God - The Ultimate Survivor
God - The Ultimate Survivor
Youth Convention this year was a great time of drawing nearer to God. As we opened the event, Allen Chapin, the District Youth Director made a statement that I would like us to focus on this morning and this week. He said that God can out-do anything we try to do; He can out-think any dream we may imagine; He can out-express anything we attempt to show others; He can out-loud any attempt we make at being heard.
All in all, God can out __(blank)__ whatever you can __(blank)__. He is and will be, the Ultimate Survivor. He made it all, owns it all, and supports everything.
Let’s look at the three phrases in this secular show and relate them to God in action.
Genesis 11 tells the story of the world being of one language and one common speech. As they moved eastward, they settled in the plain of Shinar and decided to build a city with a tower that would reach Heaven, so that they would not longer be scattered throughout the earth. But God came down and saw their work and made this statement in verses 6-7: ”If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” At that point, the people,, not being able to understand and communicate with each other, were scattered and we unable to complete what they had set out to accomplish.
What you need to understand is that God is all about unity. We talked yesterday at the Senior Adult Fellowship about Jesus, in John 17, praying that all disciples throughout the ages being one as He and God are one. In Ephesians 4:13, Paul writes that we come together as the Body of Christ to reach unity in faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God and become mature. Time and time again throughout scripture we see the need and desire of God for us to walk in unity. There is strength in numbers. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
So what happened here in the plains of Shinar? Pride. Independence from God. Open rebellion to a direct order. You see, God instructed Noah upon leaving the ark to go forth throughout the earth and multiply. What God was trying to show mankind from the beginning of creation was man’s dependence on Him. God desires closeness with us, but it must come in line with His Word. We draw near to Him through Jesus Christ.
God can outwit the best of ‘em. Go back and consider Elijah’s fun at the expense of the prophets of Baal. What about the men of Jericho as Joshua marched around for that week? Here’s one more for you..Jesus was questioned about His authority in Matthew 21, and turned the situation around with a question that He knew they would not answer. To outwit means to one-up creative imagination. Don’t you think, though Jesus was saddened at the leaders’ unbelief, that He was somewhat amused at being able to turn the tables on them?
Don’t get this next point wrong. Nothing that holds eternity in the balance can be considered a “game”, but that’s all the devil is about. What he does is play games with our minds and hearts to make us choose to be hard against the will of God. But God can outplay anything the devil comes up with. Isaiah 14 gives the account of Satan’s prideful thought of a Throne room take over, where God threw him out of Heaven.
But here is where I want your focus to be in the thought of Outplay. The Israelites were about to be freed from Egyptian bondage. Moses and Aaron were there to see this thing through, but Pharaoh’s heart was hard. God begins this “game” with Aaron’s staff becoming a snake, which the devil was able to match, but then Aaron’s snake ate the others then was made back into a staff. As Israel did not participate in the following events, here is how it all played out. The first plague was blood, the second, 7 days later, was frogs, the third was gnats (ken in Hebrew which meant annoying insects), the forth was flies, fifth was against the livestock and all of them died, the sixth was boils over man and animals, the seventh was hail that destroyed everything from human to animal to trees and plants, the eighth was locusts which finished off whatever was left that was green, the ninth was darkness for three days, at which Pharaoh’s heart still was hardened, and Moses told him he would not appear before him again, and the tenth was against the firstborn. When this “game” was over, and the devil had no more devices that could stand against what Pharaoh knew from his experience against God, not only did the Israelites go free, but plundered the Egyptians as they left that very night.
What does this tell you? If you’re into games and think that because of something that you have is more valuable than God’s will, you will have a hard road ahead of you with nothing left to show for it other than the biggest L in the lost column that you’ve even played for. Don’t try and outplay God. He has every resource at his grasp, every move already laid out, and every imagination already conceived. He will outplay you, and the cost will ultimately be your soul, and it is not the type of victory He wants. He wants you to join His team so together you can combat the forces of the devil and claim victory as one.
Come on, now. At this point, you’re getting where this is going!!! Revelations says that Jesus is Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last. His Word is eternal and will never pass away, though all that we know and see in this world will one day not be as we know it.
How long have you been in this race called Christian? If it’s a brand new venture that you’ve undertaken, the Holy Spirit has already revealed Who is in control. If you’ve been fighting the good fight of faith in Jesus Christ for longer, then you know what’s written at the end of the Book. You know that God was always. You may not understand that, but, hey, how much stuff do we not understand in this life. Look around this room. There are opposite genders that you are clueless about right now as I speak. Most of you who are wise have decided not to even try to figure them out!!! There are a few of you who are trying, and are becoming more and more confused every day!!!
So how are you going to be able to answer every question in this life about things that are spiritual in nature? Isaiah 55:8-9 says that our thoughts and ways are not like God’s, and His are higher. There are things that you may never know until you stand before Him in Glory. Then again, I don’t believe that there is much outside of when Jesus will come back that He is not willing to reveal to any of us.
But here is where the rubber meets the road. I like to win. As a matter of fact, I really love to win. In this life, there are things that I really am ok with losing as long as I know I played as hard as I could have. I’m coaching T-ball right now. Do you know how hard it is to balance teaching basics baseball skills to children without pushing winning and success through offense and defense?
The ultimate win in anyone’s book would be a win recorded in eternity. To stand before the One who created me, who planned my course, to sustained me by His Spirit and hear Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joys of your Lord. To see those who may have gone on before me, or that came with me, or even after me walking on streets of gold will be worth a lifetime of sacrifice. Revelation says that Jesus will achieve victory through the sword coming from Him mouth. Philemon 2 says that every knee in Heaven and on earth will bow at the name of Jesus. Revelation teaches us that the devil and his associates, be they fallen angels or rebellious souls, will be cast into hell for eternity with much weeping and gnashing of teeth. To choose my own way, my own desires, my own course in this life seems like a lose-lose situation. Not only do I waste a lifetime searching for something that will not last, but I lose eternity as my reward. I choose to win. I choose to nail my life and my ways to that cross daily and take up Jesus’ life. I choose today whom I will serve. I choose now to align myself with a God who will see victory when it’s all over.
Now I ask…What side do you choose? Who are you aligned with? There are only two correct responses that you can give right now. Survivor would say that tribal counsel is on the horizon. I say that eternity is drawing near. Choose today the One who will outwit, outplay, and outlast them all. Choose Christ!!!