gonna take? Like how long, what, what stops are we gonna stop at? Is there an in and out at that X? I mean, we wanna know everything and our phones will even correct us. If the directions, if we take the wrong turn, we, we are never lost. Have you ever done that thing where you're driving somewhere? Like if I'm driving to California and there's that stretch of it where you feel like you're on like the dark side of the moon and you, your phone has no service, shout out T-Mobile but like your phone has no service and you, and then like you miss a stop and you're like, where's my rerouting. How did people survive 50 years ago? What are we doing right now? Right. Like we always know where we're going and this is what makes it hard is that God almost never works that. So in a day and age where we, we always know the directions, we always know every turn we're going to take. God almost always works by going. I'm gonna call you into incredible things, but you're gonna have to jump, even though you don't know where we're gonna land and we want the purpose, we want the meaning. We want our names to matter. We want to be a part of things that are incredible, but we're not willing to. All God could. Okay. I'm in, I'll do it, but could you just share your location, please? Just drop a pen. It's all good. Like, can you what's the itinerary? what kind of layover are we gonna like, we want to just, just gimme something, gimme a hint, give something. and, and we're missing out on so much of what God has for us, because we would rather stay in our comfortable little cages because at least we know the deal in here. At least we know the directions here. So all the things that God's calling us to jump, to leave everything that you know, and go, and we're like, man, I don't know. I don't know where we're going. I want you to know that God has those same desires for your life. You know, God wants you to be a part of powerful things, things full of purpose and meaning he's actually made you for it. He's designed us to be a part of changing the world, bringing in his kingdom. the catch though, is that those things, those eternal things, those things with incredible amounts of meaning and purpose are almost always on the other side of God saying, go with very little other detail or direction and it's frustrating. And if you're anything like me, then you're probably relating to those Impalas and that the fence that's holding us back, isn't actually tall enough to hold us, but we're just not willing to jump. If we're waiting on complete clarity from God about what is next in our lives or in our life as a church, we're probably just gonna stay in our comfortable little cages. But if we're willing to jump, if we're willing to trust that God didn't retire from doing world altering things when the Bible closed, but that he's still in the business of calling people, just like you and me, and to like things that we could not even imagine. If he's still in the business of going, Hey, I want to use you. I'm gonna use you in spite of you, but you're gonna have to trust me. You're gonna have to jump, even though it doesn't make that much sense, you're gonna have to put your faith in me at every step of the journey that God is still in the business of doing things like this in people like us. If we're willing to trust that his plans and his provision are actually better than our crystal clear Google maps directions. And we're gonna start to see some things in our midst that we couldn't imagine. Are we willing to jump verse four? So Abram gets this incredible calling from God. Verse four, Abram went as the Lord had told him and lot went with him. Abram was 75 years young. When he set out from Harran, he took his wife, Sarah, his nephew, lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran and they set out for the land of Canan and they arrived there. So Abram went, he didn't know where he was going. He didn't know how it was all gonna shake out. He didn't know what was ahead of him, except for God. And that was enough for Abraham. I mean, think of the song that we just sang. You are JIRA. You are enough. God, I can't see what's on the other side of that fence and I'm scared of it. And it's intimidating. And I'm just thinking about how I can't jump that high and how I've screwed up a lot and how I'm the wrong age and all these lists of disqualifiers. And I can't see what's on the other side of the fence, but if we wanna be like Abraham and put our faith and the fact that whatever's on the other side of that fence, I know that God's gonna be there cuz God loves me enough and he's big enough. And he's close enough to meet me on the other side of the fence, even though I'm scared of what that might look like. Like we waste so much time going. I don't know God, how, I mean, how high is the fence? Where are we going? Like, man, if God's gonna be there with us, if, if the same God that loves us enough to call us over the fence is good enough and big enough and close enough to do this jump with us. And what else do we have to be afraid of? What could go wrong if this type of God is the one that meets us on the other side of the fence, see when we're following Jesus, just because we don't have directions doesn't mean there aren't any Abram went. He trusted that if God was gonna be there, that was gonna be enough. And he was 75 years old when God called him 75 years old. Could I admit something to you in my youthful ignorance, please? Is this a safe place when I'm reading this story? I'm like God, 75 is too old to start a nation through someone. I think, but I'm just 30. I don't know that much, but like, that's just my hunch and please don't be offended by that. Like, as I'm reading through these verses, I'm like, man, all the way up to this point in your life, you've just been Abram. You've just been doing your thing and you and your wife are unable to have kids. And then at 75, God's like, I'm gonna, I'm gonna start a nation through you. Your name will be great. