ARE WE THERE YET? Andy Hollifield 1-17-17
As I was sitting in church Monday night, I was asking the Lord what I needed to write for Tuesdays article. As I sat there I began to think of a message that God let me preach several years ago. It has a real practical application and it isn’t real deep and profound. It’s actually really simple. It is this question, “Are we there yet”?
The Lord let me notice one time about the story of Elijah. If you remember, after Elijah announced the great famine to Ahab, God told Elijah to head east to the brook Cherith and told him to hide and that he would drink of the brook and that He had commanded the ravens to feed him there (1 Kings 17: 1-16). It turns out that when Elijah got there, he found things exactly as the Lord had promised they would be. After some time the brook dried up. God then told Elijah to go to Zarephath and a widow woman would sustain him there. When he got there he again found things exactly as God had promised. The interesting thing about both of these situations is that God used the most unlikely of sources to make provision for his servant. First a raven that made it living surviving off of road kill and then a widow woman who obviously was already destitute without taking on another mouth to feed. Now I have used these points quite a bit over the years since God showed them to me but the more interesting thing is where he done it. I am not talking about the location as far as the brook or the town but that the Lord told him a location and said “there” the ravens will feed you and in Zarephath “there” a widow will sustain thee. Years ago as I studied this, God showed me that the reason he can’t bless a lot of times like he would like to is because we never get “there”. Just like Naaman the leper’s servants told him after Elisha told him to go wash in Jordan 7 times and he would be cleansed of his leprosy, if he told you to do some great thing, you would have done it, so just go wash (2 Kings 5:1-14). No other place was sufficient for what he needed, only the Jordan. Not because it held any power but because Naaman needed to display that he had faith enough to be obedient. So he had to go “there” where the prophet told him. “There” is simply where God tells us to go. “There” is where we will receive our blessing and the things we need from him. If we want the blessings of God we will have to do what he says to do on his terms. Anywhere else and Elijah would have starved. Anywhere else and Naaman would have not been healed. But, because in both cases they were both obedient to God’s command their needs were met.
God is no respecter of persons (Romans 2: 11). If he sustained Elijah “there” and healed Naaman “there” he will meet our needs “there”. When we get to where God says he wants us and do what God wants us to do he will meet our needs “there”. In Genesis 45, God sent word to Israel to go to the land of Goshen during famine and said “there will I nourish thee”. I preached a message at State Street a few weeks ago out of Exodus 25:22 about “there will I meet with thee”. He had given Moses instruction about building the Tabernacle in the wilderness and also the mercy seat. He then told him “there will I meet with thee”. “There” was where forgiveness would be obtained. There are many places throughout scripture that God designates a particular place for his children to go in order to receive the blessings of God. Moses could never see the glory of the Lord till he got in the cleft of the rock. When he got “there”, God passed by.
Anyone that is a parent of a child that is of talking age has heard the question I started with, “Are we there yet?” It is quite annoying when you are already tired and fighting traffic especially in a strange town. There is always great joy and an overwhelming sense of excitement and relief when we get “there”. If it is on a vacation, getting “there” means you finally get to enjoy the things that your chosen destination has to offer. It should be that way in our spiritual life also. When God tells us a specific place or work that he want us to go to or do, we should be striving to get to the place in our life where God wants us and do what he wants us to do. We have no right to ask or expect blessings from God if we aren’t willing to be obedient.
In closing I will ask this question, “Are you there yet”? Are you where he wants you to be? Have you arrived at the place God wants you to be and doing what God wants you to do? If you cannot enjoy the goodness of God, you haven’t got “there” yet. If you have never accepted Christ as your savior, you can’t get “there”. The only way to get “there” is through the shed blood of Christ by which we have forgiveness of all of our sin. If the Holy Ghost draws you to Christ, you can get “there”. That is the only way. Accept his forgiveness and be saved and you will be on your way to getting “there”. As a matter of fact, you will be as good as already “there”. After accepting him, nothing can keep you from getting “there”. Keep looking up because we are almost “there”. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!