The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 10/26

Posted on | October 26, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 10/26

Scripture reading: II Chronicles 29:1–5

Hurricane Stan

Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” (Jeremiah 1:9–10)

In October of 2005 it finally happened. A hurricane was given my name. I didn’t know whether to be proud or embarrassed to have a tropical storm named “Stan.” But when I learned of the devastation caused by this monster storm I was certainly sobered. Making landfall in Central America, Stan caused $3.9 billion in damages and over 1,600 deaths (mostly in Guatemala).

The prophet Jeremiah must have felt like a hurricane to the nation of Judah. His words struck with such violent force that everyone and everything was shaken to the foundations. God had touched his lips so that his words were not his own. More than that, Jeremiah consumed God’s words as if they were food for his soul: Your words were found, and I ate them (Jeremiah 15:16). Jeremiah’s effectiveness came not because he was a good public speaker but because his words were God’s words! Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? (Jeremiah 23:29). A sharp spear needs no polish.

Verse 10 of the first chapter introduces us to the message God gave his prophet to speak. Six verbs concisely summarize Jeremiah’s commission. Four are negative, two are positive: pluck up, break down, destroy and overthrow . . . build and plant. Before God could build up his work in the land he first had to destroy what was standing in the way. Before he could plant good seeds he needed to pull out the weeds!

While serving as pastor of a church in upstate New York, we had the joy of  building a lovely new sanctuary. We obviously needed a larger and improved worship space, and everyone agreed that we needed a new building. But there was one problem. An old and cherished building stood on the site chosen for our new sanctuary. The old-timers loved this four-story “mansion” because the church was born there. It was full of memories. Its rooms had served as Sunday School classes for decades. Some even felt it should be listed on the historic register of our town. However, this old building was standing in the way of our future. We were land-locked and space was at a premium. We had to tear down before we could build. It was painful to watch the wrecking crew demolish something that had been so cherished. But once the old building was down, work on the new building could begin.

Get the picture? Is your protest over the demolition project God has in mind for you obstructing the building project he wants to do? Yes, it may feel like a hurricane, and your pain and sense of loss may be real, but there is no other way for God to accomplish his work!

Before I preach love, mercy and grace,

I must preach sin, law and judgment. —John Wesley

 point to ponder Is there something in your life that needs to be torn down and destroyed so that God can build something new? Are there weeds that need to be uprooted so that good seeds can be planted?

prayer focus Things—in your life, in your family, in your church, in your community—that obstruct the work of God.


Comments are closed.

  • Contact Us

    Mailing Address:
    P.O. Box 7
    Wilmore, KY 40390

    Physical Address:
    1580 Lexington Rd.
    Wilmore, KY 40390

    859-858-4222 (Office)
    859-858-4155 (Fax)
    Email: Front Office | Webmaster

  • Ministry Matters Newsletter

  • Find Us on Facebook

  • Follow Us on Twitter

  • Find Dr. Kinlaw on