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you. And I'm like, man, if this was the plan, did you miss by a couple decades? What are you talking about? Like, do you think if Abram is a human, like we are that he was like, God, I think my best child rearing years are actually behind me. If you must know. Like he's 75 years old and all of a sudden, God has this incredible plan. He, he, there's another part of his story where he takes him out and shows him the stars in the sky and says more numerous than the stars in the sky. Your descendants will be. And Abram's like, I'm 75. My back hurts leave me alone, but God doesn't have the same fences that we do. God doesn't have the same limitations that we do. My, my Impala mindset is starting to creep back in and I'm thinking of all the ways this won't work. I'm thinking of all the reasons why surely God got it wrong. , this is just another three foot fence that we're too scared to jump over, even though it would be easy for us to clear it, even though God made us to be able to clear that fence and you can spend your whole life being the wrong age for whatever God is calling you into. There's a pastor from Oklahoma, Craig Rochelle. I was listening to a podcast and he was talking about this and he said, I spent my whole life hearing that I was too young for this or that. I wasn't ready. I wasn't mature enough. I wasn't old enough. And then all of a sudden I look up and I'm too old now. when was I the perfect age for this? What was the day? Th this is it. You were too young up to this point. Perfect. Whoops, you're too old. Like what, like, what was. The day. And, and, and I love that because all of us in here count ourselves out because we think we're either too young to step into this or that our glory days are behind us. And it just seems like from this story, that God doesn't really care about that limitation as much as we do that, no matter who you are in here, if you're 15 years old or 85 years old, that maybe your next 10 years are your best 10 years. And I know that sounds like Tony Robbins, like motivational stuff, go by my book. No, like this is Genesis 12. That's what it says. He was 75 years old when the story starts, this is when we start hearing about Abraham. And so regardless of how old you are or how too young or too old you think you are, or maybe that's not your limitation, maybe you're like, man, I'm not educated enough. I don't have the right degrees. I don't have the right resume. I don't have enough money. I don't have enough status. I'm not skinny enough or pretty enough or cool enough, or this enough, or that enough, I don't have enough invested. I don't have enough in my retirement, whatever disqualification you've given yourself. It seems like from Genesis 12, God's like, will you stop telling me what I can't do through you? Because I'm bigger than you being too old or too young. I'm bigger than your lack of resume. I'm bigger than all the ways that you've fallen short. I'm bigger than your receipt of mistakes and the bridges that you've burned. I'm actually big enough to make up the difference. Will you just jump and trust that I will meet you there? God, I'm 75. I know that I'm eternal and I'm young enough to do it. Let's go. I've been here forever, bro. Let's like, come on. I made you to jump. If Abraham's call teaches us anything, it's that God doesn't have the same limitations that we do. And so we we've talked about how we're limiting ourselves based on our need for clear direction. And we're limiting ourselves based on our limitations, our insecurities. See, we're just not focused enough on who God is. Like look back in this story. Look at who the focus is on in these verses. Look at who the responsibility is on to do incredible things. Genesis 12 one, go from your country, your people, your father's household to the land. I will show you. You're like, I don't know where we're going, guys. Like cool. I do. I'll show you once we get there, you don't need to know. Verse two, I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you. I will make your name great in a culture that is all about how we can make things great or keep things great, or try to use our own merit or skill or intellect to achieve greatness. God is going. The only greatness that you can achieve is when I give it to. You don't have anything within you to make anything great, or to keep anything great. The only greatness you can achieve, the only greatness I can achieve is when God goes, I will make your name great. I will provide, I will actually show up any greatness that we see that actually lasts, comes from a good God who can give it to us. Verse three, I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you, I will curse. God's going. I have your back. Why are you fighting so much? Why do you feel like you have to defend yourself so much? Why are you so worked up about anybody that disagrees? I will bless you. I'm in your corner, I'm fighting for you and I'm enough to make up the difference. Verse seven, we haven't even gotten there yet, but the Lord appeared to Abram and said, To your offspring. I will give this land, see the problem with all the times we tell God I can't, I'm not strong enough. I don't know the way I'm too old. I can't do that. I can't, I can't, I can't, God's going over and over and over again. I know that I will. God, I'm not strong enough. I know I am strong enough. God, I can't carry this anymore. I know that I will carry this. God, I don't have enough to provide in this way. I know I'm gonna give you enough to provide all of your, I can't statements based on how you are not good enough. If we'll just surrender those in worship. If we'll just offer those up and go, God, there's a bunch of things I can't do, but there's nothing you can't do. And not only can you, you say over and over again in your word that you will, you're not just capable. You're willing. You're not just powerful. You're close. You're close enough to make up the difference. God doesn't need us to be strong enough. God doesn't need us to know the directions. He knows the directions. And I think as a matter of fact, he doesn't want us to know the directions on purpose, cuz we would just screw it up. I have a three year old little girl and like sometimes we'll make the mistake by telling her plans too early. It'll be like Wednesday and we're like on Saturday, we're gonna go swim at grandma's house. And every 10 minutes, she's like, are we going to the pool? Like it's Wednesday, sweetheart. She has no idea what that means after a nap. Like she thinks she just takes naps. Like that's every, even when we put her to bed, she's like, I'm not ready for a nap yet. I'm like, this is a bedtime I hope this is a 10 hour nap. Right? Like have we gone to the pool? No, it's Nope. On Saturday we are like, and then me and my wife literally are like, we have to tell her like 30 minutes before we're in the car. And we're like this with God. If God told you what he's gonna do in you in the next 10 years, you would spend 10 years