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Sunday 21st February 2016 – Shane Egypt
Gen. 12:1; Heb. 11:8-10; Jer. 29:10-11; Isa. 45:1; Ezra 1:1;
Matt. 16:1-3; (Matt. 11:3); (John 1:29-34); Lev. 25:10;
Ezek. 37:4; Ezra 4:1-3; Josh. 9:14-15; Deut. 22:10;
Gen. 13:8-9; Gen. 19:37; Ruth 1:15-22; Ruth 4:13-17);
Ezra 8:15; (Gen. 35:18)
There have been a number of ‘Exodus experiences’ for the people of God who had to migrate in order for the promises of God to be fulfilled. It is a group of people migrating together; especially in a given time period. In nature animals migrate from one region to another for breeding or feeding purposes. It speaks of the survival of the species and it facilitates the incubation of the next generation. If there is no migration there is death. Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you” (Gen. 12:1). By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise, for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. (Heb. 11:8-10). Why can a promise not be fulfilled in my own country among my own relatives, and in my own father’s house? God has a plan for us (Jer. 29:11). God is speaking to us about a new season. Are you correctly positioned for this new season? Are you ready to migrate? If it needs be, it has to take place in your personal journey with the Lord.
The first point is that it is God stirring; faith by obedience is the ingredient that necessitates us to move. Why did only 42 000 migrate out of captivity under Zerubbabel? Why did the rest stay behind? The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. But He replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? (Matt. 16:1-3). John the Baptist discerned the season and identified Christ but he continued with his own disciples (John 1:29-34). Shouldn’t he have migrated? Later he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the One?” (Matt. 11:3).
As a body we build relationally. Who are we connected to? We become accountable to one another in the covenantal relationship. We are called as a community and a family to lean on each other.
Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord’ (Ezek. 37:4). Symbolically the valley of dry bones represents fractions/dysfunction of the Body. The Body needs to be realigned; bone needs to find its bone. In this migration, this is what the enemy says, Now when the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the people of the exile were building a temple to the Lord God of Israel, they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers’ households, and said to them, “Let us build with you, for we, like you, seek your God; and we have been sacrificing to Him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us up here.” But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the heads of fathers’ households of Israel said to them, “You have nothing in common with us in building a house to our God; but we ourselves will together build to the Lord God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia has commanded us” (Ezra 4:1-3; Josh 9:14-15). You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together (Deut. 22:10). You need to be correctly jointed. When Abraham left, Lot went with him. It looked like he made a decision because he was part of the first migration. In this journey there was a different alignment for Lot (Gen. 13:8-9). Cut ties with Lot because in the building process there cannot be dysfunction. So who are you connected to?
Ruth was a Moabite but there was something different about her. How did Ruth position herself? Ruth clung to her mother-in-law (Ruth 1:15-22). From Ruth, Obed was born who was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David (Ruth 4:13-17). God’s plan always comes to fruition, but there has to be the heart attitude like Ruth.
There needs to be a mind-set change. Change your attitude towards your challenges. Do not focus on the need but focus on the capacity and the grace that is necessary in the migration. Ezra looked at the people and observed them and he knew he needed a capacity of a certain grace for the people in the building process. He took a leader from among the people with a grace capacity. Thank God for the grace carriers and the grace capacity for this new season. Let us trust God; He knows what he is doing. Can we believe that God is in control and that He has not lost the plot? It will come to fruition. We are in an overlapping; just before crossing into the new, the circumstances and the battle of the mind are the most intense. When the final son was born to Rachel, because of her dying and pain she called him, “son of my sorrow” yet Jacob called him “son of my right hand” (Gen. 35:18). What do you see in this time? Are you going to reflect on the problems? Rather look at what God has given and what God has said and how we will bring this to a close as a people of God.