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A Panic Sent by God

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A Panic Sent by God

Did you know that each year, thousands of churches, both new and historic closes their doors and never reopen?
We could assume that when they do, people find somewhere else to worship and that the community needs are being met by some other church. But in my personal observation, that’s not the case.
In fact, I was just at New Providence Middle School a few weeks ago and learned from the staff there that as churches close down on the North Side of Clarksville, and perhaps merged with larger, more popular churches on the south side, they seem to have forgotten about the community they left behind.
That means, the enemy now has a foothold, if not a stronghold on ground that once belonged to the Kingdom of God.
Now, I’ve been in ministry for over 2 decades and I’ve been a lot of places, seen a lot of things. But like King David, I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor His seed begging for bread. But lately, the church has been looking a little thin.
Lately, the church has been silent on vital issues. Their voice is not heard in the desolate places. Lately, the stranger, the orphan, and the widow have been neglected and the young are without the wisdom of the old. The old are without the strength of the young.
Lately is seems like though the righteous have not been forsaken by God, the righteous have forsaken God’s work.
Make no mistake about it, we are at war. The Kingdom still suffers violent and the violent must take it by force. But we seem content with the way things are.
As the world turns, we appear to be okay with just having church. As the world burns, we are comfortable in our air conditioned buildings singing our favorite songs and fighting over the color of the carpet.
We want control at church while our neighborhoods, our communities, our cities and our country spins wildly into chaos.
Our current world reminds me of ancient Israel during the time of King Saul. We know King Saul, he was the tall handsome one that the church chose, I mean, the people chose as their pastor. Might I add, he was chosen against God’s will. Sometimes, God will let the people get their way just to teach them a lesson.
The lesson is that Father knows best. It’s therefore, his way or the hard way.
King Saul was at war with the Philistines continuously and losing ground was not unfamiliar to him. The enemy had outposts all around Israel and surrounding areas and the “so-called” people of God did not seem to have an urgency to eradicate the evil these Philistines represented.
But in every generation, God raises up people who become sick of things always being the way things are. Moses became sick of the Egyptians beating on his brethren. Joshua was sick of wondering in the desert.
David became sick of Goliath, Harriet Tubman grew sick of slavery, Martin Luther King, Jr. was tired of segregation and now, we are sick of being gunned down by police. Tired of being killed by our neighbors and done with working for less pay while doing more work.
At least we say we are. Yet we find ourselves hiding in the comfort of what we have instead of fighting for the future that is sure to come. Ladies and gentlemen, we have an opportunity to shape history but we must be willing to step out of the past. We must be willing to mobilize beyond the current.
In 1 Sam 14:1-15
1 Samuel 14:1–15 NIV
1 One day Jonathan son of Saul said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. 2 Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree in Migron. With him were about six hundred men, 3 among whom was Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod. He was a son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord’s priest in Shiloh. No one was aware that Jonathan had left. 4 On each side of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff; one was called Bozez and the other Seneh. 5 One cliff stood to the north toward Mikmash, the other to the south toward Geba. 6 Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.” 7 “Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.” 8 Jonathan said, “Come on, then; we will cross over toward them and let them see us. 9 If they say to us, ‘Wait there until we come to you,’ we will stay where we are and not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the Lord has given them into our hands.” 11 So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. “Look!” said the Philistines. “The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.” 12 The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, “Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson.” So Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Climb up after me; the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.” 13 Jonathan climbed up, using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer right behind him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer followed and killed behind him. 14 In that first attack Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some twenty men in an area of about half an acre. 15 Then panic struck the whole army—those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties—and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.
Listen, I’m asking God to connect me with people who ain’t afraid to be a panic sent by God. I’m asking God to assign folks who are not afraid to shake things up for His glory. I don’t need that many.
I just need one somebody who, like Jonathan’s armor bearer, will say “Pastor, whatever is in your heart. let’s do it!”
I’m tired of things the way they are. I’m done with being quiet when it’s time to speak up. I’m in the business of reclaiming kingdom territory. Churches should be productive, not simply present.
We should be owning, not simply occupying. We should be world changers, not copiers. We should be champions, not challengers. God wants more for you. He wants more for us. Who wants it?
5 things we need to be a panic sent by God!
A righteous indignation
A friend who shares our heart
A plan to succeed (SWOT)
A resolve to see it through
The strength to get it done
If they could shake things up with two, imagine what we could do if all of us brought these 5 things to the table.
There’s enough of us in here to fill the gaps. Maybe you don’t have the strength but you have the resolve. There’s somebody in this room who can be the hands and feet. Maybe you don’t have the strength but you have a plan. Maybe God has sent the person next to you to be the flame that lights your fire.
Listen, it doesn’t matter who gets the credit. What matters is that God gets the glory. I imagine us better together. I see a future where we gain more ground for the Kingdom.
I am a panic sent by God. And so are you. But it takes all of us. Tap your neighbor and ask them, “Are you in?”
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