screwing it up. I would spend 10 years going, God, is it, are we there yet? Is it now just send me a sign, something in the clouds. Is it now? He's like, will you rely, I know where we're going. Will you just calm down? And we have all these excuses and these reasons why we are disqualified. I think God wants to tell you today. I created you just like I meant to, I didn't miss by 10 years, I didn't miss by, oh, you were actually supposed to be this gifted or this successful, or this much status I created you. Exactly. Like I meant to, and I'm calling you into forever type things. If you're willing to. Are we willing to surrender our I can't statements to put our trust in when God says I will, I will. I will. I will verse six, Abram traveled through the land. As far as the site of the great tree of Moura at she. At that time, the Canaanites were in the land. We'll get back to that in a minute. At that time, the Canaanites were in the land verse seven, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to your offspring, I will give this land. And so Abram built Anar there to the Lord who had appeared to him again with all of the reverence and respect that I can muster up in my heart. I read this story and I'm like, God, this was your plan. Leave everything that you know, and go to a new land and I'll show you once we get there. And once we get there, people are already there. Like was Abraham like the, what? there's a whole civilization here. God, what are you talking about? Leave everything, you know, to go to this brand new land where a bunch of people already live. You're like, how, what is happening? God, are you sure this is the right land? should we check map quest? Remember that 2007? What's up like, should we check the directions? Imagine if you were looking for a house and I was like, man, I found the perfect house for you. It's gonna be great for your family. Let's go see it. And you're like, where is it? I'll show you later hop in. And we, we get to the house and we're like, look, see, isn't it beautiful. It's a dream house. And we walk through the front door and I'm like, I can't wait for you to see the backyard. And there's just like a full blown family living. Like parents, kids at a dog peed on the rug. You know what I mean? Like wouldn't you pull me over to the corner and be like, just sorry, one second. Hey, what the heck is going on right now? People live here and this is what we do with God. We, we hear jump, go run. And we go where we want another directions. Then once we get there, we're like, God, how, how is this gonna work? How are you gonna do this? This seems impossible. This seems too big. We want to know directions. We want to know the plan. How is this gonna happen? And God, over and over again says, you gotta trust me. Leave that up to me. God, where are we going? We're going to make a nation. I'm gonna make your name great. All people on earth are gonna be blessed because of you. And Abraham's like, no, but like where though I'll show you later. people already live here. How's this gonna happen? God, what's our battle plan. What's our six month plan. What's our 12 month plan. And God's like, let me handle that part. You just trust me, you just build an altar in worship. You just lay your life down in surrender so that I can meet you in the midst of it. I love Abram's response in verse seven. He has to leave everything that he knows go like pick up his family, go travel to an unknown land. They get there. People already live there. I think for me, I'd be like, let's run it back. I guess we missed a stop. Abram's like, okay, I'm gonna worship. I'm gonna build Antar here. All Abram knows how to do is to rely on God when things don't make sense to. when he's left with no other answers and he's going, man, I have no idea how to make sense of any of this. His default, his instinct is to build an alter and worship. Not like me. I start doubting everything. Does God not care? Is God not real? Did he retire? Did he move on to another universe? Did I screw up too much? All of these things Abram's like, whew, well, this is gonna be tough. Anyway. Let's worship. God, God will make a way. I know my role in this. God says I will, I will, I will. My job is just to worship. All right, God, I trust you. I'm gonna surrender. I'm gonna give you my faith. God, I have no idea how this is gonna happen, but I'm gonna put my faith in you. If you hear one thing today, I hope that it's this. If we're willing to put our faith and a God. that is this good? That's this big, that's this close. We move from how to somehow. We move from how God, how is this possible? How is this ever gonna work to, I don't know, man, but somehow God's gonna provide because he always has. He is now and he always will. And if we can move from how to somehow, then we surrender our I can't statements. Into God will. And we move from worry into worship. We move away from all the ways that this won't work into all the ways that God could provide. We move away from all the things that I'm not good enough or big enough to do into all the things that God is big enough and good enough to do. If we can move from how God, how on earth are you gonna do this to man? I don't know the plan and I don't even know the directions, but somehow you've always been faithful and you're still gonna be faithful in my life the same now, as it was in Genesis 12. This is the type of God that we have, and you may not know the directions and once you get there, it might seem too scary to you. But over and over again, God's like, if you would just jump, I promise we're gonna do some incredible things together. If you'll just give up your need to know every turn. And if you'll give up your, your need to, to remind me of how 75 you are or how uneducated you are or how not popular you are, if you'll just give me all of that and stop asking how and stop telling me I can't, then you'll find out that somehow I can, you can move from worry to worship. God, how am I gonna get out of this debt? How, how is my marriage gonna recover from this? How am I gonna reconcile with my kids or with my siblings or with my friends? How are you gonna change my city? My neighborhood, my church. How, if we move from that? I don't know, but I know somehow God can and somehow God. Somehow God can transform this city. He's big enough. He's good enough. And he's close enough and we get to move from how to somehow I know the Canan Knight live there. I know it doesn't look good right now. I know it seems impossible to