A couple of weeks ago and ahead of his forthcoming move to Scotland Chris Puckrin was invited to preach at one of our 9.30am Services. He took as his text Exodus Chapter 14, verses 13 to 29. You can read it here, it’s called…
The Journeying God
If asked what’s the greatest moment of your life, how would you respond? No doubt there’s been extraordinary moments. Birth, sucking first lungful of breath as the adventure called life began! First steps, first words. The joy of learning to read.
First job, first date, first kiss, first love, for parents the moment the children were born. Many things can be defined as greatest moment of life! I remember a time, if not a greatest moment, certainly ranks as most humorous!
Christmas, the College Ripon and York St. John. Nativity presentation complete with angel descending to announce the birth of the Saviour! Spellbinding, especially as the angel appeared. People gasped as this angel flew around, until disaster struck.
The motor driving the harness burnt out, the angel stopped dead! The momentum caused wires attached to the wings to get twisted and the angel began to spin round and round like a ceiling fan. I was there, I saw it, I still chuckle!
Think about it, someone spinning round and round, then consider that is a condition of some here today! We are all of us nice, good people, with our hearts in the right place. But some are spinning, going nowhere. Progress is halted. Life is stale and static.
The reading from Exodus tells about slaves wanting delivery from taskmasters. God rescued and redeemed them and a great journey began which was so much more than a great escape. Outcasts and fugitives became a chosen people called to travel to a promised land. Their route saw the supernatural and the miraculous happen.
The obedient Red Sea stood up, impossibly, only to crash down again on the army that chased them. God himself their navigation system. People followed the pillars of fire and cloud, discovered Yahweh was uniquely the dynamic, travelling king.
However, it didn’t end happily. They doubted, they grumbled, they rebelled and as they did so they got more and more off course. God was still with them, but they would never inherit the destiny he had prepared for them!
The journeying God allowed them to spin out their days in the wilderness, marching but going nowhere; a mystery tour anything but magical. An excursion ending in the sand. What of us? What of me? On the point of leaving Leeds to move to Scotland. Why?
Those who know my situation assume it’s because Lorraine, Will and the grandchildren now live in Scotland and I am going to be near them. I will be near them, five minutes away from them! But I’m not going to Scotland just to be near them!
Will’s job meant relocation, they asked me to go. I refused saying I believe God still has something for me to do here and wants me to stay in Leeds and it will only be when I feel him say differently that I will move! Sounds so pious doesn’t it! True though! It would have been easy to go.
Then just 12 weeks ago God began speaking, saying “now it’s time!” At church in Scotland a guy came to say hello to me. His opening words, you’re not from Scotland, I watched you, I think God is saying you are to move here!
Four weeks later, a lady rang me. Lorraine had given my number. She’d had a dream, she said. I was in the dream, God said its time to go to Scotland! Talking with Lorraine I said I didn’t want to go unless I can be a blessing, not just to family (toe curling piety)!
Our house group meets on Mondays and the day I’d spoken with Lorraine, a Monday, was early March. At the end of the house group meeting we prayed together and agreed the need to develop the habit of not just talking but also of listening prayer.
Next day I got a text from John Whitehead who was at the house group; “praying for you in the early hours, didn’t know what to pray so listened, felt God say ‘he will be a blessing!’”
I’d not said anything to anyone in Leeds up to that point! The journeying God is calling me! So it’s onward and upward to something even now being prepared!
Now a question: what about you? You individually and your corporately, this fellowship here? Moortown? Is it to be progress or spinning? The journeying God invites us to decide! And I want to take us back to where we began, the greatest moment of our life!
The greatest moment of our life is right here, right now! Not because it’s pleasant or happy or easy, but because this moment is the only moment that is truly ours. It is the only one we’ve got. It’s the one time we have to hear God speak to us!
Past moments, however good they were or however deeply we may regret wasted or misspent are gone, never coming back, and if we live there we lose our life. The future is always out there somewhere. We can spend an eternity waiting for or worrying about tomorrow. Again, if we live there we make no progress, we just spin.
This moment is God’s irreplaceable gift. This is the moment that matters, because this is where God is. If we are going to be with him, or hear him, we must be with him, now in this moment, so we can make progress, stop spinning and travel with the God who journeys.