us with all of our own limitations. I know the news. I see it. I see how bad things are. Right. I've seen all the reports and the statistics and the data, the breaking news. I've seen it all. How can this ever be fixed? God? How are you ever gonna bring this back? I don't know how, but I believe that somehow God will. How am I supposed to raise kids in a time like this? I don't know, but I know somehow God will meet you. how am I supposed to be generous when everything is so freaking expensive right now? I, I don't know, but I know somehow God can provide, how are we supposed to make sense of the good news of Jesus when we live in such a bad news time? I don't know, but somehow the good news of Jesus by the power of the holy spirit will have the last word somehow. And I know there are so many things that we ask God for and it's taking so long, or it seems like it's never gonna happen. Or maybe you've asked and you just got a, a black and white. No, like he answered your prayer, but it was no, and we get defeated and we get overwhelmed and I don't know why and how, and when God chooses what he chooses. But what I can tell you for sure. 100%. is that God has created each and every one of us for an incredible purpose, just like Abraham and Genesis 12. And when he calls you to things, when this type of God calls you to things to, to go to trust, to jump, then some way somehow he will meet you. and he'll provide for you on the way. That's the type of guy that he is. And I don't think he's retired. I think he's still working. I think for us, he's just getting started and somehow he'll meet us in the midst of this somehow together. We can clear that fence. Are you willing to jump God? Thanks for our time today. Thanks for this truth. And I'm thankful for the way that you use broken, insecure, fearful people, just like me over and over again in your word that you don't call the a team. You don't call the best of the best you call people. Just like me who are broken and scared. And God. So I pray for all of us listening to this now, Lord, that you would give us the boldness, give us the faith, give us the perspective to be willing, to jump when you call us to, even if we can't see where we're gonna land, make us the type of people that say somehow, even when it seems impossible, somehow God's gonna move. I know all the things I can't do God, but we want to be aware of all the things you can. in all the ways that you will. We love you so much. Thanks for Jesus and the life that we get because of him. And it's in his name that we pray. Amen. Thanks guys.
✖ CLOSE

Well, good morning and welcome to central. If you're here with me or wherever you're watching from, so glad to be with you today, if you have a Bible where you turn to Genesis chapter 12, Genesis chapter 12, uh, Genesis is the first book in the Bible. Easy enough to find we're starting a new series today that we're, that we're gonna spend all summer working our way through. And I'm so excited to, uh, kick it off for us. So as you're turning to Genesis 12, let. Pray and ask that God would speak to us and then we'll jump in God, thank you for this time. Now that we have together to open up your word Lord, and we just asked that by the power of your spirit, by the power of your word, as we believe that it's alive, that it's active, that it has a new word for us today, even though it's thousands of years old, we believe that it has a new word for us today. So I asked that you'll do that. God, that you'll. Get the distractions outta the way that you'll, uh, speak clearly to us. Now we're so thankful for your generosity. We're thankful that you, uh, have designed us for relationship with you. And so meet us here in this place, as we try to learn and try to get closer to you. It's in Jesus's name that we pray and everybody said, amen. I wanna show you a picture of a 1967 Chevrolet Impala. Look at this car. Just a majestic vehicle. Uh, honestly, I don't even know if this is a 1967 Impala. That's what Google said. I don't know anything about cars and it doesn't matter, cuz that has nothing to do with the message today. This next picture is an African Impala and this animal, this beautiful creature has everything to do with our message today. I don't know how much you know about the Impala, but these things are incredibly athletic. They can run up to 56 miles per hour, and they even know how to run in sort of a zigzag formation to avoid the predator that's chasing them. So they don't even run 56 miles an hour straight. They zigzag around. It's incredible. And Impalas can jump. Like I'm talking about really jump. They can jump up to 10 feet high. And if they're in like a full sprint and they take off for a leap, they can cover like 35 ish feet in one jump. I mean, just incredibly athletic. I love thinking about these animals, but today I don't wanna focus on what they can do, but rather what they can't do. See, it's been discovered that these African Impalas with all of their athleticism, with all their speed and leaping ability, they won't jump anywhere that they can't see where they're going to land. so, so they're so, so they're so limited by their unwillingness to jump. So if you go to the zoo and you see the Impala enclosure, you might notice that the fence doesn't need to be 10 feet high at all, because if the Impala can't see what's on the other side of the fence, they're unwilling. To jump, even though they could probably clear it. They, they were designed to be able to jump higher than that, but if they can't see where they're gonna land, they'll stay in their cage. And so I guess we're not technically talking about what the Impala can't do, but rather what it won't do. even though they were made to run and to jump into zigzag their way through the Southern planes of Africa, they are so profoundly limited by their unwillingness to jump. And, and so am I, and so are you, so are we. See each and every one of us have these incredible things that God has put in us individually and collectively God has made us to, to run and to jump and to usher in the kingdom of heaven and to our day and our age that we we're capable. We are designed to do such incredible things. but just like these animals, a lot of times, if we can't see where we're going to land, if we don't know the plan, we are so profoundly limited by our unwillingness to jump. In this entire summer, we're gonna look at stories of God working in people's lives on the go, as they're traveling, as they're on a journey. And we're gonna see that God continuously calls his people into mind blowing things that, that they couldn't do without God sending them and empowering them. And I hope and pray that we, as a church can learn. To trust God enough to jump. Even if we can't see where we're going to. Our first story today is the story of a guy named Abraham. You might know it. It's right there in Genesis 12. And this story, this calling that God gives to Abraham in a lot of ways, as, as followers of Jesus, this is where our story starts. We can trace our faith roots all the way back to this story that we're gonna read today. So let's jump in Genesis 12, starting in verse one says. the Lord had said to Abram, go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land. I will show you, I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you. I will make your name great. And you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you, I will curse and look at this last line. If you're reading with me and all people's on. God says to Abraham, we'll be blessed through you. So right away, we see the, the, I thought his name was Abraham, but they call him Abraham what's happening in Genesis 17. God changes his name from Abram to Abraham because Abraham means father of many nations. And God has a thing with names. I'm probably gonna call him Abraham the rest of our time today, just because it'll confuse me. Uh, but, but look at this blessing. Look at this purpose. Look at this job description that God gives to Abraham. He goes, I'm gonna make you into a great nation. I'm gonna bless you in ways that you couldn't possibly imagine at all, people's on earth will be blessed through you, Abraham. I mean, that's insane to think about, but I wanna show you something that we just read in these verses and, and it's not like a one off, this seems to be consistent with God's character. This seems to be the pattern that we see from God over and over and over again. And it's frustrating. If I'm honest, God gives the worst directions. And I'm not trying to get hit by lightning. God knows my heart, but like, like he gives the, these are the worst directions. Abraham, leave your country, leave your people, leave your father's household, leave everything that you know, and are all together familiar with and go leave it all behind and go. Abraham's like where , you know what I mean? Where are we going? And God's like, we're going to a new land. It's like, cool. How will I know if it's the right land, I will show you at a later date. it's like, what is happening? This is so frustrating, but I love how this verse is laid out. That God calls Abraham into this blind faith. In other words, he calls him to jump before he can see where he's going to land before all this blessing, before all this purpose, before all this greatness that God offers to Abraham first, he goes, but you gotta leave everything that, you know, in jump. But God, where, where am I jumping to? I'll show you later. I need you to trust me. I need you to put your faith in me. I need you to surrender your need and desire to know every turn of the directions. I need you to just trust me and jump. I'm doing something new. I'll show you where we're gonna go. And man, when we get there, I'm gonna bless you. You're gonna, you're gonna see things and do things and be a part of things that you couldn't even imagine, but you're gonna have to jump. And this is why in our culture, it's really hard to follow God because we are in the day and age of clear directions. We always know where we're going. And we need to know the plan. We need to know the steps, right? Where are we going? How long is it gonna take? Like how long, what, what stops are we gonna stop at? Is there an in and out at that X? I mean, we wanna know everything and our phones will even correct us. If the directions, if we take the wrong turn, we, we are never lost. Have you ever done that thing where you're driving somewhere? Like if I'm driving to California and there's that stretch of it where you feel like you're on like the dark side of the moon and you, your phone has no service, shout out T-Mobile but like your phone has no service and you, and then like you miss a stop and you're like, where's my rerouting. How did people survive 50 years ago? What are we doing right now? Right. Like we always know where we're going and this is what makes it hard is that God almost never works that. So in a day and age where we, we always know the directions, we always know every turn we're going to take. God almost always works by going. I'm gonna call you into incredible things, but you're gonna have to jump, even though you don't know where we're gonna land and we want the purpose, we want the meaning. We want our names to matter. We want to be a part of things that are incredible, but we're not willing to. All God could. Okay. I'm in, I'll do it, but could you just share your location, please? Just drop a pen. It's all good. Like, can you what's the itinerary? what kind of layover are we gonna like, we want to just, just gimme something, gimme a hint, give something. and, and we're missing out on so much of what God has for us, because we would rather stay in our comfortable little cages because at least we know the deal in here. At least we know the directions here. So all the things that God's calling us to jump, to leave everything that you know, and go, and we're like, man, I don't know. I don't know where we're going. I want you to know that God has those same desires for your life. You know, God wants you to be a part of powerful things, things full of purpose and meaning he's actually made you for it. He's designed us to be a part of changing the world, bringing in his kingdom. the catch though, is that those things, those eternal things, those things with incredible amounts of meaning and purpose are almost always on the other side of God saying, go with very little other detail or direction and it's frustrating. And if you're anything like me, then you're probably relating to those Impalas and that the fence that's holding us back, isn't actually tall enough to hold us, but we're just not willing to jump. If we're waiting on complete clarity from God about what is next in our lives or in our life as a church, we're probably just gonna stay in our comfortable little cages. But if we're willing to jump, if we're willing to trust that God didn't retire from doing world altering things when the Bible closed, but that he's still in the business of calling people, just like you and me, and to like things that we could not even imagine. If he's still in the business of going, Hey, I want to use you. I'm gonna use you in spite of you, but you're gonna have to trust me. You're gonna have to jump, even though it doesn't make that much sense, you're gonna have to put your faith in me at every step of the journey that God is still in the business of doing things like this in people like us. If we're willing to trust that his plans and his provision are actually better than our crystal clear Google maps directions. And we're gonna start to see some things in our midst that we couldn't imagine. Are we willing to jump verse four? So Abram gets this incredible calling from God. Verse four, Abram went as the Lord had told him and lot went with him. Abram was 75 years young. When he set out from Harran, he took his wife, Sarah, his nephew, lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran and they set out for the land of Canan and they arrived there. So Abram went, he didn't know where he was going. He didn't know how it was all gonna shake out. He didn't know what was ahead of him, except for God. And that was enough for Abraham. I mean, think of the song that we just sang. You are JIRA. You are enough. God, I can't see what's on the other side of that fence and I'm scared of it. And it's intimidating. And I'm just thinking about how I can't jump that high and how I've screwed up a lot and how I'm the wrong age and all these lists of disqualifiers. And I can't see what's on the other side of the fence, but if we wanna be like Abraham and put our faith and the fact that whatever's on the other side of that fence, I know that God's gonna be there cuz God loves me enough and he's big enough. And he's close enough to meet me on the other side of the fence, even though I'm scared of what that might look like. Like we waste so much time going. I don't know God, how, I mean, how high is the fence? Where are we going? Like, man, if God's gonna be there with us, if, if the same God that loves us enough to call us over the fence is good enough and big enough and close enough to do this jump with us. And what else do we have to be afraid of? What could go wrong if this type of God is the one that meets us on the other side of the fence, see when we're following Jesus, just because we don't have directions doesn't mean there aren't any Abram went. He trusted that if God was gonna be there, that was gonna be enough. And he was 75 years old when God called him 75 years old. Could I admit something to you in my youthful ignorance, please? Is this a safe place when I'm reading this story? I'm like God, 75 is too old to start a nation through someone. I think, but I'm just 30. I don't know that much, but like, that's just my hunch and please don't be offended by that. Like, as I'm reading through these verses, I'm like, man, all the way up to this point in your life, you've just been Abram. You've just been doing your thing and you and your wife are unable to have kids. And then at 75, God's like, I'm gonna, I'm gonna start a nation through you. Your name will be great. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you. And I'm like, man, if this was the plan, did you miss by a couple decades? What are you talking about? Like, do you think if Abram is a human, like we are that he was like, God, I think my best child rearing years are actually behind me. If you must know. Like he's 75 years old and all of a sudden, God has this incredible plan. He, he, there's another part of his story where he takes him out and shows him the stars in the sky and says more numerous than the stars in the sky. Your descendants will be. And Abram's like, I'm 75. My back hurts leave me alone, but God doesn't have the same fences that we do. God doesn't have the same limitations that we do. My, my Impala mindset is starting to creep back in and I'm thinking of all the ways this won't work. I'm thinking of all the reasons why surely God got it wrong. , this is just another three foot fence that we're too scared to jump over, even though it would be easy for us to clear it, even though God made us to be able to clear that fence and you can spend your whole life being the wrong age for whatever God is calling you into. There's a pastor from Oklahoma, Craig Rochelle. I was listening to a podcast and he was talking about this and he said, I spent my whole life hearing that I was too young for this or that. I wasn't ready. I wasn't mature enough. I wasn't old enough. And then all of a sudden I look up and I'm too old now. when was I the perfect age for this? What was the day? Th this is it. You were too young up to this point. Perfect. Whoops, you're too old. Like what, like, what was. The day. And, and, and I love that because all of us in here count ourselves out because we think we're either too young to step into this or that our glory days are behind us. And it just seems like from this story, that God doesn't really care about that limitation as much as we do that, no matter who you are in here, if you're 15 years old or 85 years old, that maybe your next 10 years are your best 10 years. And I know that sounds like Tony Robbins, like motivational stuff, go by my book. No, like this is Genesis 12. That's what it says. He was 75 years old when the story starts, this is when we start hearing about Abraham. And so regardless of how old you are or how too young or too old you think you are, or maybe that's not your limitation, maybe you're like, man, I'm not educated enough. I don't have the right degrees. I don't have the right resume. I don't have enough money. I don't have enough status. I'm not skinny enough or pretty enough or cool enough, or this enough, or that enough, I don't have enough invested. I don't have enough in my retirement, whatever disqualification you've given yourself. It seems like from Genesis 12, God's like, will you stop telling me what I can't do through you? Because I'm bigger than you being too old or too young. I'm bigger than your lack of resume. I'm bigger than all the ways that you've fallen short. I'm bigger than your receipt of mistakes and the bridges that you've burned. I'm actually big enough to make up the difference. Will you just jump and trust that I will meet you there? God, I'm 75. I know that I'm eternal and I'm young enough to do it. Let's go. I've been here forever, bro. Let's like, come on. I made you to jump. If Abraham's call teaches us anything, it's that God doesn't have the same limitations that we do. And so we we've talked about how we're limiting ourselves based on our need for clear direction. And we're limiting ourselves based on our limitations, our insecurities. See, we're just not focused enough on who God is. Like look back in this story. Look at who the focus is on in these verses. Look at who the responsibility is on to do incredible things. Genesis 12 one, go from your country, your people, your father's household to the land. I will show you. You're like, I don't know where we're going, guys. Like cool. I do. I'll show you once we get there, you don't need to know. Verse two, I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you. I will make your name great in a culture that is all about how we can make things great or keep things great, or try to use our own merit or skill or intellect to achieve greatness. God is going. The only greatness that you can achieve is when I give it to. You don't have anything within you to make anything great, or to keep anything great. The only greatness you can achieve, the only greatness I can achieve is when God goes, I will make your name great. I will provide, I will actually show up any greatness that we see that actually lasts, comes from a good God who can give it to us. Verse three, I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you, I will curse. God's going. I have your back. Why are you fighting so much? Why do you feel like you have to defend yourself so much? Why are you so worked up about anybody that disagrees? I will bless you. I'm in your corner, I'm fighting for you and I'm enough to make up the difference. Verse seven, we haven't even gotten there yet, but the Lord appeared to Abram and said, To your offspring. I will give this land, see the problem with all the times we tell God I can't, I'm not strong enough. I don't know the way I'm too old. I can't do that. I can't, I can't, I can't, God's going over and over and over again. I know that I will. God, I'm not strong enough. I know I am strong enough. God, I can't carry this anymore. I know that I will carry this. God, I don't have enough to provide in this way. I know I'm gonna give you enough to provide all of your, I can't statements based on how you are not good enough. If we'll just surrender those in worship. If we'll just offer those up and go, God, there's a bunch of things I can't do, but there's nothing you can't do. And not only can you, you say over and over again in your word that you will, you're not just capable. You're willing. You're not just powerful. You're close. You're close enough to make up the difference. God doesn't need us to be strong enough. God doesn't need us to know the directions. He knows the directions. And I think as a matter of fact, he doesn't want us to know the directions on purpose, cuz we would just screw it up. I have a three year old little girl and like sometimes we'll make the mistake by telling her plans too early. It'll be like Wednesday and we're like on Saturday, we're gonna go swim at grandma's house. And every 10 minutes, she's like, are we going to the pool? Like it's Wednesday, sweetheart. She has no idea what that means after a nap. Like she thinks she just takes naps. Like that's every, even when we put her to bed, she's like, I'm not ready for a nap yet. I'm like, this is a bedtime I hope this is a 10 hour nap. Right? Like have we gone to the pool? No, it's Nope. On Saturday we are like, and then me and my wife literally are like, we have to tell her like 30 minutes before we're in the car. And we're like this with God. If God told you what he's gonna do in you in the next 10 years, you would spend 10 years screwing it up. I would spend 10 years going, God, is it, are we there yet? Is it now just send me a sign, something in the clouds. Is it now? He's like, will you rely, I know where we're going. Will you just calm down? And we have all these excuses and these reasons why we are disqualified. I think God wants to tell you today. I created you just like I meant to, I didn't miss by 10 years, I didn't miss by, oh, you were actually supposed to be this gifted or this successful, or this much status I created you. Exactly. Like I meant to, and I'm calling you into forever type things. If you're willing to. Are we willing to surrender our I can't statements to put our trust in when God says I will, I will. I will. I will verse six, Abram traveled through the land. As far as the site of the great tree of Moura at she. At that time, the Canaanites were in the land. We'll get back to that in a minute. At that time, the Canaanites were in the land verse seven, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to your offspring, I will give this land. And so Abram built Anar there to the Lord who had appeared to him again with all of the reverence and respect that I can muster up in my heart. I read this story and I'm like, God, this was your plan. Leave everything that you know, and go to a new land and I'll show you once we get there. And once we get there, people are already there. Like was Abraham like the, what? there's a whole civilization here. God, what are you talking about? Leave everything, you know, to go to this brand new land where a bunch of people already live. You're like, how, what is happening? God, are you sure this is the right land? should we check map quest? Remember that 2007? What's up like, should we check the directions? Imagine if you were looking for a house and I was like, man, I found the perfect house for you. It's gonna be great for your family. Let's go see it. And you're like, where is it? I'll show you later hop in. And we, we get to the house and we're like, look, see, isn't it beautiful. It's a dream house. And we walk through the front door and I'm like, I can't wait for you to see the backyard. And there's just like a full blown family living. Like parents, kids at a dog peed on the rug. You know what I mean? Like wouldn't you pull me over to the corner and be like, just sorry, one second. Hey, what the heck is going on right now? People live here and this is what we do with God. We, we hear jump, go run. And we go where we want another directions. Then once we get there, we're like, God, how, how is this gonna work? How are you gonna do this? This seems impossible. This seems too big. We want to know directions. We want to know the plan. How is this gonna happen? And God, over and over again says, you gotta trust me. Leave that up to me. God, where are we going? We're going to make a nation. I'm gonna make your name great. All people on earth are gonna be blessed because of you. And Abraham's like, no, but like where though I'll show you later. people already live here. How's this gonna happen? God, what's our battle plan. What's our six month plan. What's our 12 month plan. And God's like, let me handle that part. You just trust me, you just build an altar in worship. You just lay your life down in surrender so that I can meet you in the midst of it. I love Abram's response in verse seven. He has to leave everything that he knows go like pick up his family, go travel to an unknown land. They get there. People already live there. I think for me, I'd be like, let's run it back. I guess we missed a stop. Abram's like, okay, I'm gonna worship. I'm gonna build Antar here. All Abram knows how to do is to rely on God when things don't make sense to. when he's left with no other answers and he's going, man, I have no idea how to make sense of any of this. His default, his instinct is to build an alter and worship. Not like me. I start doubting everything. Does God not care? Is God not real? Did he retire? Did he move on to another universe? Did I screw up too much? All of these things Abram's like, whew, well, this is gonna be tough. Anyway. Let's worship. God, God will make a way. I know my role in this. God says I will, I will, I will. My job is just to worship. All right, God, I trust you. I'm gonna surrender. I'm gonna give you my faith. God, I have no idea how this is gonna happen, but I'm gonna put my faith in you. If you hear one thing today, I hope that it's this. If we're willing to put our faith and a God. that is this good? That's this big, that's this close. We move from how to somehow. We move from how God, how is this possible? How is this ever gonna work to, I don't know, man, but somehow God's gonna provide because he always has. He is now and he always will. And if we can move from how to somehow, then we surrender our I can't statements. Into God will. And we move from worry into worship. We move away from all the ways that this won't work into all the ways that God could provide. We move away from all the things that I'm not good enough or big enough to do into all the things that God is big enough and good enough to do. If we can move from how God, how on earth are you gonna do this to man? I don't know the plan and I don't even know the directions, but somehow you've always been faithful and you're still gonna be faithful in my life the same now, as it was in Genesis 12. This is the type of God that we have, and you may not know the directions and once you get there, it might seem too scary to you. But over and over again, God's like, if you would just jump, I promise we're gonna do some incredible things together. If you'll just give up your need to know every turn. And if you'll give up your, your need to, to remind me of how 75 you are or how uneducated you are or how not popular you are, if you'll just give me all of that and stop asking how and stop telling me I can't, then you'll find out that somehow I can, you can move from worry to worship. God, how am I gonna get out of this debt? How, how is my marriage gonna recover from this? How am I gonna reconcile with my kids or with my siblings or with my friends? How are you gonna change my city? My neighborhood, my church. How, if we move from that? I don't know, but I know somehow God can and somehow God. Somehow God can transform this city. He's big enough. He's good enough. And he's close enough and we get to move from how to somehow I know the Canan Knight live there. I know it doesn't look good right now. I know it seems impossible to us with all of our own limitations. I know the news. I see it. I see how bad things are. Right. I've seen all the reports and the statistics and the data, the breaking news. I've seen it all. How can this ever be fixed? God? How are you ever gonna bring this back? I don't know how, but I believe that somehow God will. How am I supposed to raise kids in a time like this? I don't know, but I know somehow God will meet you. how am I supposed to be generous when everything is so freaking expensive right now? I, I don't know, but I know somehow God can provide, how are we supposed to make sense of the good news of Jesus when we live in such a bad news time? I don't know, but somehow the good news of Jesus by the power of the holy spirit will have the last word somehow. And I know there are so many things that we ask God for and it's taking so long, or it seems like it's never gonna happen. Or maybe you've asked and you just got a, a black and white. No, like he answered your prayer, but it was no, and we get defeated and we get overwhelmed and I don't know why and how, and when God chooses what he chooses. But what I can tell you for sure. 100%. is that God has created each and every one of us for an incredible purpose, just like Abraham and Genesis 12. And when he calls you to things, when this type of God calls you to things to, to go to trust, to jump, then some way somehow he will meet you. and he'll provide for you on the way. That's the type of guy that he is. And I don't think he's retired. I think he's still working. I think for us, he's just getting started and somehow he'll meet us in the midst of this somehow together. We can clear that fence. Are you willing to jump God? Thanks for our time today. Thanks for this truth. And I'm thankful for the way that you use broken, insecure, fearful people, just like me over and over again in your word that you don't call the a team. You don't call the best of the best you call people. Just like me who are broken and scared. And God. So I pray for all of us listening to this now, Lord, that you would give us the boldness, give us the faith, give us the perspective to be willing, to jump when you call us to, even if we can't see where we're gonna land, make us the type of people that say somehow, even when it seems impossible, somehow God's gonna move. I know all the things I can't do God, but we want to be aware of all the things you can. in all the ways that you will. We love you so much. Thanks for Jesus and the life that we get because of him. And it's in his name that we pray. Amen. Thanks guys.

Are You Willing To Go?

by Caleb Baker • June 12, 2022

Summer is here! This summer, experience Travels With several characters from the Bible as they travel along on their path with God. Learn more about many of God's people and how their stories relate to your life today. This weekend starts off Travels with...Abraham.